I decided at the beginning of the month that I would do less performance events this month and focus on my writing. I have found it hard, if not frustrating, especially as I feel I have missed out on some great events.
There is a certain amount of stress and pressure which comes from being under deadlines. I want this life, I want to have a full writing diary and lots of projects on the go, but I have to learn to find some balance. This life is tiring whilst I write alongside the day job (as many of us do) , I need to give myself enough time to rejuvenate and refuel. Energy is essential.
This week sees the Book to the Future Festival at Birmingham University, it finishes tomorrow. There was a great programme of events, which I missed out on as I have done lots of day job work this week too. I managed to contact a few writers who were lecturing to get seminar notes in return to being on their mailing lists. I also managed to get to Phenomenal Women on Wednesday night. I am missing Ben Norris this evening as I promised Mr G the weekend and am chained to my desk until deadlines pass.
This week I had planned to be out at events for 4 nights in a row, it has been a challenging week at work and I decided I do not have enough energy to deal with that many performances.
- Tuesday I performed at Mouth & Music, Jasmine Gardosi headliner along with PTR Williams.
- Wednesday I attended a writing meeting at Writing West Midlands
- then hotfooted Birmingham University for Phenomenal Women with Jan Watts.
- I was supposed to go to PFL Poetry for Lunch and Hit the Ode on Thursday, however I decided to take time off I missed Lorna Meehan perform at HTO!
- On Friday I missed Spoken Word at The Ort, Birmingham and Spoken World’s at Burton.
- I did go to a Stanza meeting, there were only 3 of us, last month there were 14. A small group were out in Malvern to see Carol Ann Duffy.
- Today there are poetic happenings in the Library of Birmingham, Ben Norris performs at Birmingham University and tomorrow Maurice Riordan speaks at Notts Festival of Words – at Notttingham University.
I now have a 5 day stretch to write and finish several projects I am working on and take on a new opportunity. Towards the end of the week I have some book promotion events, charity events and a book launch also next weekend sees our own VIRTUAL WRITING RETREAT – INKSPILL! Then it’s half term, Halloween and a bunch more events.
This month’s M&M was electrifying – we had 4 Birmingham Poets amongst us – Jasmine Gardosi was Head-lining, along with PTR Williams. Those factors were the only differences to the usual stellar line up of open mic-ers – but it was just one of those nights that caught an extra sprinkling of magic along the way. Funny really because it was Ghosts and Ancestors theme and those of you who know me, know I am a complete scaredy cat!
I had written a 2 poems (especially for M&M) that I couldn’t wait to perform, I plan to use it them on the Halloween circuit in a fortnight (42, Halloweeny Night at the Ort, Word Up) – they went down well and from audience reaction had the right amount of spooky foreboding! Perfect. The other 2 poems I shared were written a while ago now, 2013.
I really enjoyed all the sets and seeing people I haven’t seen for months. We also had several performers new to M&M and they were fabulous, hoping they will be back. The lovely Saffron Toms brought her kit and snapped amazing, arty photos of the night to catch the atmosphere. The venue is incredibly dark so just on light settings alone she deserves a lot of kudos. All photos are copyright Saffron Toms. Just a taste – think there are over 60 shots posted online.
© Saffron Toms 2014
Jan Tessa Lowe Mogs
Katie Wragg Caution Poet Najma Hush
Wednesday 15th October – Writing West Midlands Meeting for Writers with Young People
Annually WWM get all the Lead and Assistant writers from the Midlands groups together. It was a fun meeting and they were also selling off book overstock from the Birmingham Literature Festival… discounted books -yes, please!
Wednesday 15th October – Book to the Future Festival – Jan Watts – Phenomenal Women Event
From The Custard Factory (WWM HQ), I hot footed in torrential rain to the University to take part in the Book to the Future Festival for the 2nd year. Jan Watts organises an annual Phenomenal Women event, there were 12 poets booked to perform including;
ScrubberJack – Jackie Smallridge
and myself, Nina Lewis
It was a great night and secretly for me – it was also a celebration of meeting Jan Watts a year ago!
I performed my post office rant (written the day before) and a couple from the Maya Angelou collection – as it was phenomenal women….
Friday 17th October Stanza
I had had a terribly challenging day at work beforehand (emotionally drained) and unfortunately that blew my Thursday performance plan out of the water. I spent time writing some new poetry and on Friday night (after another long work day) I went to the Stanza Meeting armed with a poem about Migration. Big thanks to Mike Alma for the lift, I was far too tired to drive and wouldn’t have been able to go otherwise!
This weekend sees many Poets and bands in Birmingham for Oxjam, as well as all the other exciting things I have mentioned- I am happy writing – trying on the ‘reclusive writer’ for a while until deadlines pass!
Next week is already filling up – there is a Hanbury Hall Project I am involved with as well as other things, including lots of days of work (as it is half term the week after = no income) I am busy writing new poetry and have a job application to send off as well.
\ Happy Writing! /