The Final Week of October – Writing, Workshops and Halloween Poetry

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Half Term – much needed, much anticipated – and then I go and fill my entire week up with writing!

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Monday – Writing Day

Tuesday – Writing & Workshop AM, Writing & Editing PM

Wednesday – Writing, Proof reading, Submitting & Working AM Drummonds 42 PM

Thursday – Writing & Workshop AM, Mostly Halloween The Ort PM

Friday – Job Application & Work AM, Word Up PM

A weekend off writing to catch up with sleep and spend some time with Mr G and my family.

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I started the week on a high after the successful INKSPILL weekend and chained myself to the laptop to finish my writing project. I also found out about a workshop happening in Stratford-Upon-Avon run by Angela France and booked myself a place on it.

I spent all of Monday and Tuesday morning writing and editing, both days started at 7:30/8AM (early for me) and certainly earlier than I had planned – but I was up and had a lot to do. Monday was an 11hr write and Tuesday night was a late one. I decided to leave my final proof reading for Wednesday morning when I was more awake.

caldmore david-portrait-1 David Calcutt who has been Writer in Residence at Caldmore Community Gardens in Walsall offered a series of Free Writing Workshops. I couldn’t attend the first one as I was working, I realised just before the weekend that I could make the 2nd one as it is half term. Considering it is my week off I packed a lot of writing work in and have only just started to rest for a few days. caldmore ccg_logo

I am so glad I made the effort to go to Wild Fire – it was great meeting new writing folk and was an inspiring morning/afternoon, I took lots of photos and scribbled notes and plan to do something with them next week. I did have a problem navigating my way there – but now I know where it is I attend to visit next Sunday for a reading around the Bonfire and go to the next workshop in late November. The plan for that one is to write group poetry which will then be placed in the garden. I love that sort of thing!

I chained myself back to the desk after arriving home to finish my project.

Wednesday I finished my writing and submitted it – getting my brain back for the first time in weeks. I had planned to write for another few submissions, but missed the deadlines. My brain was tired and I have still tutored this week so there really hasn’t been any spare time until, today. Plus some of the submissions were competitions and I didn’t have the money to pay, due to overspending on Halloween!

I spent the afternoon shopping for Halloween Fancy Dress, a lot of my Dressing Up stuff is still not accessible, stored away- I decided I didn’t need to spend much and would find it less stressful to buy new rather than clamber round in the spare room trying to find the right box. As I type that line it seems ridiculous – but when I say this room is full of boxes, sadly I mean it literally!

Anyway I popped to the £1 shop (I call it the 10 Bob shop – as I always spend at least a tenner in there)! I picked up a wig, packs of makeup, black nail polish, liquid eye liner, some tattoo sleeves, a pair of tights and some wings (which I didn’t use in the end). You guessed it – I spent £10! The best part was seeing my nephews in there and having some fun with them as they excitedly showed me all their Halloween bits.

By the time I made it home, I trawled the internet for several hours for fancy dress ideas and only just had time to get ready for a night Poeting in Worcester.

I performed at Drummonds 42 (Andrew Owens) it was a fantastically spooky night and there were some incredibly confident performances – I think dressing up releases the inhibitions. I loved every minute of this, my first Halloween event. I went as a spidery woman, after spending more money than sense on Halloween bits, I decided to at least make costumes up from what I already have in my wardrobe!

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I had planned to write a job application when I got home, but it was late and I was tired.

On Thursday morning I treated myself to a mini -Lie in with a book and then headed off to Stratford, to get a bit lost for the 2nd time this week. I love Angela France’s poetry and I admire her too, she lectures at university so I knew her workshop would be great – it was. We wrote using form in the morning – a Décima, in the afternoon we wrote about Place. We also read and discussed poetry about Place, chosen by Angela. Angela france Angela France Performing at – Poetry Lounge in The Sitting Room

It was a day of inspiring conversation and I enjoyed every minute! Even made it to the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) to drink coffee in the Theatre’s Café at lunchtime. I also saw Connie, Cathy and Jenna from my Stanza group.

My afternoon plans got changed as I was sent to look for a pumpkin. This is the 1st year we haven’t grown our own to use! This pumpkin hunt was a bad idea as several of the Stratford supermarkets I went to also had Halloween SALES!

This time I went a bit mad… I had already seen on the website a floral headband which was perfect for Friday’s costume. Unfortunately that was at the back of the store and at the front was the SALE! I just had to buy a few other headbands to make Halloween Poetry Costumes easy next year! I also saw a wig with plaits – perfect for the ragdoll and when I picked up the flowers saw an ace skeleton bracelet (also perfect for the Friday costume). No pumpkins though!

I made it home with just enough time to get ready for my 2nd evening reading Halloween Poetry at Mostly Halloween at The Ort with David Rees-Jones, it is usually a comedy night but for Halloween he had various acts, music, stories, improv, a quiz and me Poeting. I dressed as a Rag Doll

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It was a thoroughly entertaining evening and I was treated to a 10minute set, which included 3 Witch poems I wrote at the Stratford Workshop.

 

Friday I spent the morning writing a job application and working and then chased about for Pumpkins. I had my first break, before starting to apply white face base for my fancy dress at the REAL Halloween Night event of Word Up. A incredibly simple idea that took a lot of time to execute (not a gore joke), as well as taking several hours to apply I practically used up all the WHITE cream base!

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I could have bought the Poetry Pamphlet and bottle of wine given as the prize – rather than spending money accessorising this look, but practically everyone had dressed up and Ddotti had decorated the whole place for Halloween, so I do not regret the effort and driving into the city looking like this was an experience. There were some great performances and it was FUN!

I will NOT buy any extra Halloween bits, probably EVER, plus next year I won’t need the hours of internet research as I have plenty of costume ideas and the outfits! I could have dressed the same for all 3 nights but as I didn’t dress up last year I was making up for it.

My plan before next year is to gather all the fancy dress bits together and NOT buy anything more. I have enough for a lifetime!

Since last night I have been relaxing, planning writing for next week and catching my breath. It has been one of the best Half Term holidays ever!

 

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