Tag Archives: 2014

2014 Review of the Year

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fs fireworks This is also the 1100 post rather excitingly!

It has been a roller coaster year and I have loved every minute. I am already busy working on projects for 2015 and plan to update you all early in January.

2014 has been an amazing year, my first full year in my poetry skin (returning to this form of writing after a 15 year gap), I performed at Literary Festivals (Wenlock, Worcester, Stratford & Birmingham), finally got to the Ledbury Festival, was published in poetry journals & print anthologies, entered a few poetry competitions, was part of a team of local writers who featured in the Restless Bones Anthology to raise funds for the Born Free Foundation. I continued to work for Writing West Midlands, was offered a one to one mentoring role from WWM and given the opportunity for some further training in Arts Mark awards, had my poetry display in the library, on the Wenlock Poetry Trail, at Acton Scott Farm, was commissioned to write poetry for a Festival performance, had several main sets (15mins+) performances, wrote lots and got as involved as much as time enabled in Jo Bell’s wonderful 52 project. What I also did in January was promote 52 to local poets, some of whom are now taking on major roles in the continuation of this project.

Here’s a summary of all the wondrous parts of my writing year;

PROJECTS

  • Participated in the Mindful Stones project for a month,
  • was invited to 52 by Jo Bell, a project lasting the whole of the year,
  • The Fourth Wall (one of my original Dance poems) was displayed by the Arts Network in a local Library for a month.
  • Nominated AWF as a blog following the NAPOWRIMO challenge and participated for my 2nd year running, although due to commitments performing on the road kept me away from managing the whole of National Poetry Writing Month.
  • What’s the Agenda – A weekend Arts Festival at the MAC – Midlands Arts Centre – submitted work to Hayley Frances. My Haiku poetry became part of her installation on Hikikomori. A very powerful piece.
  • I hoped to be involved in a Brainfruit production with Roy Hutchins as part of his Poetry Army, unfortunately due to a lack of sales this event was cancelled. I hope to work with Roy in the future.
  • I was asked to perform on The Quiet Compere Tour next year, funded by the Arts Council this is a paid gig.

PERFORMANCES & EVENTS

106 performances including in late Spring some collaboration with Tim Scarborough on a set of poetry and music, opening events for galleries, sets at Festivals, performing on a narrow boat, Worcester Music Festival, 100,000 Poets for Change and my first ever Poetry Slam.

AWF hosted INKSPILL, an online writing retreat for the 2nd time, this year it was supported by guest writers; Charlie Jordan, William Gallagher & Heather Wastie.

 

WATCH & LEARN – SHOWS AND WORKSHOPS

Cat Weatherill Hungry Hearts

The Quiet Compere Tour Birmingham – Sarah Dixon

The Hive joint venture between Worcester LitFest and Ledbury Poetry Festival;

Angela France, Martin Malone

Wenlock Poetry Festival

Poetry Workshop with Jean Atkin at Acton Scott Farm

Carol Ann Duffy – National Poet Laureate in a joint venture between Ledbury Poetry festival & WLF

The Tea Project – Tara and Lynsey – MAC Arts Centre

Antony Owen & Joseph Horgan- Book Launch at the Inspire Bar, Coventry

Jo Bell and 52 – Picnic/ Performance Event Stratford-Upon-Avon Poetry Festival

Poetry Party – my first one

Benches – Jan Watts Book Launch / Off the Page Event

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Family – Ben Norris at the MAC.

Wolverley Village Tea Shop – Pop Up Poetry Event organised by Sue Wood and featuring Worcester Lit Fest poets and others.

Elvis McGonagall at The Hive, Worcester, an event organised by the Worcester Lit Fest.

Poetry Workshop – National Poetry Day – Remember – Jan Watts and Cathy Crossley

Birmingham Poet Laureate Announcement and other Birmingham Literature Festival events including; Radio 4 Poetry Please with Roger McGough, With Great Pleasure, also recorded for BBC Radio 4, Rich McMahon & Tell Me on a Sunday, with Cat Weatherill.

Writing West Midlands Writing Meeting

David Calcutt – Wild Fire – Writing Workshop in Community Gardens, 2nd workshop with a group poem that will become part of the Garden.

Angela France – Poetry Workshop

Workshop with Emma Purshouse, Bilston Art Gallery, Craft & Conflict

Book Launch – The Failed Idealist’s Guide to the Tatty Truth By Fergus McGonigal

Stanza meetings and writing for Hanbury Hall via the Arts Network

WWM – Writing West Midlands – Young Writing- where I started my first of three 1 to 1 Mentoring sessions.

 

WRITING LIFE

Joined the Arts Network and several online subscriptions.

Successful application for Assistant Writers Role with WWM Writing West Midlands, working with young writers and Ian MacLeod. I also covered as an assistant writer in Jean Atkin’s group.

Applied to be involved in a commission with Naked Lungs, I was later successfully picked for the final collaboration.

Celebrated ONE YEAR A POET a celebration of my first year back in the world of poetry

 

PUBLISHED

Kidderminster Creatives Website –

Poem on the Wenlock Poetry Trail (as part of the Poetry Festival) 1 of 23 poems displayed in local shops in the town.

Shops website published

Two poems accepted for Born Free Poetry Anthology – Restless Bones. Elaine Christie watched a performance f my 52 poems a few months later and asked for another two poems, I am delighted to have 4 poems in this wonderful collection.

Hayley Frances asked for Haikus for a new community project taking place as a weekend festival at the MAC (Midland Arts Centre) I sent quite a few and had them used in her Hikikomori installation at the end of the month, which I was lucky enough to see.

I sent some poetry to Acton Scott Farm, Jean Atkin was the poet in residence and had The Half and Half Pig chosen for the Poetry Fence.

Clench Published by Hark Magazine, July Issue.

I also worked on an epic submission for Offa’s Press, which was rejected, but I have the pleasure of knowing one of the new poets that was taken on.

Fallacy (a 52 poem) published in the GBWO – Great British Write Off.

The Cart – Published online – Poetry on The Farm Website

‘Falling into Line’, written especially for the Boy/Girl Issue Published by HCE

Picasso of Dance (a 52 poem) published in Remember Poetry Anthology by Paragram

 

LOOK OUT for exciting Daniel Sluman posts (he proposed over Christmas) so look forward to an excited Daniel Sluman too!

Book Review: In Good Weather the Sign Outside Reads Danger Quicksand By Sarah Hymas

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sarah-hymas peony moonSarah Hymas’s latest pamphlet is called In Good Weather the Sign Outside Reads Danger Quicksand and I am lucky enough to be reviewing it. Sarah is no stranger to making interesting, playful pamphlets. Her pamphlet Lune was produced in 2012 and was Runner Up for Best Pamphlet in the Saboteur Awards 2013

Since 2003 Sarah has been published in various magazines, including: New Writing 15, Magma, The Rialto, Poetry Wales, Warwick Review, Washington Square Review, Stand, Tadeeb, Keystone, Iota, Staple, Tears in the Fence, Rain Dog, The Leeds Guide, Orbis, Agenda, The Slab, Smiths Knoll, Shadowtrain, Cadenza, Raconteur.

 

 © S. Hymas 2014

© S. Hymas 2014

Sarah is no stranger to approaching multiple time frames and once you understand this is what she is doing, the writing is easier to put together in your mind. The concept is supported by using different folded sections for marking the moving of time. The pamphlet is playful, you can even experiment with how you read it, as I did. Sarah means for it to be a puzzle, that’s part of the design.

The four parts are packed with satisfying, vivid description firm in time and place. The reader is transported into and through inter-linked moments, things change and return to how they were before, only better, I admired the juxtaposition between natural and man-made, assisted landscape, assisted life.
As the book unfolds (literally) you drift through past and present whilst at the same time a nagging idea arrives, perhaps it is all fantasy, all fiction, maybe it is imagined beyond that. At the end, you are brought right back into the present.
Clever writing, astute design. A gem on your bookshelf, get your copy now!
It is worth buying this pamphlet for looks alone (Yes! I know you should never judge a book by its cover). There are semi-opaque end pages featuring interesting photographs, look closely and all is revealed. The pamphlet is handmade and is a limited edition, mine is 5 of 48, so if you want one, I would suggest you use the links in this review and snap one up before they are all gone.
Sarah Hymas In Good Weather 1

© S. Hymas 2014

sarah hymas In Good Weather2

© S. Hymas 2014

BUY YOUR COPY HERE

http://sarahhymas.blogspot.co.uk/p/shop.html

There is variance within the forty-eight. I’ve used two different colours for the internal pages: teal and cobalt. So please if you have a preference, do state it.

 

ALSO AVAILABLE:

Host(Waterloo, 2010) £10 inc p+p

“The voices, the stories, the detail and the imagery are powerful, superbly-crafted and original.” Bernardine Evaristo

“The poetry is earthy and takes a no-nonsense approach to setting out their journey from commuity-based god-fearing and pious, through to the complexity, toughness and verging on faithlessness, of modernity.” Anne Stewart in Artemis

“… excellent at capturing social and religious codes of behaviour, with the acuity of Austen or Alice Munro … Host is a tactile and muscular collection, rooted in the complexities and textures of the physical world. Hymas has created fresh and exuberant work that, at its best, captures the awe of being alive. Sarah Westcott

 

RELATED LINKS:

http://sarahhymas.blogspot.co.uk/p/about.html

http://sarahhymas.net/

 

 

inkspill disclaimer

The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the writer and are not necessarily shared by the author.

Please feel free to SHARE this review via Social Media – spread the word. 

New Year, New You – Writing Resolutions

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snoopy ny toast You may have created some new year resolutions and some of these promises to yourself may well be about writing. Have you thought on focusing on writing resolutions?

Have a think about what you would like to achieve this year.

How will you achieve this?

What will the end of 2014 look like for you, the writer?

 

2014dl

Here are my resolutions – feel free to commit some of your own down in response to this post.

I am working towards a collection of poems for a pamphlet.

I am starting work as an Assistant Writer with hope of having a position as a Lead Writer in 2015.

I am going to have a big presence on the Performance Circuit in the hope of being booked for guest spots by the end of the year.

I will submit poetry for publication.

I will write some short stories for competitions.

 

inkspill - ink and pen

 

Happy New Year 2014

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end 2013 I hope you all had a fantastic New Year’s Eve and that you are ready to grasp the possibilities of 2014 with both hands!

hny london HAPPY NEW YEAR!  hny

Mr G and I spent the afternoon and evening with friends and then came home to see the New Year in and thus avoided kissing strangers or being swamped in vast seas of drunken revellers… been there done that plenty of times, this was our first New Year in our home and there was something very special about that!

Besides I had my gratitude jar to reveal 2013 jar (although a tip for next year if you do a jar is celebrate it on January 1st – unless you’re sober enough to read it after Midnight!)

Every small step mattered in 2013 because of where I was coming from, but amongst the bigger achievements were;

 House hunting, buying the house, leaving work, finding new jobs, performing poetry, networking, getting a writing job, making friends with writers, joining Poetry Society Stanza groups, working on manuscripts, workshops, writing classes, online courses and challenges such as NaNoWriMo and NaPoMo, becoming emotionally positive, writing again, getting a poem published, meeting some famous authors, poets and the like, growing crops successfully throughout the year and living with Mr G. half jar jar 

 

Next year, oopps, this year, I plan to jar up the big stuff!

I also plan to do another challenge I found online. I will post about this later. I have been up for a few hours getting buried in new possibilities as the writing world wakes up again after its December hibernation.

2014 hny 2014

Goal Setting 2014 – Read This BEFORE You Set Any! (Advice)

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I trained as a life coach 8 years ago and know some things about setting goals and achieving them! I am delighted to pass the JAR idea forward and look forward to hearing how all your jars go in 2014. I have been in quite a reflective (non-writing) mood today and just before I wrap Christmas presents I thought I would tap out another post.

Whether you are dreaming big or small, whether you are an expert goal-setter or a novice – this post is for you!

© 2013 lushhome.com

© 2013 lushhome.com

Happy reading x

PREPARATION:

Go sit in a big comfy chair or your favourite place in your home or surrounding area and think about what your life will look like in 12 months time if there were no obstacles and if everything went your way. What changes would happen? Where would you be? What do you need to do to achieve this picture dream?

Or if you are more practically minded and manifestation seems like fantasy to you then go with what would you like to achieve this year? Where would you like to be this time next year?

However you approach this HUGE question / imagining you need to try to get your idea down into a sentence or two.

EQUIPMENT:

A pad/ journal to track your goal and achievements – it is good to keep it all in one place.

(And a pile of magazines if you really want to go for it!)

Visual manifestation works even better because you see an end result – you see yourself as the achiever.

I made mine in May (was a promise to myself in January – but I was busy reconsidering my professional life and buying houses and the like!)

I saved it as my mobile screen saver so that I would see it every time I activated my phone!visual

  1. SET A CLEAR INTENTION

Write it down.

1-2 sentences, that is all.

Keep it simple & easy to understand.

        2. WHAT ARE YOR RESOURCES?

What do you have available to you to help you achieve your goal?

People/ Mentors,

Websites/ Books,

Local groups/ other areas of your community

Things you already know.

And anything else.

Think about what your resources are and write them down.

3. WHAT ARE YOUR MISSING RESOURCES?

What are the things that would help you achieve your goals, dramatically cutting time scales or increasing success?

These may be things you are unable to get – considering them will help you focus on

a) what you want &

b) ways you will be able to get that.

The areas you may wish to focus on are the same as resources in step 2.

People/ Mentors

Websites/ Books

etc

Start thinking about how you can obtain these resources.

motivation

NEXT we have to work on strategy the step by step plan that will help you reach your goals.

Find the 2nd part of Goal Setting here