Tag Archives: creative writing

Back in the Fountain – On writing and Catching Up


I am home from work early and for the 1st time in over a fortnight I have time to write! Back in my poetry skin, trying to find a level balance for my soul. I am trying to produce new work for Friday night and sort out my open mic material for next week, as well as checking all the missing links from my writing action plan after not being online!

AWF Writer banner

Due to the laptop mouse dying a death and Mr G having to order a new one (thanks for surplus money in the billing account!) I have fallen way behind on posts.

October has been a truly active month for me – maybe the most active so far. I finally made it to a Literature Festival, performed open mic for the 1st time in 15years, booked two more open mics one for the end of October and one for November, wrote, attended workshops and bought more ‘Writing’ books and poetry books.


In addition my paperwork having finally been collated and paid for (took 4 weeks) I was able to start teaching on supply. For what is commonly called the ‘dead’ term, where work is scarce I have done okay by one of the agencies. I managed to get a PPA role that secures 4 days a month, this guarantees mortgage payments and in addition to these days I have managed 1- 3 more a week on top. This month I will have made the same as I made in the part time position I had before the summer, which kept me busy 5 days a week and over weekends too.

This is a great success and a weight off my mind.


I have got to grips with balancing this dual life of poet and teacher (note which comes first!) and I am loving the freedom, creativity, positivity I gain from this change I have risked making! Let’s hope it is always this good or better.

I am posting missing threads about the seminars, performances and experiences of recent weeks separately and then linking them back up here;

The Other Side of Chaos Seminar – Margaret Silf

Birmingham Literature Festival – Launch and Laureates

Birmingham Literature Festival – BBC Radio 4 Poetry Please

Birmingham Literature Festival – Art in the Heart Book Launch Ikon Gallery

Birmingham Literature Festival – Benjamin Zephaniah Film Screening To Do Wid’ Me

Birmingham Literature Festival – Postcard Poets

Birmingham Literature Festival – Jane Commane Workshop



Worcester Literature Festival WLF –

Birmingham Literature Festival –

Birmingham Literature Festival –

Have fun reading the catch up, it has ironically been one of the busiest periods this year and I couldn’t blog about it in real time as I had hoped!

It’s great to be back, splashing around in the fountain!

Pandora’s Box has been Opened!


I don’t think I actually gave up Performance Poetry or reading at Open Mic events… it just happened.

I do know my last mic time was in 1998… a decade and a half ago.

The buzz of adrenaline I have now – having just made it home, is incredible! I cannot believe I waited this long. I don’t think I was waiting so much as a dormant. My creative spirit bubbled away under the surface, loading my sub-conscious with experiences to draw on at a later time. My spirit held on, knowing that I would explode again in her lifetime!

And here I am. Erupting. I plan on being on fire now for the rest of my life.

It has been so long that my brand new file was from Woolworths, which closed in the UK January 2009. (The folder really hadn’t been used either, waiting for this day.) Funnily enough my 2013 writing notebook is from Woolworths too – although that had been Christened in 2009 (when I took the inspired trip to Woolworths) to stock up on stationery after deciding to get back into writing – a venture that lasted just a few months.

So here I am, having opened Pandora’s Box, I see that all inside glistens with gold richness and I do not intend to do anything other than roll in the rush of belonging to this place and finally finding my way home.


Full Steam Ahead!


This is what I wanted… I am very excited … but my time to blog has been reduced, so I am just popping in quickly to share the news.



This morning I shared coffee with a good friend who I have not seen for ages and met her daughter, so cute. Before I even left the house she called, we had talked about work opportunities and she had an opening. I just had 1 piece of vitally important paperwork still missing. Annoyingly I knew it was somewhere in the postal system, as I have tracked the progress online, but I had no way of working without it. So I had to let this morning go.

Before I left for our coffee morning (oh, it is SO nice to be able to ‘do coffee’, this was my inkspill coffeefirst time & it won’t be the last!) the post came… and the missing paperwork was in my hand.


I called to check if they had need for me and offered tomorrow and next week. This afternoon I took my first booking.



I have also arranged some new moves with the apartment that I still have for SALE – it has been 2 months now since the property went live.



My ‘money will flow’ mantra has certainly paid off (pun intended) and I will keep repeating it to myself. DSC04062

I am definitely going to be alright this Autumn.




On the writing front, I’ve invested time preparing the INKSPILL writing retreat programme and now need to switch to working on a short story and poetry. Deadlines are close and of course now I will be out working and having property meetings tomorrow, I am attending a seminar most of the day on Saturday and have some Sunday plans, although they could work around writing.

I do hope to participate in online/ blog writing challenges again soon and make it to have a read about Blogland, but after a month of prepping it is all taking off right now and my time is limited.

REMEMBER:  If you want it – go get it! 2012 brighton 532 I did…

*This is not earnings. It is actually a photo of money paid to a workman before we moved. I think it was the 1st time I had handled such a large sum and I knew taking a photo of it would be a motivator!



All Images © N. Lewis 2013

A New Writing Opportunity


fs fireworksNine months in this writing skin and we are getting there… ‘cooking on gas’ now. I have learnt the art of self-promotion, or at least I am learning. It is bringing back memories of my time as a Performance Poet and my previous attempt at being a freelance writer. I am more secure in my words than I was before but funnily enough often feel less confident than the dynamic young 20 year old me ever did.

September has seen that ‘gas’ go up a notch and I am convinced that it all relates to the thoughts I had back in August. When after seven months of dabbling cross genre I decided it was time to buckle down with a serious focus. As poetry has always been ‘my bag’ and is the genre that holds the longest list of publishing credentials from back in the day when I used to be a writer, this is where I decided to plant my feet and start,

Since then I have found opportunity after opportunity. Site after site. Event after event and met some truly lovely people – all poet’s are – apart from the cantankerous, drunk ones! 😉 When I took my four hour round trip to Oswestry for the Writers’ Network Meeting, I sat there listening to Ian Billings and Simon Thirsk and felt inspired. I scribbled notes in my trusty writing notebook and had a billion conversations with myself in my head.

I nearly advertised INKSPILL and I wish I had been brave enough as people mentioned open mic nights and Stanza meetings, I was on the cusp of putting my hand up and then bottled it. I did mention it to everyone I mingled with afterwards.

One thing I did do was pluck up enough courage (I had plenty in reserve from not advertising Inkspill to everyone in the room!) to talk about my future plans and how I might be able to offer my experience of writing to others. (All a bit cryptic I know, but I don’t want to announce it until it is a signed deal and all official.) I have just received an email of acceptance and about to start the induction process on this new writing opportunity and I couldn’t be more excited!

Ask and you will receive.

Be brave.

Go for it.

You never know where it will lead!


Why You Should Free Write


Free Writing

I was first introduced to Free Writing at college. I love free writing and recognise the importance of this activity.

Since January I have written everyday, for the past month I have also started a morning free write.

I wake up and Free Write first thing in the morning for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about what you write. Sometimes you can use these writes to grasp ideas or characters but more often than not a morning free write is just about the mechanism of writing. By ritualistically practising daily you will improve your writing.

Go for quantity not quality – try to keep your pen moving – even if you have to doodle before another idea or image pops into your head.

If my mind has wandered I usually pick an object I can see and start describing it to get my mind back on track.

Resist editing and keep writing.

I keep my morning free writes in a separate journal.

If I am getting up for work, pushed for time or struggling – I do just 5 minutes.

The important thing is to DO IT!






I would love to hear your thoughts, do you free write?

The Early Bird May Catch a Worm but the Night Owl Finds Opportunities


Ironically it is early, I’m not catching worms. I’m hoping to catch more sleep!

Last night as I sifted through my writing schedule, adding opportunities I discovered I am 1-2 days off a couple of deadlines, my mind having been elsewhere!

Yesterday I managed to submit my picture it and write scene and it sparked a whole story in my head. 1 Deadline fast approaching had no matching submission work until last night. Now it has character, plot, conflict and a twisty ending 🙂 just needs 2600 words and some editing time. I am going to be busy tonight when I get in from work!

The Tent’s Up & the Fun (hard work) Begins!


Today is first  day of camp for Spring NaNoWriMo writers. Are you a camper?


I have never participated before, as I can’t afford a writing retreat I thought it was a good idea.

I am a camp ‘rebel’ as I am continuing work on my non-fiction manuscript, 9 chapters in. I owe it words as it has been on the backburner whilst I attempted several book proposals & other writing missions in March.

I have to aim for 1667 words a day, looking at the schedule I know some days will be less & others will be more.

I am off to the campsite now to pen my 1st few 1000 words.

GOOD LUCK to those of you camping! 2013-Participant-Campfire-Circle-Badge


Red Mini


Red Mini

red mini

Photo and Story by Neens

I remember the miles of open grey road

Tom sitting comfortably behind my wheel,

The time he took Rose to the Town Hall

to dance the night away.


Her lipstick smile,

when we pulled up to greet her

with a large bouquet of red and pink roses,

How she ruffled her dress as she slid

carefully into my passenger seat.


For years they sat inside me,

Laughing and talking long journeys through,

Tuning in my crackly radio and praising me

for my faithful service.


Tom started to worry that I would break down,

Cost them money they no longer had,

Rose filled out paperwork for bus passes,

tried her best to convince Tom to accept.


He hid it inside my glove box

And drove me through the Winter and

into the Spring,

Patting the seat where his wife used to sit.

Talking to me in lieu of her absence.


Tom’s bus pass is still in my glove box,

I am just as I was left,

minus my driver,

Rose could never bring herself to sell me,

I am part of their story.


Sitting out here,

marking the passing of time.




This is a poem I submitted on ‘Storied Impressions’ for the February theme – Red.


Picture It & Write – Blind Date


pictureitandwrite2copy-12 Click here to link back to Ermiliablog & have a go at this writing challenge yourselves!

Zoe picked up the small card that had been pushed through the letterbox, she turned it over and squinted in the gloomy light. ‘Singles Speed Dating’ she could make that out as it was ten times bigger than the font used for the rest of the invite. Zoe made her way to the kitchen to put the kettle on and read the rest of the card. It was on Friday, Emma had said she wanted to do something over the weekend, would this do? She checked the time on the oven clock, 10:16, she’d be working. Zoe fished around in her handbag for her mobile, then slung it over the back of the kitchen chair. She text Emma as she made her first cup of the day.

Emma text her back later confirming Friday, it was silly but Zoe felt a bit of a flutter, then she exhaled and thought about Friday. The venue may well be The Hilton, the locals would be the people to attend surely. They are the same whether you stick them into a posh establishment or not, in fact two minutes would be far too long with some of them.

Zoe spent several days wondering what she would say, how could she explain her existence and needs to random strangers in under two minutes, it took her longer to drink a Gin & Tonic! She called her mother and some of her close friends, she wanted a male prospective on the whole mission and called her brother, it took him a while to stop laughing and when he realised she was serious he imparted some helpful tips.

Then came the real test, not the event itself but the wardrobe. Zoe looked down at herself and for the first time in months was happy she hadn’t managed to shift the Holiday weight, it meant at least half her clothes wouldn’t even make it to the flung on the bed pile. Recalling help from her phone Samaritans she muttered the mantra ‘not too short, don’t show too much cleavage, not desperately seeking sequins’… Zoe shortlisted four dresses and pulled the hangers out. ‘I hope people will dress up and I won’t be the only person not in jeans’ she thought to herself. She grabbed the phone and called Emma to make sure she wasn’t wearing any leisure items. Emma convinced Zoe that at these events everyone dresses as if they are there for a New Year Party on the QE2 and besides, it was The Hilton.

The taxi had only just dropped her off and already Zoe felt sick, she clung onto Emma as they ordered their first complimentary drinks at the bar, she had already had half a bottle of wine getting ready. Her head was spinning, she ordered champagne anyway, well it was free!

The night got off to a swift start and every now and then Zoe glanced across at Emma, who seemed to be having a great time. Zoe wasn’t really committed, she didn’t like the look of any of the Speed dates and had found it difficult not to drift off into her fantasy land within the two minutes.

Zoe forced such a level of concentration, pretending she was into them, nodding and making sounds, responding to friendly questions, fooling the men into thinking she was interested. She even pinched the top of her leg to stay present in the moment. She worked so hard at being the perfect speed date, she never noticed the way the Italian Bar Manager was looking at her.

How he wished for just two minutes to change her life forever, if only she hadn’t started drinking the water served on each of the Speed Date tables.

Research, blogging and guides


Today I have had to put the hours into work work. I have not written much as far as the writing list goes, I have written on lots of paperwork and a few blogs. I haven’t managed to post everywhere I follow and have spent a while trying to find blogs I have managed to lose between this morning on my smartphone and now. Not surprising really as I can barely see!

I have come across some interesting blogs, I have tried to find a way to show archive posts on my HOME page. I thought it was in Widgets, I dragged it to the right field and tried to save it, alas the techno Gods have all turned in for the night it seems.

I have also managed to download an ebook that you may be interested in. It is from a copyblogger author;


I have also added 2 more writing opportunities to my ‘January’ List.
I should actually have some time to write tomorrow night and Friday morning, looking forward to it!

Later on today is also a funeral of a friend.
May you rest in peace Roger, now you have the company of our other lost friend, Mark. X