Tag Archives: Drummonds 42

Performances and Events in the Final Week of August: 42 & Naked Lungs

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Last week I had the pleasure of performing at Drummonds 42, after taking a 4 day break after the book launch. This may not sound like much, I had 48 hours of that completely OFFLINE – it was wonderful, life used to be so simple… Sometimes nerves get the better of me when I have had a performance break, fortunately that didn’t happen this time.

It was good to see writers/poets I had not seen/heard for a while and we were even treated to a bit of Musical Theatre. Catherine Crosswell is currently rehearsing Sweeny Todd for a production in Ledbury and she performed one of the songs – with props and Andrew Owen (the host) as well as treating us to her poetry. It was fantastic.

Usually these nights are themed, but once a year they do an open theme, like on the 27th. I performed a poem called ‘Missing’ which I had only performed once before in Birmingham, back in the late Spring. I performed a couple of other poems too.

There was a good variety of story and poetry and some new performers, it good to see new people come back and others take to the stage for the first time. I cannot make 42 this month as I have tickets to go and see A Night With Elvis McGonagall perform his poetry at The Hive on the same night. Elvis McGonagall

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On this same evening there were events which I would have also loved to have been able to make (still hate the clashes), notably ‘Spire & Dust’ – which is usually Fire and Dust (have been meaning to go all year), they re-named it as it was taking place in the Inspire Café where Antony Owens had his book launch.

 

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Knowing that I had performances over the weekend, I wanted to take it a bit easy leading up to Worcester Music Festival. However, Joe and Chris delightfully booked me last month to perform this month. I wanted to go and see what the night was like, so went to watch performers at Naked Lungs (the people who run this are organising the artistic/performance collaboration for Birmingham Literature Festival in October).

Naked Lungs happens at Cherry Reds, a lovely, small, funky venue in a pedestrianized part of the city. Unfortunately my SatNav is currently on the blink and it is so I had my route scribbled on A4 paper. Birmingham is a nightmare to drive around at the best of times, they are working on the tunnels at the moment and a lot of central traffic is either diverted or at standstill. I think it took me longer to navigate the island (roundabout) that it did travelling into the city itself. I parked up and made the stupid mistake of asking a local – who helpfully google mapped on his phone and it looked like I was miles away. Keeping the route in my head I over shot a turning and basically by the time I got off the RING ROAD – I was on the other side of the city – fortunately an area I know well as it is where Writing West Midlands are based. A 30-40 minute journey turned into a frantic hour! BUT… I got there.

The lovely Andrea Smith (a.k.a Performance poet Swingerella) was there and we got to have a half decent natter in the numerous intervals. The crowd is fairly young – so that helps me decide on material for the set. Of course there were some people my age and possibly a bit older too. I was excited to find that both Ben Norris AND Ian Bowkett were performing sets.

The whole night was fantastic with great performances from; Ian Bowkett, Ben Norris, David Timothy, Heidi Murphy  – during the evening a box was passed around for us to write ideas of topics of conversation for Benjamin Jones the resident philosopher who then pontificated on a range of subjects, a funny, quirky and cool addition to the evening and a master of improv!

A new experience was FATLiP, (Toby De Angeli, Dana Segal and Jak Stephens) although we only had 2 of them, they were mesmerising a spoken word (with heart, narrative, mixed styles and pace) prose poetry, along with music and a loud speaker. I truly could have listened to them all night. They are playing Bestival this September!

FATLiP will be performing their combination of spoken words, sounds and performance to tell unheard stories from unsuspecting places.

Sometimes it is just nice to watch and not have to sit with butterflies, nervously waiting for your turn! Although it is such a relaxing, enjoyable atmosphere I doubt I will be too worried. Mainly it was FUN, laid back, well organised and FUN!

I managed to learn another new poem for Worcester Music Festival (only wrote it last week) so I am planning on being able to connect properly with the audience on at least some of the poems. It is much easier to work on the performance if you are not trying to balance a book…. another reason why my next poetry collection will be in an A5 notebook! I am looking forward to getting my set ready and returning to Cherry Reds on the 25th September

Naked Lungs

 

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Drummonds 42 – ‘Dark Fears & Desires’: Poeting after a 9 Day Break!

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It doesn’t feel like I have had a 9 day break from performing, I have been busy catching up reading back issues of writing magazines -I am now ready for the next one to pop through the post in a couple of days time! I have written lots of poetry and have started to work on a short story, which I hope to finish reworking and editing today (as it is the deadline). I have been busy, although (apart from the reading) I took a break the week Mr G had off – he has been back at work the past 4 days and I have been writing in between household chores and making crumble with our home grown rhubarb, this act itself spawned a new poem about food and cooking.

My creative mind is certainly not on holiday – just as well, Mr G has booked next week off (this time the plan is to start sorting the house, including decorating and building furniture we bought last year) as you can tell we are a bit laid back about it – whatever it looks like – it is home and it has felt like that since we moved in a year ago.

Next week there are a few events and then the following few weeks it all starts to kick in. I am not earning a wage this month as I am not working, just as well because I have the opportunity to get creative and just be. I get to live one life not two, that’s a break by anyone’s measure!

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Last night was wonderful, a mix of new performers, lots of great tales and poems and Sharon Carr’s storytelling, a very talented Canadian storyteller who you must see if you get a chance. I loved listening to everyone, which was a good job as I was on 2nd from last. Andrew Owens, who hosts the event is entirely fair, sharing opening and closing spots between us all and varying at what point in the evening we read.

I love a themed night and often use the, to create new works, however this week my priority has been the short story I am attempting to complete before deadline (today) and so I consulted my poetry book to find poems to fit the theme.

dark fear People particularly liked ‘Clench’ which was published in Hark Magazine this month, it is more dark desire than fear or desire, but a desire with a different interpretation.

It was great to perform again after a 9 day break, although watching others the nerves kicked in. Mainly because I hadn’t seen the set list and didn’t know if I was going to be on in the 1st half or the 2nd half.

It was lovely to chat to old friends and meet/make new ones. The stage was full of talent and I had a really good night.

I came home just after 11pm and made a crumble with our home-grown gigantic rhubarb and attempted to work on the short story a little.

My next event is probably going to be a Workshop on Sunday.

Drummonds 42 – Elves, Pixies, Witches and Warlocks

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I wrote a piece especially for 42 this month, it was a bit of a rush because I spent the morning dealing with car insurance and the afternoon washing my car (caked in mud from River Cottage) before its MOT. 42

I tried to stick to the theme, wrote a very short fairy poem and then after researching got side-tracked by folklore. I became engrossed in discovering new knowledge of stories, traditions and superstition.

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I started by trying to write a poem, it turned into prose and ended up a narrative poem. I was unsure about performing it as it is the first draft, but feedback was positive and it was an enjoyable experience.

I had a great night – quite a few poets turned their hands to prose and there were people who haven’t been for a while – it was good to see a mixed crowd and a bigger audience.

Then at the end of the night I was told that Sue Thompson (who was at Andrew Owens’s book launch) had posted her final artwork online, I couldn’t wait to check it out, I was sitting at her table so was lucky enough to see some preliminary sketches. They are great – look out for them on a new post.

The next 42 is a Worcester LitFest special and I am happy to have one of the eight floor spots. WLF&F logo concepts

42 – 3rd Anniversary

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drummond42 3rd Had a great night at Drummonds 42, some spectacular stories and poems! I had written 2 Zombie poems, to fit the theme. I was wondering how I would manage as this is not a favoured genre.

You know sometimes when you are trying to write something, the universe just delivers? Last Friday whilst I was at the Quiet Compere, Mr G was playing a new game on the playstation and I arrived home to a screen full of Zombies, it inspired to write ‘My Non-Existent Post Apocalyptic Zombie Plan’ and ‘Carnage’. I left these poems to soak and came back to them today to edit. Which took the best part of an hour.

It’s good to write outside the box sometimes.

Drummonds 42 – 10th Event of the Month

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It was a great evening, inspiring and there was a certain buzz in the air. I really needed to surround myself with creative people after the mission of getting through several hard days of work!

I had written a set of poetry especially for the darker side of this event and when I came to look for them a few days earlier – I found that they were lost – I still haven’t come across them, I know I will eventually and when I do that will be another ready-made set. Instead I looked to what I had that was suitable in my folder and found 3 people wouldn’t have heard – including one I wrote when I was 15 that was published.

Instead I shared a couple of recent poems and a VERY old one, written when I was 15 and published the same year. It went down well.

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Prepping – Events

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Tonight I have missed 2 events in the city which ideally I would have liked to attend – although with clashing times and venues I would have had to choose one or the other.

I will update this thread about both on Friday when I have some much needed time off work to write etc.

Instead I have spent the evening catching up with writing tasks & preparing for my set tomorrow night.

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A Great Night of Flashes!

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Drum42It was my 2nd time to the 42 event and my 1st time reading Flash Fiction, I found it far harder than performing poetry – every line seemed to last forever and the relief of a full stop was short lived! I have admired the storytellers and those brave  enough to share short stories at Spoken Word events over the past few months, having given it a go I think it is an occasional thing for me. I will still write prose, flashes and shorts, but you won’t find me sharing them at an open mic until 2014!

I learnt a lot from listening to other writers, some of the stories were incredible. It was a fun night.

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Andrew Owens was aiming to compare us through 42 Flashes and I think we managed 47! WOW! It was a great night enjoyed by all and Polly Robinson is doing a review of the event online – which I will look out for and post links soon.

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Flash Event & Other Writing

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I am going to my first Flash Event tomorrow 🙂

One of the amazing things about starting a blog on WordPress is the community that exists. I have enjoyed finding the challenges over the past months and from participating I discovered Flash Fiction. At first it was a challenge condensing a whole story plan into just 100 -150 words, over time it got easier and I am looking forward to December *the end of Nanowrimo extreme writing, I will be able to write for the challenges again in just a week!

One of the Open Mic events I attended last month was Drummond 42, it was a spooky Halloween Spoken Word night and I enjoyed writing poetry to fit the genre. This month they are hosting a Flash event – aiming to have 42 Flashes performed. The word limit is 300 words, so last night I did the opposite of Editing – I Embellished.

When I originally write a short flash it usually comes out at 160+ words and then I desperately cull. I had fun padding the words back up and then editing to make sure it was still a good story.

I embellish/edited 3 stories from those that I have written this year for Rochelle’s Flash Fiction Challenge. This evening I have read them through. I am nervous as I have NEVER read anything longer than a poem at an open mic.

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A Great Time Had By All At 42!

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42 Worcester's photo. I accepted the great challenge of writing material which would be suitable for this event – as I am such a scaredy cat that my over active imagination struggles to keep any grasp on reality. Sometimes I challenge myself to read books from this genre but cannot read them after dark!
Anyway I knew I had written some poems this year that would be suitable and I set about writing a few new ones.
I know that often poet’s perform the same set or parts of it – I like the fact that signing up to a new event forces me to write new material.
1 month – 5 events in Leamington, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Birmingham and Worcester.
And my confidence is high – audiences are so kind and other poets are great at giving feedback.
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*Mid spooky verse
Thanks to Andrew Owens for making me feel so welcome and using my blog tag line in the introduction!
I also saw a writer I met back in April at Keith Lindsay’s Writing Workshop. We got talking and he leant me a book – about writing – will help me through NaNoWriMo for sure!
1 42 So thanks for trusting me with it James.
I had a fabulous night, heard a mixture of stories and poems and had some great feedback on my set.
The adrenalin is surging!
The only sad thing – is about 20 minutes before I was due to leave for the city – I found out that it was optional fancy dress. In previous years I have loved dressing up for Halloween
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and this year we hadn’t made any plans to. The only party/ gig we have been invited to clashes with a gig we have already booked so until a few weeks ago I had no need for a costume. Unpacking my fancy dress wasn’t a priority and it is still buried somewhere in the 3rd bedroom (which we will tackle later this week!) … I did have skulls on my dress…. and at least I didn’t have to worry about my make up running!
A spoken word event was the perfect way for me to include Halloween into 2013.
The next one is a Flash Fiction event, so may need to work on some material for a while!