At the end of June’s review I wrote;
Roll on the sunshine!
I was looking forward to the Summer holidays. Well, sunshine happened – lots of it and the sunburn from the 52 Event formed a base tan that other people commented on when I was out Tuesday night. I have very fair skin and usually just freckles darken and I get a golden glow, my legs remain blue! This year – thanks to outdoor events and our lovely garden (that Mr G is constantly tending and creating) I have a tan – for the first time in my life and even my legs have some colour!
This sunshine is wonderful – but it has kept me away from the laptop – which I could use in the garden, but find that scribbling in my notebooks and catching on up reading a far more appropriate garden relaxing activity!
I have also had an exceptionally busy time offline and Mr G took a week off – which is a week I barely logged on at all.
__________ July _______________
Brought me abundant opportunities, some fabulous events and wonderful experiences.
Blogs and Projects
I continued to write poems for 52 and got behind on my MOOC course (due to real paid work), I hope to re-enrol next time this course is offered. It is a shame but I don’t think I could deal with the stress and pressure of catching up.
I didn’t hear back from Naked Lungs and presume they have invited other artists to collaborate on the pop up event for Birmingham Literature Festival. I also missed there open mic event this month but have already booked a slot for the one at the end of August.
The blog now has 778 followers, an extra 13 people joined in July. I am grateful to you all and hope you enjoy splashing in the Fountain.
Last month the most popular post was;
It continues to gain popularity with over 300 reads once again:
I am delighted – because many of them may have been 52ers that the most popular post in this last week of July was…
Followed closely by Tips on Planning & Structure.
Submission and Publishing
My poem Clench – appeared in the July issue of Hark, an online magazine.
I had another poem ‘Fallacy‘, a 52 poem from the weather week accepted for print publication, the anthology will be out later this year. This was as a result of entering GBWO – Great British Write Off.
Jean Atkin kindly published my 2nd farm poem on her blog for Acton Scott Farm, it was called ‘Combine Harvester’ but it has been re-titled ‘The Cart’ because that is the subject of the poem.
I submitted work to the Mental Health Festival Scotland
HCE – Here Comes Everyone for the Girl/Boy Issue
Popshots – Time Issue
I also worked on several short stories – unfortunately I didn’t have the time to get them up to scratch before the deadline, after finding out about them a month too late.
Offa Press rejected my mini sample manuscript, I have yet to find out which 2 lucky poets have been taken on by them this year.
Popshots rejected my submission for the Time issue.
I have read many articles about not taking rejection personally, I didn’t seek these articles out, I did spend a weekend catching up on reading my writing magazines, but I am also a firm believer in the universe responding (even when you didn’t think you called) – I needed to read the wisdom and toughen up. Rejection is just part of the course.
The month started with a 9 day break from performing, although during this time the Ledbury Poetry Festival had started and I did attend some events. At the beginning of the month I drifted into auto-recovery after an exceptionally busy week working full time and supporting many events at WLF – Worcester LitFest. Later on in the month I took another 9 day break – so the performances and events this month have taken place over less than a 2 week period.
I need these sorts of breaks more regularly now after 10months of flurried activity. I enjoy events more if I am not too tired to stand up and besides I knew with work and writing as well, I wouldn’t have the energy to keep the relentless touring up. That was never my intention.
Stratford -Upon -Avon Poetry Festival and Ledbury happened this month.
There were as always events which I missed and open mics I had no energy to attend, my hope is that before the end of the year I may get to attend them all at least once.
I am gutted that I lost my opportunity to send audition video in to support Hollie McNish on her Birmingham Tour in October. Scheduling and technical equipment were against me, couldn’t even use my mobile as it broke! I guess also part of me felt I wasn’t ready for this, despite talking to her after ConFab in Malvern and her telling me how much she enjoyed CakeMan…. if the Offa experience is anything to go by – the poet can love and adore you and your work – it won’t necessarily lead to the powers that be, publishing house, agents or Performance Companies agreeing!
When things should happen I will be ready to jump – I did get my 2nd exciting booking for paid work this month and a new role for me to try on for size to boot. Both BIG opportunities I have had this year I have grasped with a quick and confident YES! Both will lead to more things and both are beyond what I imagined I would achieve 10 months into my poetry journey / 20 months into my writing journey.
Mouth and Music Summer
Spoken Word at The Ort This was a pre-book launch set by some of the contributors to the Born Free Anthology Restless Bones
Poetry on the Farm – celebrating the end of Jean Atkin’s poet residency by performing in the Old Barn, inspirational day!
Performing at The Shakespeare Centre, Stratford Upon Avon as part of the 52 Event 52
The week following this I was fairly exhausted by the 4 day run and 300+ miles of driving on top of some work. I was also writing for submission and Mr G had taken the week off to spend time together in lieu of a holiday. I missed 5 events this week, but had a lovely week with Mr G in the beautiful garden making it even more special.
42 – Dark Fears and Desires Read about it
Ledbury Poetry Festival Ledbury
I also went on a crazy quest to meet my old English Teacher – the one who encouraged me that poetry was where my writing talent lay! He works with Carol-Ann Duffy and she performed at a secret gig in Worcester this month. Read all about the crazy here
The Poetry Army – who I was supposed to perform with at The Artrix, postponed until 2015 due to ticket sales. I was gutted, but will be involved next summer instead, with more confidence and hopefully I will love it all the same. This event was double booked with a wedding invitation we had already accepted, so at least we were both able to attend the wedding. Although I missed performing at The Black Country weekend because of a wedding head the next day!
Antony Owens & Joseph Horgan– Book Launch at the Inspire Bar, Coventry Reviewed here
Jo Bell and 52 – Picnic/ Performance Event Stratford-Upon-Avon Poetry Festival 52
Poetry Party – my first one and it was wonderful, well worth the journey and a great night spent entertaining each other together. Not to mention some delicious food, thanks to Saleha Begum.
The Poet Within
I lost complete confidence this month, I know again this is a normal status/ state to experience – but that doesn’t make it any easier to deal with. Losing faith in your ability, in your words is like being trapped in a box with no air. Absolutely terrifying. Fortunately I pulled myself out of the 2 week slump by posting about it and within a few days of enjoying events my thoughts shifted back to believing in the magic.
I have had a crazy 10 months, I am constantly learning and experiencing, opening new doors, facing new challenges. The strength of the writing community keeps me going, people are supportive and always there to offer advice or critique should you want it.
Even my worse writing days are 100 times better than the decade I forgot to pick up the pen.
A month of writing and opportunities.
Here’s to AUGUST!
How has your month been?