Tag Archives: life

August is Hotting Up – Despite the Rain!

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Well here we are already in the 2nd day of August. What an inspiring start to the month I had. I love August anyway (because it is my birthday) but last night was a delight. I was lucky enough to get to the event in Birmingham organised by Shakti Women Ltd – A Night with Maya Angelou. It was a great night of sharing and a lovely way to meet new people and enjoy conversation. I hoped it would be inspiring and uplifting – and it was – like becoming a woman all over again, that special passage into something else….

©womensfundcentralohio.org

©womensfundcentralohio.org

There were musicians, actors, poets and storytellers entertaining us and paying homage to the great lady herself. I had written a series of poems the evening before and performed my first 10 minute set to a very appreciative audience. I will post a proper blog post soon, trying to track down some pictures and I hope (although I haven’t asked yet) to get a guest blog or interview with one of the Shakti women, the work they do and who they are deserves publicity.

I came home adrenalin pumping and despite being home earlier than most gig nights I couldn’t consider sleeping, it was the early hours of the morning when I finally crashed out. I needed to stay on social media to find out the winners of the OXJAM slam – which is where the rest of Birmingham were Friday night. Congratulations go to Aysha Begum who was a 1st time SLAMMER and winner of this event.

Aysha has also been working on intergenerational projects and is piloting a performance evening event she hopes to manage. I have booked my ticket and am excited at the possibility of performing on a narrow boat. We will be spending 3 hours on the canal – having a workshop, performing poetry and eating sandwiches and cakes with tea, a tea party theme. It should be a great experience and one, of course I shall blog about.

stock-illustration-5714066-pancake-breakfast-of-kingsToday has been a non-poetry event day, Mr G has taken this week off – this time our mission is to start to decorate and sort the house, today would have been the perfect day to start as we experienced monsoon rain! Where were we? Enjoying a LARGE all day breakfast and then walking around a garden centre picking out all the plants we loved and didn’t buy last time – as they had a 20% sale! Bargains, a whole trolley of plants for a tenner each. (£10.00) He has been busy planting them out tonight, whilst I sat in my comfy new sun-lounger and read a few chapters of my book. It’s a hard life!

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There are only 12 days this month that I am not poeting – one of those is my birthday, the other is my brother’s birthday and I am away for 5 of them. So that’s really just 5 FREE days I have this month, WOW! Good job I am not working as well. I love being busy with writing and events though – I have several submission deadlines for the end of August and so when I am not out on the road performing, I will be busy writing (or sleeping – which is more likely)! As I have mentioned I have cut back a little on events this week as Mr G has the week off and we really do have to make some headway with the decorating.

jan benches Tuesday is my day off though, Jan Watts is having her official book launch for Benches in Birmingham – on the canal in a narrow boat and later in the Library of Birmingham. I have arranged to meet up with a poet friend who I only get brief chances to talk to at gigs, we are having lunch before the afternoon of fun! On Sunday the KAF festival will have started and Sarah Tamar is hosting a workshop on the Mouth & Music theme – War and Peace. I shall have to see how I feel after a week on the house – it is in the afternoon, so at least I stand a chance of being awake and it will get my muse working hard on poems I will need for performing on Tuesday the 12th August too.

  • The following week I am working on an exciting drama project (blog post to follow soon) – unfortunately I cannot be in the production because it is taking place on my birthday and I have arranged other things, but I will be there for the initial devising. It will be great to put that hat on again. There are some open mic/ gigs, a Stanza meeting, my brother’s birthday and oh, MY birthday to celebrate!

 

  • The next week I have performances, workshops, and a Book Launch for Restless Bones Poetry Anthology. Very excited about seeing this in print FINALLY!

 

  • In the final week of August I have at least 3 performance events – one of which I have been especially asked to perform at.

After that it is back to work – it doesn’t stop though – there are already about 10 events, some to watch some to contribute to already lined up in the diary for September as well as more writing deadlines – not that I am complaining – love what you do – then none of it seems like hard work! That saying is so true. i heart write

 

 

After writing all of this I am really looking forward to a lazy Sunday reading books in the garden surrounded by our just bought new plants!

 

July Review

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At the end of June’s review I wrote;

Roll on the sunshine! Morning-Sun-mit

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 Projectslaptop

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;

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Writing Short Stories – Tips on Planning and Structure More stats 367
 

It continues to gain popularity with over 300 reads once again:

Writing Short Stories – Tips on Planning and Structure More stats 306

I am delighted – because many of them may have been 52ers that the most popular post in this last week of July was…

52 Meet and Perform for the Stratford Poetry Festival More stats 146

Followed closely by Tips on Planning & Structure.

Submission and Publishing type

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.

motivation secret

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.

 

 

 

Performing Poetry

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.

143551349motivation worth it

 

 

 

 

Mouth and Music Summer mm

Speakeasy Poetry

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! Setting up Poems for the Farm 10 best

The Event

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

 

Events Celebrate the World

Ledbury Poetry Festival Ledbury PFLedbury

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 the-year-i-loved-england 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 Quotes-On-The-Craft-of-Writing-bilo-gde

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.

summer 3 Here’s to AUGUST! bf bd

How has your month been?

Submissions, Picnics (Poetry ones!), Missed Events and New Ventures

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The Week Off

Mr G took last week off work so we could do some work on the house and garden together and spend some time enjoying ourselves, I don’t think we will be going away on a proper summer holiday, fortunately the weather has been amazing and I won’t moan when it turns overcast as I have a ton of things INSIDE to be getting on with over the summer break.

 

New Work

The good news this week is I have already secured 1 job for the new term, it doesn’t offer many hours but will cover my part of the mortgage payment at least, as far as bills, food shopping, car expenses and spending money go, I will have to pick up a few more days work every week. But having that 1st contract means I won’t end up with a month of no work. September is not a particularly busy month for us.

 

4 Day Run of Events – Picnics (Poetry ones)

At the tail end of the week before I went to Coventry for Antony Owen’s book launch, then Birmingham to promote Restless Bones Poetry Anthology (published and launching in 3 weeks!), then took a drive up to Shropshire to go to Poetry on The Farm – an event organised by Jean Atkin to celebrate the end of her 3 month residency at Acton Scott Farm. Then on the Sunday I had an EPIC day – I have not had time to blog post it yet and I cannot wait to do so. Jo Bell was poet in residence at Hall’s Croft for Stratford-Upon-Avon’s Literature Festival, she also started ’52’, you will remember me posting about it in the New Year, we all met up for a picnic – over 52 of us, she has over 500 members in 52 now. It was an amazing day that involved picnics, raffle prizes, poets, reading 52 poems at The Shakespeare Centre to a festival audience, flash mobbing outside Shakespeare’s Birthplace (a sonnet of course!) and then not getting drunk in The Dirty Duck pub, by the river.

 

Watch Out for the 52 Post

I WILL write about it in a separate post, the Acton Scott post has just taken a couple of hours to write and put together, it is now getting late (past midnight) and I have some ACTUAL writing to do. Look out for the 52 post.

During the next week mainly because I was exhausted from the adrenalin of a 4 day run and also because Mr G had booked time off to be together, I didn’t go to any poetry events.

 

Missed Events

On Monday I missed Shindig in Leicester, I was invited and originally began performance poetry in Leicester in the 90s. I will go another time when I haven’t already covered 100s of miles the previous few days.

Tuesday (and I am still gutted about this) I was very tired and had actually fallen asleep when I should have been hitting the road. I missed Poetry Bites in Birmingham, always a great night, organised and hosted by Jacqui Rowe. Anthony and Joseph were there headlining and promoting ‘The Year I Loved England’, (I had already seen them in Coventry), Matt Windle  was the other headliner, always a pleasure (I am seeing him in Kidderminster in a few weeks) and Sammy Joe, who I have seen before, but it would have been good to see her again, plus all the floor spots, it was a cracking night by all accounts and I missed it.

Friday there was a night write event hosted by Jo Bell as part of the Stratford festival that I would have loved to have parted money for, my concern was staying awake 10pm to 6 am – I have spent months attempting to regulate my sleep, to make sure I am awake during the day and the knock on situation after breaking this pattern would be equivalent to jet lag. The decision was made for me when we went up to the garden in the afternoon and enjoyed some cold, crisp wine. Another year maybe.

Saturday there was a performance in the Stratford that I wanted to see.

Sunday there was Sunday Xpress in Birmingham and Al Barz facilitated a one off Poetry in the Park in Walsall. There was also a showing of ‘Tales of the Tat Man’ David Calcutt’s latest venture in Birmingham at tea time.

Phew! A week of activities and I didn’t manage any of them.

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A week of Work- Gardens – Sun – Gas Men, Shopping, Theatre, Reading & Writing

I was still working at the beginning of the week, we spent some time running errands and whilst I was at work Mr G bravely tackled the back garden, completely transformed by the time I came home. We had a fire that evening and the neighbour sat out with us in the garden, although he went in about 3 hours before we did.

On Tuesday after I had tutored we spent time sunbathing on our new sun loungers in the garden and then watched a box set that we haven’t seen for ages, we managed to get onto the next season.

Midweek, we had the excitement of a house full of Gas Men changing meters and discovering holes we shouldn’t have had! The oven works better and poor Mr G spent the whole time out in the baking sun tidying up the front garden – which now looks amazing! A warm welcome. Again once the house was empty we went to sit outside.

© National Theatre 2014

© National Theatre 2014

In the evening my mum and I went to the Arts Centre to see the National Theatre production of Skylight. I have never watched a theatrical performance on a screen before (wonders of the digital world) but with the cuts to Arts funding this allows people who don’t live in London to see the shows. It was more like watching it live on stage than a cinematic experience would be. I loved it. (And the Arts Centre has Air con.- most places, including our home, don’t – because it is rarely this hot or dry for this length of time in the UK. So that was a real treat!)

I also took a couple of shopping trips for summer clothes and caught up reading my writing magazine, I have been an issue behind pretty much the whole of 2014, one day I read the July issue and then over the weekend read the August issue, freeing my time up to write now for a couple of weeks before the next issue arrives!

I also had submissions to make – one for a project very close to me, I wrote three pieces for that in the end and the other was 3 poems, 1 written especially and the other 2 heavily rewritten to a publication I have previously been rejected from, fingers crossed – we will see.

We discovered a new garden centre and spent an afternoon choosing plants for the garden display. We will be going back there soon.

We have frogs in our pond and the plants are establishing themselves well around it.

We have eaten lovely home-grown salad potatoes and beans, we are waiting on the tomatoes – they won’t be long. We have had strawberries & pak choi already, the cucumbers are growing and we have decided we need to give the allotment up. We have done it for 5 years and it was good when we had no garden of our own, but now we have the house project and a garden that needs constant TLC and I am gallivanting off into the world of words all the time, we just cannot find regular time to go and tend the plot. We never had the right tools, as we were very ‘natural’ harvesters, this meant jobs done in no time with machinery were taking forever with tools not fit for purpose. It has been a big decision, but there is room to grow some stuff in the garden and at least this way there will be less waste.

I had a brilliant time with Mr G, lovely to have the company, much missed today when he went back to work… (although my mum popped in for a catch up), Mr G is off again soon, although the poetry schedule won’t be abandoned next time, we are hoping to make a start on the house.

 

Current Submissions

I am currently working on submissions that have a tight deadline (of a few days) – a one act play/ monologue and a short story. Fingers crossed I planned and mapped out plot/action and characters today. I am hoping to write them tomorrow, edit and redraft/ proof and submit on Wednesday! Not ideal, but having been so far behind on magazine issues, have only just discovered the opportunities.

work

This week I have a Poetry Party tomorrow, Drummonds 42 event on Wednesday (performing), a possible road-trip to Wales, hoping to finish the week off with a workshop.

If the road-trip works out – I will miss OXJAM Slam which is a charity fundraiser (OXFAM) and a night celebrating the life and words of Maya Angelou.

Hope you will understand now why my posts have been infrequent this month – will try harder to regularly post in August as my writing life will be getting very exciting!

 

Happy writing x

 

Review of May – Tech fail!

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I used the tech app for the 1st time. This was supposed to automatically post on 31st May!

Better late, than never!

Enjoy!

 

Another fantastic month in my writing world! apple coffee

Biggest lesson – be gentle and forgiving on yourself, keep trying but don’t run yourself ragged, it diminishes creative energy and can affect long-term health!

 

Blog

I was delighted to find my creative writing HOW TO articles have been linked on a High School Website, the blog has experienced an increase of traffic and hopefully the students have picked up some new knowledge.

We now have 742 followers, that’s an extra 28 people who have found the fountain this month, happy splashing!

 

Projects

I am still participating in 52, although recently have not had the time to read a lot of the poems or comment, I have also left most of my own writing offline, I am not sure I can catch up with the posts but I am determined to see it through for the year, no matter how busy I get.

There is an exciting meeting taking place soon and we may get the chance to perform as part of a festival.

Naked Lungs asked Spoken Word artists to take part in a Pop Up Poetry event as part of a Literature Festival in the Autumn, I have applied. Fingers crossed.

 

Events

I had a mini tour of events at the beginning of the month (which completely wore me out and pushed me to my limits), it was a great experience with some fantastic events and I met new performers. 11 days, 10 gigs (1 day off from all writing and performing), 3 Counties!

The first day was a Stanza Extravaganza as my local stanza group took over PFL *Poetry For Lunch – in the amphitheatre at the Library of Birmingham. Read all about it here PFL PFLB11

I experienced my first every SLAM – it was the first slam organised by Fergus McGonigal for Kidderminster Creatives, held at the BHG. I was asked to take part, make up the numbers, I knew my material and performance wasn’t necessarily right for SLAM – Maggie Doyle who was the eventual winner proved that you don’t have to recite poetry from memory, although I did learn my set. Which makes me proud of myself and allowed me the freedom to PERFORM the poem rather than read it dramatically.KC Poetry Slam 4th May

There was a prize for every participant, so I wasn’t upset being knocked out in the 1st round, all the semi- finalists were slam champions, laureates and published poets (I am only 1 of these 😉 )! It was great fun and I would not hesitate to take part in another – as long as it was small and local. Not yet ready to play with the big boys, nor might I ever be. Maggie told me that she has one slam poem – she won with it – it might be worth me writing just 1! (For next time…)

Read all about it here SLAM   KC SLAM

Tim Scarborough and I collaborated for the 2nd time to perform percussion and poetry at Photogiraffe’s final exhibition, Abstract Elements. Our set received a very positive reaction – including possible future bookings, people said it looked/ felt like we had performed together lots – think we may have found some creative synchronicity! We probably should think about a name for the act! AE7

It was great fun and I enjoyed meeting new acts and listening to the diverse range of acts. The Warehouse Café (Vegan) hosted the event in Birmingham and we all paid for a buffet, which was lovely food! Abstract Elements

I returned to Ludlow to experience Deborah Alma/ Jean Atkin’s night, The Poetry Lounge in the Sitting Room. It is a long way to go for a 2 hour event but the writer’s are so talented and I got to listen to Andrew Frusk who I had met at Wenlock Poetry Festival. Read all about it HERE

sitting room

The next night I went to Malvern and once again was introduced to some new faces as well as enjoying the sets of Adrian Mealing and Dizraeli, who has changed my opinion of beat poetry. confab cab Confab Cabaret

speakeasy1 Following Confab Cabaret I went to SpeakEasy and enjoyed seeing new acts and Matt Windle. AF Harrold head lined. I was able to perform too. It was a great night. SpeakEasy

Friday saw Poetry and Pollination – Worcs LitFest and Ledbury Poetry Festival- I performed some newly written poems about bees. My set when down well. Poetry & Pollination Ledbury PF

This was the last event in my epic 10 days, 11 gigs (and working pretty much full time) run! There are some events I have missed this month as I needed to conserve energy for real world things too – let completing flat sale, securing work, celebrating birthdays etc.

Tim Scarborough and I collaborated on our 3rd set *with the theme of Body Hair – for Mouth and Music. We had a 4 hour rehearsal which resulted in lots of co-written and co-edited poetry being created around the theme – including a moustache tribute for Jonny Fluffypunk, we had great fun with a theme which originally made our hairs stand on end in fear!

 M&M moustache mm

We then took a medley of all our sets to Birmingham to perform at Spoken Word at The Ort, our set was thoroughly enjoyed by a room full of appreciative audience members! Spoken Word Z Andrea Smith Tim

 

Sadly this month a bunch of Birmingham poets are saying goodbye to someone who spends a lot of time on the scene. Someone who threatened to give up poetry and then got accepted to take her one woman show to the Free Fringe Festival at Edinburgh this Summer, someone who can never escape poetry because it will find her. Someone who has decided to continue her travels across Asia and wanted to leave with one last massive party. Carys Jones – known on the circuit as Carysmatic (Jones) organised bands and acts to perform and enjoy each other’s work at a goodbye bash. I accepted the invite and worked on two new poems written about Carys. It was my Dad’s birthday on the same day, it is not a tradition to see him on his actual birthday, typically this year we were contacted over the possibility of a birthday meal.

Southway (an electro duo who Carys knows had travelled up from London to be there) – they were amazing.

southway

Read all about it and Andrew Owen’s Book Launch – Portraits of Prose here

On Thursday Andrew Owens launched his short story collection, published by Black Pear Press, he invited performers to take part in this event. It was great celebrating with him and he even had a cake! I as flattered to open the event with my set.

andrew Owens

After the book launch I took the Bank Holiday weekend off and went down to Dorset with friends, the main reason was to go to River Cottage and a food festival there – Mr G and I met Hugh and got our book signed, you can read about this adventure in the same post as the goodbyes and book launch (link above).

I was inspired by River Cottage and plan to use a programme to scrap journal a weekend collection – something has to be said about the cricket pate & caterpillar pate that was bought!

It was a great weekend and so good to get away – because we bought the house last year, we had no holiday.

The rest of my week off was supposed to be spent in my poetry skin but there was so much to do getting the house straight, sorting car insurance, MOTs, Dr appointments etc. not to mention a squeeze of poetry performances, workshops and events.

It is definitely not downhill for the rest of the month!

I originally planned to go to four gigs in the last week of May, I thought I could manage as I wasn’t working, but sometimes you have to listen to your body and soul and I was too exhausted to manage. Poetry For Lunch was taken over by the cast of Summer and it is a long way to go on the off chance you can perform. The photos look amazing, but my car wasn’t back from MOT in time to get across to the city, instead I caught up with old friends and had a few hours off relaxing! My car passed the MOT! The mirror that someone kindly knocked off as they drove up my street has been replaced. (At my expense!) York’s Bakery hosted Ddotti Bluebell’s Spoken Word night at the end of the month (30th) and I had originally hoped to perform my Bee poems there. Unfortunately, I thought I had booked a spot and I hadn’t – in the end I decided I was too tired for the city journey and spent the time writing new material – something I REALLY need to do.

I managed to make Poetry Bites at the beginning of the week and had a fabulous night, a lot of the open floor spots were filled with brilliant poems and a few stories, it was great to hear James Sheard read at length and I loved meeting Roy Marshall and talking to him about my old haunt of Leicester, where all this spoken word began. Jacqui Rowe hosted a great evening and I shared a couple of poems which had positive and encouraging reactions.

Read all about it Poetry Bites

© 2014 KGC

© 2014 KGC

I also managed to get to 42 in Worcester on Wednesday evening, it was another amazing night of talented wordsmiths taking to the stage, many of the poets branched out to prose and the standard was extremely high.

42 may  Drummonds 42 read all about the night for yourselves!

 

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Poetry For Lunch – Stanza Group – Library of Birmingham Amphitheatre

Poetry Slam Kidderminster Creatives – BHG

Abstract Elements – Photogiraffe Exhibition Launch  – The Warehouse Café

Poetry in the Lounge – Met Andrew Fusek  Peters

Confab Cabaret – Olivers: Disraeli

SpeakEasy – Old Recifying House: A. F Harrold

Poetry & Pollination – The Hive – Ledbury Poetry Festival & Worcester LitFest: Sarah James

Writing West Midlands/ Assistant Writer  – Creative Writing Group: Ian MacLeod

Mouth & Music – BHG: Jonny Fluffypunk & Four Tart Harmony

Spoken Word at The Ort

Writing West Midlands/ Assistant Writer  – Creative Writing Group: Jean Atkin (cover)

Carysmatic Farewell Bash – Vertu Bar

Andrew Owens Book Launch – Black Pear Press

Poetry Bites – Kitchen Garden Café: Roy Marshall, James Sheard.

Drummonds 42

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inkspill notebook

I have spent most of May filling in my writing diary for June – with the Worcester LITFEST there is plenty going on, I am also scheduled to work full time during the LITFEST and am missing out on some great events during the day. It looks to be a busy month, I may take a bit of a backseat with performing, go and enjoy others perform. There are several clashes which I am gutted about between the cities (a foot in each camp) and some big decisions need to be made. WLF&F logo conceptsSLAM or Poetry Garden Party – Worcester Laureate at the Guildhall (of which 3 poetry friends are finalists) or performing with Tim Scarborough in Birmingham, this decision has been made already, I am off to the announcement of the new poet laureate!

 

Submissions:

Raving Beauties – Bloodaxe books celebrating women’s bodies in a compassionate way.

WLF – Flash Fiction Competition for the Festival (made the deadline with 4 minutes to go)!

I managed to obtain a review copy of Sarah Hymas’s latest pamphlet – LOOK OUT FOR THE REVIEW ON A WRITERS FOUNTAIN NEXT MONTH! 

notepad-pencil

 

Events:

Grayson Perry Exhibition

Rehearsals with Tim Scarborough for Abstract Elements – Photogiraffe exhibition

Stanza meeting

I continued working for WWM – Writing West Midlands – as Assistant Writer (which I am doing next academic year also) in Worcester with Ian MacLeod, I also had the opportunity to work with Jean Atkin and her group this month, I have another date for June. It is a good experience to spend some time in other writing groups.

© 2014 Jean Atkin

© 2014 Jean Atkin

WWM

 

In other news …. My Flat finally SOLD, we visited Dorset and Devon with friends, went to a Food Festival at River Cottage, met and chatted to Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, my car passed its MOT, I recovered from a chest infection and found myself a new hairdresser.

All I Needed was a Good Party!

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I recently posted about writing fatigue, having suffered fatigue in general these past few weeks. I fell asleep after a film on Friday night, it finished before Midnight and I had been relaxing since 4pm. I woke up at 5:30 and again at 10:30 and eventually Mr G woke me up at 2pm and I still felt like I could have slept longer.

It was a friend’s birthday Friday, bf bd another one yesterday and I had already sent an RSVP to a joint 60th and 40th Wedding Anniversary Party.

I decided I only had the energy for one event and missed seeing all my friends and the birthday girl in the pub yesterday afternoon. Not that we have a lot of bar money left since going to the new Home store on Friday!

apple coffee Before I got myself ready, I had time for a spot of email catch up and some writing. I realised as my mind was wandering off task that I might have slight cabin fever…. which seemed crazy as I had been out at work all week and Friday Mr G and I myself spent the whole afternoon out shopping for the home and garden! We had a friend pop round and see us in the garden too, another friend was over at ours on Thursday – so it is not even as if we were suffering each other’s company!

But it had been a week since I did anything. I am sociable or duvet ridden – extremes with barely an in between. Much as I felt it a great effort to get ready to go out, I had the perfect poetry dress in mind and I got ready without any hitches.

Once I was on the road I realised it had been ages since I had seen the friends I would share the party night with, everybody apart from me has been abroad since I last saw them too. Lots of stories and despite posting pretty much every step and event on social media they asked how my writing was going.

All I needed to do was brush off the cobwebs and mingle!
It was a great night celebrating with Glenis and Mick.

frugal cafe creative commons champers

 

18 Things Highly Creative People Do Differently – Carolyn Gregoire: Huffington Post

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Creatives – this article won’t tell you anything you didn’t already know, but it is a good read.
I am about to find my solitude in the garden with notebook and writing magazine.

Read it here AWF stars

Busy, Busy!

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I am so busy at the minute, have lots to blog about! I miss posting the threads directly after performances, when adrenaline runs energy through my words, but will do my best to catch myself up.

Today I had my first writing day since mid February, however, just like the last one it has been spent contacting management firms, estate agents and solicitors, the house sale is now two weeks in and counting!

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SOLC Slice of Life Challenge – March – The 2nd Week of Mayhem

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I should be writing a daily slice for SOLC March, where bloggers are increasing their weekly slices to daily entries.
I haven’t spent much time on the internet this week so my slice covers the past 6 days.
slice I spent all of Monday completing paperwork for solicitors (I have sold my apartment) on Tuesday I had work and after that I collated the remaining paperwork and completed my 3 forms. I had a free evening and hoped to get some writing done, but I was too tired to be inspired.

Wednesday after work I drove over to the solicitors to drop all my paperwork in and make sure they had everything they needed. Now keeping my fingers crossed that the sale will go through smoothly and quickly!

I also popped in on family on my way home and spent the evening attempting to write and catch up with some TV programmes. I also had to sort out a costume for World Book Day, the theme was fairytales but I had been told people were dressing as fairies.

In the end on Thursday I just about made it to work on time – turns out dressing as a Flower Fairy with flowers and stars in your hair takes time!

After work I went into the city to a Spoken Word event at The Ort, where I performed a set of 3 poems and watched some great acts including The Night Watch – a duo currently on tour, who play medieval music!

I had work on Friday, but it was cancelled – in the end I slept until Midday, was very tired, managed to get some writing done before appointments in the afternoon.

Mr G and I spent some time in the garden, he replanted all the strawberry plants in the new tower we bought last year.

I spent the evening writing. I had 2 poems to submit to an anthology – a charity project to help support the Born Free Foundation. I managed to submit them before midnight.

Saturday we went to see my Mum for coffee and give her the mask I had bought, then we went to the Garden Centre for compost and plant tunnels. We spent more time in the garden and had Mr G’s godchildren round.

In the evening it was my cousin’s 30th Birthday Party – a masked ball theme. It was a great party and lovely to see the family again.

Unfortunately, I stayed up too late last night and today – Sunday, I woke up just in time to get into the city for Poets with Passion – a spoken word event which took place in a Moroccan restaurant.

It has been a good and busy week.

And my new Writing Magazine was delivered, I managed to read some articles and the opportunity pages, I am still reading the February issue.

I have also enjoyed some time reading this week too. Have a pile of books awaiting reading.

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End of the Month Review – February

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It has been another great month, busy, busy, busy!
Some events were managed and some were missed, the same goes for written submissions. I had fun though and that’s the main thing. waffle

•Blogging
We have 638 followers – that’s 33 more followers, thanks to all of you who have joined this month.
I have left contact cards on my library display and look forward to seeing if we have any extra traffic on the back of those.

Projects

I have continued Jo Bell’s 52 – write a poem a week and just keep going – I missed posting on time this past week, but have since written the poem ready, there are a few people who post late, I will try not to do it again.

Jo Bell’s 52 – which you can join up for and/or dip into throughout the year. Many people I know have now taken up the challenge based on the great things they have heard.

Fancy writing weekly poems this year? Get involved HERE
•Submissions

Wenlock Poetry for Shop Displays

  • Published

I had a poem published online.
Writing

I have produced lots of new poems this month, the folder is filling up well.
Performing Poetry

I missed a lot of events this month for a variety of reasons, I managed about 2 a week though, so that’s still good going.

Word Up Birmingham

Sunday Xpress Birmingham

Diverse dancers Exhibition – Performing Dance Poetry on the Opening Night

Hit the Ode (the BIG ONE!) Birmingham

Poetry for Lunch – The Library of Birmingham

Mouth and Music – Kidderminster

Laura Yates was the headliner and I met and saw Lorna Meehan perform for the first time. Both these women are in Decadent Divas and I can’t wait for next month in Malvern, where they are all performing together.

Confab Cabaret Malvern

KAF Creatives Relaunch – Kidderminster – Gallery Exhibition – 6 performers AND beer tokens – my first gig where there was token payment.

Poets With Passion – Birmingham

I missed several events – Poetry Alight in Lichfield, where my friend Michelle Crosbie had her Debut performance as a headliner, alongside Jo Bell and Matt Merritt, due to distance and work.

I missed Drummonds 42 last Wednesday as that was the first night with our American relatives.

I missed Stanza as I was performing at Diverse Dancing that evening.

I missed Poetry Jam, due to tiredness.

I missed Buzzwords in Cheltenham due to weather, floods and closed roads.

I missed SpeakEasy in Worcester due to Mr G’s birthday.

I also attempted to learn poetry off by heart for my set at Hit the Ode – I discovered I am a Page Poet rather than a Stage Poet at the moment.
Events

Library Display of ‘The Fourth Wall’ for Local Arts Network

I also saw Cat Weatherill perform at a storytelling event, Hungry Hearts. It was a great night out.
•A Writing Life

My Writing West Midlands job started. I had my first day at being an Assistant Writer at The Hive in Worcester. It was great fun and something I am looking forward to building on.hive3

 

 

 

 

I also celebrated Valentine’s Day, Mr G’s birthday, my younger brother’s birthday and Mr G’s goddaughter’s birthday and I SOLD my apartment! I also got back into reading and managed about 3 books this month. Including – Jasmine Somers Makes Amends, by local writer Amy Rainbow. Look out for the review – COMING SOON.

Family From Over the Pond

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Last week was a really busy week with work and writing AND we had family visiting us from the States.
I stayed with them in 2005 and haven’t seen them since! It was brilliant…
We took them to stay with family on Wednesday and saw them again at my brother’s on Thursday night before they left for Dublin.
They have a few days of travels left before heading home and have had a great time!
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