Category: Work

Busy Poetic Times Ahead (by )

Busy poetic time are coming up 🙂

Thursday 27th of April Villanells Gloucester Fountain Inn from 7-11 pm - I am running a workshop at the beginning of the evening followed by recording performances and interviews organised by The Gloucester Poetry Society

Saturday 29th of April ReneGade Festival 2017 3 -1:30 pm which is opening with Food For Thoughts Poetry performance

May 4th - 15th Cheltenham Poetry Festival, I'll be in the Slam Friday 12th May 8:30 but will be generally about the place 🙂

Saturday 20th of May A Pint of Prose organised by the Gloucester Poetry Festival

Plus as many regular nights as I can get too 🙂 Feeling very excited!!! (there might be another slam as well but it just depends on fitting things in!)

Regular Poetry events in Gloucester and Cheltenham are:

Buzzwords 1st Sunday of every month in Cheltenham

Speakeasy 1st Tuesday of every month in Gloucester

Waterstones Poetry Night Monday evenings in Cheltenham

Poetry Cafe 2nd Wednesday of the month in Cheltenham

Food For Thoughts variable but during the afternoon once a month at the weekend in Gloucester

Villanelles last Thursday of every Month in Gloucester

Cheltenham Poetry Societies Kickstart Workshops 1st Tuesday of the month in Cheltenham

Jam Back at the Tav every Wednesday evening primarily music but accepts spoken word in Cheltenham

Villanelles Recording (by )

The Gloucester Poetry Society have been recording poems at the Villanelles night and turing them into videos for their channel - I am in this one after the rude poem that begins it!

It was recorded at the Fountain Inn Gloucester and is a rather historic and listing building which is always fun!

There is also the wonderful Peter Wyton, Clive Oseman, Nick Lovell and a host of others to enjoy in the video 🙂

For those of you who know your poetry structures you will have detected that the poems performed and/or read are not villanelles. Rather the event is going to the origin of the villanelles as peasant/normal person poetry rather than the educated elite as it were. This doesn't mean you can not come along if you have an English degree - far from it, the organiser himself teaches at the college - no what it means is it is an event for everyone.

Here are a couple of photos I took:

Beautiful eco-vegan poetry at Villanelles Fountain Inn Gloucester

Wonderful eco-vegan poetry sadly I can't remember her name!

Ziggy reading at Villanelles in Gloucester

Ziggy reading dildo-rama coughs - see video for NSW poetry 🙂

Peter Wyton getting his Poem On at Gloucester Poetry Societies Villanelles

Peter Wyton getting ready to perform from his book Even The Beggers Have Pearls.

I loved the event and it is moving towards having a workshop at the beginning which I hope to get involved with 🙂

Info for the April one is here.

CampNaNo April 2017 (by )

I love writing challenges - they are a bit trickier these days with my limited time window of working brain but it is still possible. One of the things I like about them is not feeling al on my on 🙂

Alaric all set up for CampNaNo 2017

And so me and Alaric are signed up for one of the Nation Novel Writing Months add ons... CampNaNo. This used to be Script Frenzy and is where I'd work on my comic book/graphic novel stuff. Pretty much I still keep it as a Screnzy and work on my graphic novels and Al's role playing game. There is also a poem a day writing challenge NaPoWriMo in April so I bung things up on the WoPo site and the FB page and things to help others. I myself take it as a time to look over what I am doing with my poetry and spend a little time each day on it.

Catapault pencils for the Stubby Writing Challenge 2017

Both girls are doing their own CampNaNo - but me and Jean are having a writing race - known as The Stubby Challenge!!! This is how I did my first actual written and not voice to text stuff after the head bang (I think but to be honest it's all a little foggy back there!). It doesn't involve screens and I can write as big as I like and Jean loves it and... it works - though obviously it means that at some point there is going to have to be a lot of typing up!

The way it works is that we find funky pencils - this time it is catapaults to go with the camp them, last year I think it was dolphins and bats?

We have the ream of paper and our pencils and we write! Then when you are scratching the paper with wood you sharpen the pencil - the first to end up with a pencil stub wins! We even have a special Octarine pencil sharpener from the Discworld Emporium!

Jean Working on her Foodverse CampNano 2017

I'm slowely lurching my way through a novelisation of my first comic book script about how The Punk ends up being apparently immortal. It is slow progress but that is fine 🙂 Jean is working on her project from last year too - The FoodVerse - we typing up and editing chapter one An Apple Pavlova, now it is about about carrots.

Mary on the other hand is dictating a set of stories about a rainbow jungle and the sparkly creatures within 🙂 When the rest of us are working on our books she sits and colours in the picture she has chosen for the front cover. Interestingly they are quiet Roald Dahl in nature.

Mary Colouring in her Front Cover Campnano 2017

Of course I am still managing some typing so am kind of working on multiple projects - this means that I have to have check lists to keep myself on track especially as the time I can concentrate for is actually so small - I can't do hyper focus and I can't fall through the page - my brain just shuts down and I fall asleep! But I think I am getting there and producing good stuff.

So yeah CampNaNo is go and I am prodding people to write and create!

Cyber Punk London (by )

The Old and the New London

Years ago (over a decade actually) Alaric tasked me with illustrating two Role Playing Games he had written. I have been steadily working on them and part of that is finding suitable visuals to construct the very specific images needed. So I often trail around cities taking images of cyber punk type stuff and the fanciful - the weekend allowed me to sneak some pics 🙂

Ciggy bin face

Our cities are full of unexpected finds like this ciggy bin face - it is obviously a droid from Alpha Centuri and is fed up with people putting burning leaves into it's eye sockets!

Interesting micro structure in amongst the buildings London

Little micro structures hide, clinging to the larger buildings around them as if we truly are creating a jungle of a different type - covergent evolution, lies at the heart of this one 🙂

Pipes on buildings in London

There were so many great shapes and geometries but I had limited time as we were lit. rushing from the station to meet our friends. I want to go back and spend another creative weekend in London, catching as many of the little hidden textures as I can!

Looking up through the sky scrappers to a patch of sun light

As beautiful as the buildings are, there is also something menacing about some of them, they loom in and block out the light. But if you look hard enough it is still there, defiant of the giants that rise on metal frames.

A parasitic tower hiding in the sky scrapers London

Parasitic towers cling to their host buildings gloaming in reflected sunlight, the light was sunset light and was thick and golden, tinged with surrealism as the cities lights mingled with it.

Buildings reflecting buildings London

The city is a labrynth, including confusing and distorting reflection. They buildings are glass coated, they shine and reflect and capture each other's images, it can be hard to tell what is a building, and what is a reflection of a building on a building or a building within a building.

Steal and Glass rainbow reflection

The steal and glass and light created metallic rainbows and an eye rolling husband who was trying to make sure I did not walk off of steps or in front of cars as I was so captivated by the scenes.

Building geometry London

The building vary, some are angular and sharp and others are soft and curvy and some are curvy and angular but modular and it is a landscape of geometry.

Metal imitates bone and nerve

Again the shapes and angles begin to suggest something organic - in this case back bone and central nervous system - it made me think on what would happen if metal suddenly became alive - what sort of creatures would our cities spawn?

The scales of the gerkin London

Many patterns, textures and ornamentation where present and just waiting for me to capture them, the gerkin looks like glass scales, arching off into the distance. I am also starting a photo study of texture this spring and the buildings were a surprising source of such imagery.

Marshmallow trees and ancient church London

And of course hidden in this new glass and chrome London is an older London, and it cries out for stories and contrasts and has a kind of magic realism. These pictures scream... write us into a story, a poem, a piece on heritage and art... and that is indeed what will happen to these images, they will be appearing on my writing and art blogs in various guises as well as being used for drawing practice 🙂

marshmallow trees and red bricks hiding in glossy london

But really why are there giant marshmallows in these trees? And they were not the only strange and fantastical thing we found - a steampunk macarbe sat in the pub where we met our friends just before heading for curry on Brick Lane - there were clusters of young people preaching or goading or occupying London. There was a religious zing to them and they dressed in threads that were bare for aesthetics rather than worn to unravelling. I could not hear what was being said but they had followers with glassy zeal in their eyes. A passion pulsed in the underbelly but it was a safe fire, a cold fire.

Skeleton Seat The Water Poet London

We had a great meal and catch up with friends but as always I am reminded that my London is erroding, disappearing, I can not say weather this is a good or bad thing but London is bright and over whelming, like a million pieces of brain fire. Confetti of glitz and glam that may well tarnish or burn out in the blink of an eye. The markets are gentrified and hipster zones, interesting but no longer mine. Consumerism as always drives the city forward - this has not been lost on the natives living in all the envrions of London - a city of villages and zones.

Buy Shit graffiti London

Music and Friends (by )

Just at the point where Jean started to take to playing and learning songs for the keyboard/piano, our hammond organ decides to die. We are hoping we can still fix it but it is going to be a major job 🙁

So a friend of ours said we could have an old keyboard of his, it used to be his grandmothers. We picked it up at the weekend with a little musical distraction!

Jean playing with an epic synth keyboard set up

For Jean spotted his epic set up with phone and mic stand and coloured buttons all set up to the computer 🙂

He also has a tank drum from Bali, I love these instruments so he let me have a play and of course that meant Mary had to have a play!

Mary playing with a tank drum from Bali

It was great seeing friends at the weekend - some of whom we've not seen for 3 or 4 years!

Of course after school yesterday my poor old struggling laptop was kidnapped for music recording / song making to happen - this mainly seemed to consist of Jean shouting at Mary for talking over the recording!

Once again I've been amazed by our wonderful friends 🙂

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