Category: Writing

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!

Extra-Ordinary (by )

Today I feel like a failure, today I feel fat and not ugly so much as plain with frizzy hair and glasses. Today I looked at the things I make and think... they are all a bit naff. Today I am the failed scientist and the untrained artist, today I am FAILURE.

Today I am the stuck at home, non housework doing, burnt cooking mum, I am the can't spell, can't concentrate hack filling in forms to apply for events/jobs that I know wont want me, not daring to apply for the acting roles as I'm too fat, too old, too short, the wrong physical gender, I am the failed to get my kids to the things they want and need to go to, I am the fail parent with a trail of failed careers.

Today I finished knitting DNA, and worked on a mermaids tail, cut out and folded a micro-zine I drew and scanned and made, I helped Mary write a story and she made a cover for it to be a book, Jean helped me find my unfinished knitting projects and I finished the basis for some little easter rabbits. I typed up a poem and ordered polymer clay to make little creatures with. I put away a giant papier mache sculpture I made for the visually impaired and checked that the brain I am making is drying ok, there were piles of paintings I had to move, piles of my paintings - I can't see them as good, I can't compare to the other artists that I see locally, my stuff just... does not quiet cut it and yet... it is the headline picture for the group.

Today I feel like a fraud, I feel like I am pretending to be good, to be amazing, when I am not. I am just me, a lost, lonely little me. A few days ago I performed at a launch event, people came to tell me how animated and full of energy I was, they said they liked my work, the world was full of chances to grab and take and I did... but... I stood outside the venue looking at the door, wondering if I was truly supposed to be there, weather I was an interloper, I had to battle mind doubt dragons to go in and whilst I talk, whilst I feel alive at the creativity around me, I look at the crowd of amazing people and think how wonderful they are and how drab I am. And I feel the press of eyes and the expectation and I want to run, I want to hide, I am the extroverted introvert or introverted extrovert and sometimes I think I have wasted my life.

Today I sit writing this drowning in craft supplies I need to put away, this week I have designed many new workshops covering science, art, writing, specific themes and the environment. My old injuries ache with the clammy cold weather and I long for summer but know I have much to do but I can not stir, my head still rings from the head injury I had coming up to two years ago now and I feel thick, stupid, clogged, my c-section scar is hurting, skin burning and sinus pain is king. It is nothing to the physical pain and discomfort I have suffered in the past, I'm a little inflamed and virally that is all. I fail at not moaning, at not feeling used up and rung out.

Today I think of all the people who have helped me and I know I have failed them and worse I have not always passed the buck, I have been too busy or distracted or lazy. I walk past the homeless and realise that it more than two years ago that I did any proper charity work, even though an event I acted at this month has just raised over £400 for charity, I had to claim my expenses - I have a loan to repay and things I need to get to - I failed at money management - I struggle with numbers now, I did not used to. I had to take the money but not because I would starve because I wouldn't and that makes me wither inside. Am I greedy?

Today I told my husband - I told him how when I write down the things I have done they sound fantastic and great, or brave and selfless - when I know it wasn't like that, it was clutching at straws, it was trying stuff, it was itself often failure. My life has twisted and turned and looped da looped and I am giddy.

Today he told me I am extraordinary and that most people - are not. He told me that people are in awe of my work but these words hurt and puzzle. He gave examples and I am like "no that is just because they have had to survive differently, they want to do stuff, creative stuff, science stuff." And then I was angry about how their potential is being lost, how my potential was lost, about how my husband would be the better home maker and can't be, how society traps people in rolls and classes and demographs.

Today I survived, I live and so does my family, and for that I am truly in awe and fearful of a harsh and unrelenting world. But sometimes... sometimes survival is not enough and that is only because I am lucky, I have capacity, I have safety nets, I have family and friends and love and food and shelter. I am higher up the triangle of needs - but that should not be the case. Potential maximium should be achievable for all, with no judging as to what that is, no expectations of what a successful life is, no squinting and muttering when a sideways corse is taken. Failure should not be seen as well... failure. It is the experimenting, the living of life, it is were the discoveries are made, if you don't try you can't fail, but if you don't fail have you ever really tried?

Today is not today anymore, today is now tomorrow and I feel the ideas scritching in my brain, they have been gone a long time, I have to rest lots to let my brain heal - it healed enough to give me ideas again. Proper new fresh ideas, but my health has always been shoddy and I have lost so much time, and I can't go fast, I can just be. So I pool and collect the ideas, and hope they will get their day. Somedays they erupt into the world and the world laps them up, other days... not so much and I gather them back in for another try, on another day.

Today is new, I still feel hollow, but that will pass, it always does, and the void will be filled with colour and patterns and thoughts and then I'll accidently create a thing or things or a thing of things. Until then there is hugs and coffee, and admin.

Big Food and Naps (by )

Big Food Christmas left overs

Yesterday I did an hour of work and then went for my 9 am nap, this is supposed to last half an hour and is part of the new regime to make the head injury go away but... I woke up at nearly 2 pm having slept through all my alarms.

To be fair before said nap I felt awful, really fluey and afterwards I felt really good and got lots done but it was frustrating as it felt like I'd waisted the day.

I hadn't even had breakfast so I decided to treat myself and had Christmas left overs that were frozen in the freezer and made some gravy. This was my meal for the day - it was good 🙂

Alaric has made me me safe paneer for today which I can just reheat and I was actually organised enough to sort us out a family only mocktales. Al did admin, Jean worked on her Foodverse and has actually managed to get it out of the planning stage and started writing it 🙂

I finished off my Storystorm with over 100 ideas for picture books - most of them are kind of one idea and would make a series - now all I need is time to write them! I also did some poetry writing once Jean had gone to bed - she was most helpful with my storystorming and looked things up on her tablet for me. Mary did not join in this Mocktales which was the first of the year (my bad!) as it was too late which made her a bit of a grumples but Daddy flew her to bed and she was a super hero so she was happy.

So yeah kind of did everything wrong yesterday - binge slept and ate one huge meal which was most of my cal allowance instead of spreading out over the day but was actually very productive in the end - still kind of feel guilty though!

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