Friday, 15 May 2009

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Toil and trouble and never giving up!

It has been crazy. The claim of “back with a vengeance” was doomed from the start (as cheekily pointed out by Lucien Maier - see interview here). A broken laptop, a necessity to move house, a relationship split, favours for friends and another Father’s Day remembering the deceased have spelt out a grand finale of: no finished pieces. Meaning no more submissions.

However – amazingly so – it has allowed for a total of around 40 first/second draft poems, an ad hoc article as a favour and some time to enjoy a period of readjustment. Still more submissions that have been sat out there are coming through (Open Wide Magazine, The Ranfurly Review, Word Riot to name a few…) and so it’s all ticking away slowly…

But sometimes it’s good to slow down and see what you’ve got and appreciate it more. The sick laptop returns triumphant tomorrow, and I have a feeling there’s going to be lots of submissions flying around soon.

Monday, 26 May 2008

It seems like an age...

Yet here I am. Life has been unpredictable and a bit of a whirlwind of change but I´ve made a huge decision. I am going to move to London. As soon as I fine that perfect job (and believe me, I´m looking!) then I will be there in the thick of it all. I miss the poetry, theatres, galleries, the people in random bars and the general buzz. I think I will see a whole new me emerging once I´m there. We all cocoon at times - it´s just recognising this fact and being able to do it well. What do you think? I intend to move there alone.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

On random inspiration outside of the norm

I've never seen a book vending machine before and so it caused me lots of excitement when I passed one at Heathrow airport. It's been only hours since leaving work and the norm; and yet I'm already in the thick of letting go. I feel....released?

I'm only at stage one of the journey to Australia but I'm already conjuring ideas that contain a book vending machine as a focal point. Mike leigh and Naked spring to mind...alongside butterflies and an accordian player. Who knows where it will lead?

I wonder what the 20 hour journey, stop off in Kuala Lumpar and first glimpse of Sydney will have in store. Perhaps nothing... but thats part of the thrill. It's all in the enjoyment of being randomly inspried outside of the norm.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

on freedom to write

Recent constraints - redundancy, job searching, starting a new job, rocky relationship etc - have taken their toll and now its time to run wild in Australia. For three weeks. Imagine the amount of time available that is usually taken up by the mundane, the necessary and the unwanted. I have one more day of work to tie everything up in a more than satisfactory manner, and then off I go. A dalliance with my notebook - or not. Lets see which way the wind blows.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

On accepting advice

Alter having read/listened to lots of other people’s opinions on finding experiences to write about etc, I set to wondering – have I been trying too hard? It’s a possibility and so I slowed right down to almost stopping and took stock. I don’t take advice easily - I´ve usually already thought of the suggestions - and so this was harder than you may imagine. But it´s a period of crazy changes right now so I thought it worth a stab.

As a result the output has been slow – but, surprisingly, the worry that my skills would suddenly fall apart and disintegrate was unfounded. it was hard at first...very hard. But the slowing down has seen a rather splendid poem surface entitled “Daunting the devil”: I’m looking forward to seeing whether /where it gets accepted.

In seven days time I’ll be well on my way to my three week holiday in Australia and so I’m excited about what will happen once I’m there. I’ve bought some stunning notebooks and have some inspirational books at the ready. Hopefully an internet cafĂ© will afford me some time to update my sites but – in all fairness – it may have to wait till I get back.

Regardless - I´m certain that my first poetry collection or something equally fabulous will surface.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

On life´s impact and writing

It may have always been completely obvious to everyone else but this week I discovered that despite all good intentions and a lot of hard work, real life impacts our writing.

This week has been slow - non existent in fact. I booked myself into a little hotel in Estepona as planned, but there was no writing output whatsoever. There was some scribbling in notebooks and a few sketches but apart from that; nothing. Why?

On Tuesday I got made redundant. Not just me, but the whole office - the entire operation shut down and moved (though not necessarily with us included). There was no warning: it came completely out of the blue for everyone and you can imagine the atmosphere. There was tidal wave of emotions over the place and no amount of early Spanish sun could get rid of the clouds.

I naively thought some creative writing would distract from the scenario and give me something else to think about. But for the first time ever I had a form of writer´s block - or at least, I couldn´t write anything other than notes and thoughts and images.

Of course, these will be used in the future and I´m sure that the end result will be pleasing but - it was a real disappointment to be in the scenario where you have space to write and can´t. It also set me to thinking about how entwined our writing is with our own lives.

Whether its theme characterisation or setting, the general consensus is that we write what we know. Or at least use what we know to build upon and embellish, side step and stampede over with our desire to create lies from truth and truth from lies.

But I (perhaps stupidly) hadn´t realised the impact of living life on the ability to write as this was a first for me. I could not physically write anything constructive. Of course, I have things under control now and the career front looks promising so my mind can settle a little.

I guess I just have to put it down to experience, breathe into the empty space and give myself a little heave-ho to get started again. Is four days enough space? I believe so (though I´m still struggling to put words on a page in a coherent format).

This certainly relates to what John meant in his reply to my last post when he said "I generally write about the absurdity of life, the experiences I've had that I could never have imagined or planned. "

But - what if it happens again? Can a writer afford to let the downs in as much as the ups? Will it scupper all plans of getting published or will it all come out right in the end?

Maybe as Melan Collie said "Personally, I've enjoyed taking a break from writing now and again, because, in my experience, the journey through time can be as perspective altering and influential to one's writing as moving to a new place would be."