Keeping the Darkness at Bay

My writing life

This blog is going to be posted a bit late as I have been very busy over the last 10 days. I have done two readings, one at Lancaster Library and one at Ambleside Library and sold about 10 copies of my book, so I am pleased with that. The readings went well with small, but very attentive, audiences.

I have also been working on the poems I started at the workshop in Barrow a couple of weeks ago. (See previous blog, on a winter’s day). At the workshop Kim Moore, who was leading it, mentioned the idea that a poem needs a ‘turn’ a change of idea or level of meaning. Two of the three poems I came away with have worked in this way but this week I have been struggling with the third, the final version of which I read at Writing Group last night. I had shared the idea of the ‘turn’ with the group the week before and it was pleasing to be able to bring a poem, worked on, and now including, the idea of a turn. The group met way out in the country last night beyond Bentham and the poem was very appropriately called Dark. So thanks Kim: once more for a great idea to work on.

I’m an inveterate planner. This week one of my blog readers emailed to exclaim ‘you’re so ORGANISED’, (her capitals not mine). So I’m already thinking about my writing life for the New Year. I have a few projects in mind and a new group, the Brewery Poets in Kendal to go to. My poem Dark is really about SAD which I suffer from at this time of year and nothing cheers me up like a bit of forward planning!

Reading Week

I have just finished Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread, shortlisted for the Mann Booker prize 2015. I loved every page. This is Anne Tyler at her best. If you would like to know more there is a good review in the Guardian.

I have always been a fan of hers since reading her Dinner in the Homesick Restaurant in the 1980’s. This new  book brings her writing right up to the present and then takes us back into a family’s past. I found the section about the depression in the 1930’s in the USA particularly moving.

Hare in the Headlights

I’ve survived two lots of HIH moments this week as I always get stage fright before a reading. (Who doesn’t?) However I also love reading my poetry and sharing it with others, so it’s worth it.

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