Monthly Archives: January 2016

Inspiration: a Book Launch, a Museum and an Online Article

My writing life

If I really get on with this, I’ll have done two blog posts in January. I aim to do four every month, but what with the floods, the power cuts, Christmas and a delayed birthday party, I have needed some recovery time.

Anyway, enough excuses, the writing life has been trotting along this week, plenty going on, which has its down side, as that always means not enough time for actually writing anything. I only managed a tiny poem for writing group.

On Wednesday, sort of on the way to writing group, I went to a book launch at Waterstones in Lancaster. The book was The Gathering Tide by Karen Lloyd. Karen is a member of Brewery Poets, which I have just joined, and I met her there last month. Her book launch was crammed with people and very interesting. We listened to her reading extracts from her book of essays which is described on the cover as ‘a journey around the Edgelands of Morecambe Bay.’ She read, among other passages, very moving extract about the tenth anniversary commemoration of the cockling tragedy, an event I attended myself.

I was especially interested in this book launch, as the collaborative project I am involved with is entitled Ways of Exploring Morecambe Bay and looks at this amazing place through poems and photographs. The poems and photos will start to appear on this website later this year, so watch this space.

I wasn’t quite sure whether to put the museum here in my writing life, but I will, if only to start to say what I want to say about it. Yesterday it was back to the British Museum again, this time to see The Celts: Art and Identity a truly beautiful exhibition which I have only just begun to digest. No poem yet, but I have a feeling that there will be… We’ll see. It ends today, the 31st January, but it scheduled to be in Edinburgh later on in the year. Go if you can.

Reading Week

First the online article from Writers and Artists’ latest newsletter (which I get online) by Elizabeth Gilbert, an extract from her new book, Big Magic. Truly the funniest article about writing I’ve read in a long time. It was so good I‘ve bought the book!

Currently ploughing, and that is the right word, through Vikram Seth’s gigantic novel A Suitable Boy, set in the 1950s in newly independent India, after the separation from Pakistan. It is a page turner but it is also enormous and I’m going to be with it for some time. I’ll have to read lots of poetry in between to keep this slot interesting.

Hare in the Headlights

Well I’ve rewritten some of my children’s book and the new section looks good, according to my resident critic and muse, so I’m going to plod on with that this week.

The Morecambe Project has had to be scaled down as both I and my collaborator felt we were being too ambitious, given how much else we have on the go at present. Now it is considerably less scary and will take the form of an online exhibition on my website, where you can read the poems and browse the pictures at your leisure.

That’s all for now.

New Year, New Projects, New Ideas

My Writing Life

Now is the time of year when everybody sits down and plans the next bit. I’m not a person who does resolutions (I broke the one about getting up early each day, on New Year’s Day), but I do like to have good intentions for the next year.

They are:

The rewrite of my children’s book, science fiction for 10 to 12 year olds.

The submission of poems to magazines and starting a collection for submission.

Working on the next stage of my collaborative project with a stained glass artist and photographer.

I have been deliberately a bit brief about these as I intend to blog about progress on all of them in the coming months. So watch this space!!

At the end of this last week I boosted my poetry inspiration with my first visit to Brewery Poets in Kendal and yesterday I went to the second of Kim Moore’s workshops in Barrow. Both have certainly given me energy for getting started on all the above projects and continuing to write poetry, of course.

Reading (Holiday) Week.

Over the last few weeks, trapped indoors by the ceaseless rain, I have re-read Ann Enright’s The Green Road for my next reading group meeting. I’ll report on that later. Suffice it to say it was very much worth a second read. I have also read Anthony Doerr’s All the Light we cannot See a wonderful retelling, from the perspective of a young blind girl and a young German soldier, of the occupation of France during the second world war. It ends sadly and a bit bleakly but is beautifully written. I have also enjoyed Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread , her latest, and to my mind the most successful, of her recent novels.

Hare in the Headlights

Looming large on the scary horizon is the forthcoming attempt at re-writing my children’s book (will I think it’s rubbish after all this time?), and the whole business of getting the collaborative project out there and happening.

Till next time