Archive for January 2010


I’m being digitised! Not me literally, of course, but one of my poems. I received a letter from the Poetry Library in London last week asking for permission to include my poem ‘Rain in Rouen’, which was published in The French Literary Review,  in their digital archives. Although it’s not at all big in the grand scheme of poetry, it feels inordinately exciting!

I’ve had lots of excitement lately with some stunning potential covers for my collection Into the Yell, a great open mic and listening to Michael McKimm read at Poetry Bites in Birmingham and starting my latest set of workshops for children at my son’s first school. This has been particularly enjoyable – so far at least! – as some of the children have previously done some of my workshops and I have been amazed by how much they have retained. It makes for so much easier and rewarding teaching.

On the subject of teaching, I finally finished my critical pieces for my creative writing MA application. Now all I’ve got to do is wait and hope…just as well that, like most poets, I’ve already had plenty of practice at this!

Add comment January 28, 2010

Symbolic Addiction!

Addicted as I am to symbols, I’ve been trying to find a significance to the fact that the best poem I’ve written lately has been the shortest – just six lines. Failing anything more fortunate (and avoiding all negative connotations!), I’ve decided to take it as permission/justification for writing a really short blog post – though more than six words!

One of the reasons is that I have the minutes of last night’s meeting of my sons’ school’s parent’s voice to type up and a newsletter to start (I’m secretary). The other is that I’m near to finishing the whopping ten pages of critical writing required for my creative writing MA application. I’d forgotten how exhausting academia can be! I just hope the end result pays off. Wish me luck!

Add comment January 20, 2010

The Art of Creative Application!

Snow matter how hard I try I can’t avoid it – the fluffy white stuff that is! However, fortunately even a new flurry last night hasn’t disrupted work too much this week. In fact, I’ve even made it p-art of my plans!

I’ve applied to hold a poetry and photography exhibition at the town library next year (yes, 2011!) featuring snaps illustrating some of my poems, including a few snowy scenes. Applications are only considered once a year, September, so I’ve some time to wait before I know whether they’ll be able to give me a slot. But keep everything crossed!

Art has been on my mind a lot this week as I’ve also been looking at some fantastic potential designs, sketches, canvases for the front cover of my poetry collection Into the Yell (due out from Circaidy Gregory Press this summer/autumn). Not only are they so amazing that I can’t choose my favourite from three or four strong contenders but it has also been a tremendous buzz – both knowing they are inspired directly by/in response to my poetry and just seeing my words interpreted in a different art form!

Finally, I’ve been rediscovering the art of more academic writing. I’ve decided to apply to do a creative writing MA in poetry and I have to submit two fairly longish academic/literary poetry reviews (TLS or London Review of Books style) with my application form. That’s longer and more academic than I’d normally stick up on my blog. But seeing as I’m going to the effort of writing them, I’d like to use them for more than just my application so if anyone knows a potential market for them (paying or otherwise) once I’ve finished…

And to finish without any form, art or applications – but returning to the winter theme – fingers and twigs crossed that even the snow doesn’t stop our Poetry Society stanza meeting on Friday!

Add comment January 13, 2010

Snow more snow!

Snow end to the fun but little work done when schools close for cool (!) weather.

Yes, I had to pick the kids up early from school (by sledge!) after it closed two hours into the day yesterday morning. It was closed again today because of the snow, so all my poetry, work, emails and most of the general ‘to do’ list are hovering in suspense as we wait to see what happens tomorrow.

Still, while I might not have managed any creative or constructive writing, the boys and I did manage to create/construct two snowmen and I did try to get creative with the camera!

Add comment January 6, 2010

Home, Green Home!

My Green Man has come home at last – and with it my motivation!

Yes, I collected my Christmas present from the library where it was exhibited today. The painting is now in pride of place in the dining room so it can been seen as soon as I walk through the front door. I’m particularly pleased that it looks good in this position, as after being so keen to have it, I did then have worries that our house wouldn’t do the painting justice. Of course, it’s not as good as a proper gallery but I am happy it doesn’t do the picture too great a disservice.

Today is also the first day since the great after Christmas slump that I’ve actually felt energized and motivated. (The New Year’s Eve party was good but that only counts as an evening!) Thanks probably to a couple of early nights, a break from exercise followed by a strong swim this morning and a lovely relaxing day at a friend’s house, I’m now revved up to get on with things once the kids go back to school tomorrow. Of course, the real test will be if I still feel this at 9am tomorrow after the mad school run rush!  Fingers crossed!

Add comment January 4, 2010

A Flair for Colour!

I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions. I always figure that if I really want to do something then I will do it whatever time of year it is. And if I’m not going to do it, why waste time trying to kid myself I am!

However, this year I’ve resolved to bring more colour into my non-writing life. I’m happy with this, as I know I’m safe in making this resolution because I’ve already kept it by seeing in the New Year in sixties/seventies gear. My costume for our friend’s fourtieth birthday party was rather more colourful than my usual jeans and predominantly black tops! (Okay, so I’ve still got black flares but you can’t change a lifetime’s habit overnight!)

Anyway, besides attempting to splash colour into my wardrobe, I’ve also been busy spring cleaning the house. The result, so far, is little time for reading or writing and the house a big mess with everything part-tidied!  Still, while my hands have been busy tidying, my mind has been busy planning some colourful artistic/poetry projects (in addition, of course 😉 , to my poetry collection Into the Yell!) for 2010.

Happy New Year everyone!

2 comments January 1, 2010






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