And breathe!

More hectic times have meant a whole month has slipped by since I last blogged...oops. I do love writing, I really do, it's just poetry is my first love and the writing form I fall into naturally like a comfy pair of shoes or lovely bed. Mm, bed...

The poetry has been going really well. More and more I'm using current affairs as a catalyst for my wordflow, although past experiences still creep in there from time to time, although I love it and loathe it at times, the 24 hour society we live in now makes it easier to see what's going on in the world and everybody seems to have an opinion - from global warming to the World Cup.

I got really into the World Cup this time! I will hold my hands up and admit to never having got into football as many people do. Okay, I used to go and watch the local team play with my Dad when I was 5, but my favourite part was 1) the marmite sandwiches and 2) the father-daughter time. I think as this is the first World Cup since the whole facebook/twitter phenomenon, you couldn't get away from it this time round, so I put both feet forwards and decided to abide by the well known phrase - if you can't beat 'em, join 'em!

So much so, in fact, that I decided to write a series of World Cup 2010 poems. One was about South Africa and the divide between rich and poor, the crazy way that some parts of Africa are completely destitute and yet these footballers and their WAGs are given freebies galore. Another poem was about...WAGs! Something many people seem to have an opinion on. The last poem in the series was something I decided to write, after reading an article in the local paper, abut how statistically domestic violence increases by around 25% when there is a World Cup match on. In the 2006 World Cup when England were knocked out, that figure went up to 30%. I just couldn't not write about it. It was a very dark poem but one that I felt needed to be written, and when I performed it at an open floor night at the end of June, got some fantastic feedback.

As I go to so many poetry nights now, I find I am writing more, which I am really pleased about. I don't like to go along and read the same old poems, so I find knowing I have a night coming up spurs me on to write more. Although at times terrifying, reading a new poem to an audience is the best way to try it out and see if the words trip off your tongue or(hopefully not) come crashing down around you. I try to always have a notebook on me(99% of the time) and a camera(around 50% of the time) so even if I can't write something there and then, I can take a snapshot to inspire me later.

Did my first open mic slot down south on 3rd July. It was at a folk club in Somerset, probably the first folk club I've been to in my life. I will be honest and say a folk night would not be my first choice for a night out, but I always feel poetry and music go well together. Funnily enough I was more nervous reading in front of my Mum, Dad, and sister than I was in a room full of 50 people.

Have started entering poetry competitions again too. Both are ones I entered last year and didn't hear anything from, but my motto is always if at first you don't succeed, try, try again! Come to think of it that should be all writers' motto! The Ledbury Poetry competition is an important one to me as my Grandad(R.I.P) was born in Ledbury. I am also working on entries for the Mslexia Women's Poetry competition. I have so many poems now it is a little easier having a lot to choose from rather than wracking my brain for ideas.

I really need to go to Chester library and scour The Writer's and Artist's Yearbook for poetry publishers. After all, what's the point in writing your first collection if you don't at some stage submit it? ;-)


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  2. (re-edited a little, Katy)

    I think it is always nice to have a development in your writing if you feel you are making that much progress and it is natural to want to try out other fields within it.

    I think I started myself back in 2008 making appearances here and there and by the end of the year had made 37 appearances in some form or the other. (I keep a log book on everything so I know what I have read out and where to prevent duplication.

    In 2009, I took it a bit further and did 57 - yep, that's at least one a week before my health failed me a bit at the end of the year and this year I have took it a bit easier and only managed 28 by now! lol

    As you progress, I think you start to discover with every night as with every audience what works somewhere does not work in other places. I read out a Christmas poem for example last year in one venue near where I live and it went down okay near where I live, and then a week later I read it out at a night I used to co-run and the audience went nuts over it. Crazy or what?

    Of course, this natural development will involve wanting to get your stuff published. This I find is somewhat harder. I published my first book (a best off my stuff from last year) through earlier on this year as I wanted
    full control off it. The second book which I reckon will be out at the end of this year, maybe the start off 2011 maybe a bit different but it's worth keeping your eyes open on publishers, just don't expect to make lots off money on it as I don't think there is tons flying ..

    A good suggestion would to buy or borrow the writers yearbook..

    It's pretty helpful but my most important advice is to simply keep enjoying it'


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