It’s been a strange six months since I last blogged. Apologies if you’ve missed my ramblings here. (Alternatively, apologies if you were delighted by my absence, bad luck: I’m back.)
Ledbury Poetry Festival was, as always, wonderful. Look out for Hwaet, its 20th anniversary anthology. I loved stewarding and event-managing. Hereford Stanza produced a pamphlet and walk/reading In Plain Sight based on the ancient alleys of the town as part of the festival; my poems were inspired by Homend alleys Fox Lane (inevitably) and Common Ground.
My day job went more than a bit bonkers as my boss was absent injured for 4 months leaving me to fit 7 woman-work-days into a 5-day week and that was just for starters; it was a fun few months I hope never to reprise.
As all that was happening my term as Poet in Residence at Malvern’s eclectic little museum began in July. The local paper even took a nice photo of me. Not the best timing for my residency but injuries – and day jobs, with rare exceptions – do not respect creative plans. I shall be writing based on the residency until the end of June ’17. The museum is now closed for the winter but will reopen in March.
In September, sick of my flat-out day job slog, I burned the candle at both ends starting to rewrite my first novel so it is now adult, no longer YA. It has to be one or the other and it’s been darker and deeper with each rewrite/edit since inception as a children’s sci fi story.
As an aside I’m very lucky to have two local groups where I can trial extracts (my local circle and Worcester’s 42). Apart from the discipline of abridging a passage so it’s all relevant (lots of red lines through sub-plots, extraneous characters etc; timing a reading to fit) it’s really useful to see what works and what confuses or bemuses. As another aside I recommend reading aloud (in private) any story (or poem): glitches that the eye skips make the tongue stumble; repetitions are audible when not necessarily visible. And some lines are just embarrassing; my last MS print-out was littered with scribbles including “WTF?” at frequent intervals – a phrase I might well also apply to 2016 world events.