Playing with Words
Our Citroen is sick and Lester-the-Fiesta, our back-up banger, has also kicked up and demanded new, expensive parts. Just what we needed in January. Fortunately, my last couple of long runs have gone well, which is a blessed relief.
Something which is proving an absolute joy, is the poetry component of my OU course. One of my reasons for studying creative writing was to work outside my usual areas and whilst I’ve always dabbled with poetry, it’s a long time since I’ve produced any for outside scrutiny. It’s been great to have the luxury of immersing myself in other people’s work. Tom gave me a brilliant anthology which included DVDs of poets reading their work which has been a wonderful resource (Pamela Robertson-Pearce (film), Neil Astley (ed.), In Person: 30 Poets (2008) Northumberland: Bloodaxe Books).
The only problem with soaking up so much verse is that I’m beginning to feel a bit daunted about the next assignment which is to produce 40 lines of poetry. I felt less nervous when I was bumbling along throwing down a couple of lines here and there. And whilst I studied English at school without being particularly unnerved about the technical stuff, this time round I’m suddenly hyper-aware of just how many balls a good poem keeps in the air.
On the fiction front, I’ve screwed up my courage and entered Mslexia’s short story competition and I’ve submitted another for consideration for Honno’s next fictional anthology. Now it’s time to crack on with the next novel. I spent ages yesterday looking at 20,000 words of a novel I’ve been tinkering with for years; part of the problem is that it needs major surgery but I love it too much to take the knife to it. I’ve also got 5,000 words of a new novel that just isn’t doing it for me… and if it doesn’t work for me it sure as hell isn’t going to work for any reader. Ah well, I can’t put it off any longer. Expect the word meter to go up soon.
The painting is 'St Giles-in-the-Adverts' by Tom Tomos