The gift of an empty house

Sometimes it's sad when everyone leaves but sometimes it's just what you need.  It's not always possible to go away to write, on a course or retreat or holiday.  Even if you can afford it, even if it's free or subsidised, it's just not always possible - for many reasons, commitments, time or ability constraints … Continue reading The gift of an empty house

Finding your way into a poem

It's been really helpful to read these posts by poets writing about how they find their way into poems:  "Writing" Towards Writing by Pam Thompson and fearless creating by Julie Mellor.  As well as containing useful and practical advice, the posts are a comforting reminder that I'm not alone in finding writing hard going at … Continue reading Finding your way into a poem

A few last minute submissions

This weekend I managed to send off a poem to the Verve Poetry Festival Competition a couple of hours ahead of the deadline - deadline now closed but you can find out more about the festival here - and I'm still working on one I'd like to send to The Cafe Writers competition - deadline … Continue reading A few last minute submissions

Writing a collaborative poem

I had a wonderful time reading with Louisa Adjoa Parker at Schumacher College, Dartington, Devon, on August 3rd for The Enemies Project South West Poetry Tour. You can read more about The Enemies Project here.  It's a project that started in 2011, dreamed up by poet and artist Stephen Fowler, which facilitates new collaborative creative works.   So far … Continue reading Writing a collaborative poem

My writing space

I am fond of writing in bed, by hand, in a notebook, as soon as I wake up.  I also like to drift from sofa to chair to sofa, carrying an ever-growing pile of drafts.  I sometimes write at our kitchen table but, increasingly, this space has been monopolised by our daughter who's now studying … Continue reading My writing space

Six month pamphlet anniversary

It's been six months since my poetry pamphlet The Misplaced House was published by tall-lighthouse.  Here's what I've learned, so far: Just because a poem is published in a collection doesn't mean it's completely finished, never to be changed again.  I think I agree with whoever it was who said "a poem is never finished."* … Continue reading Six month pamphlet anniversary

On not doing #nanowrimo

All power to your pen if you're taking part in National Novel Writing Month and attempting to write 50,000 words of a novel during November.  I won't be taking part myself although I love the idea of sitting down at my computer and bashing out 50,000 words of prose.  I love the idea of a … Continue reading On not doing #nanowrimo

Writing in between catching up with family.

It's been two weeks since I switched off my work emails and mobile phone and promised myself I'd focus on my forthcoming poetry pamphlet.  I started the holiday in de-cluttering mode, paying particular attention to the oceans of multiple drafts of poems swimming through my house.  I know that some poets never throw any of their … Continue reading Writing in between catching up with family.

Glassy-eyed, on the move, between places

This week's photo challenge, 'On the Move',  has made me think of all the time I've spent (years, probably, if I added it up) staring through the windows of buses and trains.  The photo of my son, taken several years ago while we were on holiday in Devon when he was about eight years old, could … Continue reading Glassy-eyed, on the move, between places

Keeping a reading journal, owning a poem, crocuses

I've got into the habit of keeping a pen and notebook handy when I'm reading a book or magazine.  Sometimes I simply copy lines of poetry I like into my journal, other times I might have a go at trying to put into words what it is about a phrase or word that has hi-jacked … Continue reading Keeping a reading journal, owning a poem, crocuses