Mid-September Notes

I'm just back from a few days in Spain with my family.  I felt bad about flying, even though I haven't flown since I went to Portugal in 2015.  I will try not to fly again for at least a year, maybe longer.  I haven't signed up for the #flightfree2020 pledge but I am thinking … Continue reading Mid-September Notes

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

A quick update

I've been quiet on the blogging front recently.  I've done a few readings and events this year, all noted on my Diary/News page.  My review of Filigree: Contemporary Black British Poetry (Peepal Tree Press, 2018) has been published in the current issue of Under the Radar magazine.  I'm currently reading new collections published by Pavilion … Continue reading A quick update

Slow January continues

There's that joke about January lasting hundreds of days and then the rest of the year whizzing by in the blink of an eye.  That's definitely what I've been experiencing.  I was just beginning to recover from my knee operation and then I somehow managed to contract viral pneumonia - so my January has definitely … Continue reading Slow January continues

End of the month blog

Rattling off a post before March ends.  I've worked hard on my poetry manuscript since I last mentioned it on this blog.  Now for the final stages of editing, tweaking, rearranging lines, titles, and order with my editor, Jane Commane at Nine Arches Press.  What have I learned from writing a full collection of poetry?  Mostly, … Continue reading End of the month blog

In which I send off a poem 

This week, I've spent a lot of time working on one poem for a competition.  I sent it off yesterday, Saturday, one day before the deadline. I don't know what's made me enter more competitions this year, it's not something I've ever done excessively, preferring instead to send my poems to magazines.  I suppose I … Continue reading In which I send off a poem 

At the year’s halfway point

My children's exams are over.  For my son, a season of campouts and festivals has already begun. My daughter also has exciting, if slightly less grungy, plans.  Four years worth of scrawled-on paper, deep piles of exercise books, text books, files, revision cards, notebooks, stationery, bottles of Rescue Remedy, school uniforms, pots of lunch money … Continue reading At the year’s halfway point

A quick update

A quick update about what I'm up to.  I'm still waiting to hear about a few submissions and I've sent out several poems to competitions.  In recent years I've been trying to focus on magazines rather than competitions but I decided to ring the changes a bit and see how I get on.  In the next … Continue reading A quick update

A visit to The Poetry Business in Sheffield

...and other thoughts about being away from home. I'm just back from three nights away in Sheffield where I met up with all but one of my Aldeburgh Eight friends.  We've been trying to meet up again for some time and we managed to arrange to converge in Sheffield for one of the famous Writing Days … Continue reading A visit to The Poetry Business in Sheffield

A good January, so far

As Januarys go, this one hasn't been too bad, so far, not taking into consideration world events, of course, although yesterday's amazing marches across the world have filled me with hope.  I've had five - FIVE - rejections in the past six weeks, not all poetry or writing related, but, surprisingly, I'm unbowed.  Could it be … Continue reading A good January, so far