My week, as it was (26th June to 2nd July)

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Well the first day was filled with child care duties.  The advantage to my family (not me) is that working from home means I am usually ‘available at short (no) notice’ for such tasks.

My niece was barred from the child minder’s last week – not bad behaviour – she was spotty. Chicken pox!

So Aunty to the rescue… 🙂 and we had a fun-filled day. Playing in the park, despite the very grey skies and rain clouds because (as only a child can rightly say) “it doesn’t matter if we get wet” – true.

It was a long day (for both of us) and not even a line of creative prose popped into my head. There’s a lot of Mindfulness about – I am a fan but you don’t need to “ohmmmm” in a scented candle lit room – you just need a child that wants to be kept busy, there’s no space for worrying about bills, chores or work!

We spent over an hour colouring in. It was great. I did keep in the lines someone didn’t…

The weekend was full of new experiences for me.

And it was all around my first Performance. I went along to an intimate Open Mic event. It was part of Leeds Waterfront Festival (it’s 8th year) and we ARE going next year. It was also the day of my sister & a friend’s birthdays – next year they have no choice in their birthday activities!

My sister came with. I drove. It’s only 15-20 mins away. Easy to find & park. A raucous pub! And a small barge.

Yes, the event was on a narrow boat and we crammed-in jostling for space – some got seats, others stood, crouched, hovered or perched on the steps.

The first act was a three-piece with instruments. Very soothing – think Japanese gardens, bamboo chimes, soft water and a tale of dragons and love. It was lovely. Slightly over-shadowed by the pub’s noisy revellers singing “Let it Go!” and nearby House music providing a back-beat of dub-dub-duh-duh…

It was a struggle to stay in the Peaceful Zone & not spring into giggles…

Then it was open floor time. YIKES! I went second after a lovely reading of teen fiction by Morag.  I did OK, people laughed when they were supposed to. (Only my sister got the “Katie Perry squirty cream” reference but that’s ok).

I met & mingled with all kinds of writers: poets, teen-fiction, story writers, musicians – it was great! And what a friendly group. They tend to cross paths a lot on the Open Mic Poetry scene so I am sure I will meet some of them again and I look forward to it.

They refused to look at the giant pen or each other.

They refused to look at the giant pen or each other.

Oh and I won a pen & T-Shirt as the Speaker of the Night…. 🙂 x lots

I think I stayed so buoyed that I really didn’t want to return to WORK. It’s that essence of holding on to a feeling because once you slip back to your regular routines, that feeling slowly ebbs away. So I have revelled in it as much as I can.

Monday I took stock and returned to that sensible writing world. I began reading a great book (so far) that will feature in THE SLICE (review on 12th July) but it was business & pleasure.

It’s odd as a writer when you read and analyse simultaneously. I am reading YA style books to find the languages and tone for my own YA novel.

And on a separate issue altogether –

as a writer I am sat down most of the time. So I have taken on a 30 day squat challenge. It’s 5 mins a day which sounds so Easy. It’s tough. But it’s now Day 6 today and I’m getting fitter.

Lizzie HW

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My week, as it was / radio again! learning not to rush & listening to language

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Last Thursday was my brother’s birthday. As is family tradition, I wrote silly poems in his birthday card. It is something I have been doing since I was a teenager. Not every card gets a poem but most do. And I don’t keep copies, it is a fleeting bit of poetry and may be enjoyed for but a few moments, then lost/destroyed. Mum keeps the ones I send to her and Dad.

I don’t mind that these snippets are ‘lost’. It gives me a sense of setting things free. We cannot retain every written word. There has been lots of talk about this as a problem with the internet storage/compatability that data will be lost, stranded. [ a theme for a poem, story ? maybe?]

 

Friday was Radio Day! Again I was a participant on the local station’s current affairs programme. I was less nervous and met four new people. They were not ‘new people’ but new to me, of course! It was also the BBC’s Free Music Day and I managed to stand in the blazing sun and watch/listen to a huge chorus of children singing medlies. It included one of my favourite songs: Daydream Believer – happy 🙂 🙂

 

Work took a dramatic turn. I read over my only published novel (the other books are collections of shorts/poems) and was embarrassed at the errors. OH! I call on fellow writers to be so careful before publishing: spell-check, grammar check, proof-read – I told them. Hmm, I did those but obviously not with enough attention.

Many problems were typos and easily corrected: at instead of as, Ashe merged from As she… but there were some other issues. Mixed plot lines or unclear order of words. Ahh!

Well that is Big Lesson! I will always take more care. I rushed, that’s the truth. So keen to get my book ‘out there’. Still we learn from such mistakes. I learned to be patient, to take my time, to read my work over and over but also to allow some distance so I can see these problems. I know the story and plot so, it’s like when your brain can read a word that’s typed icorrtlny (see!) a writer’s mind will fix the issues.

So I am re-working and I know it will just make the novel even better!

 

 

Blue, scary face.

She needed a better skincare routine.

 Apart from the crazy editing – I am awaiting a book cover design for my next collection. Hopefully my husband will be persuaded… he used to study art, many years ago. I think he’s got the bug, he’s already drawn two images – great but not quite right for my book. We’re working on it together. But I won’t rush him 😉

This is one of his drawings from a few years ago. It was inspired by a book cover – can’t recall which – so need him to do something equally strange!

The weekend saw a Poetry event in Bradford hosted by the nearby Ikley as part of their Lit Fest which happens in October. There were plenty of free events as well as paid-for options. I spent a delightful afternoon on Sunday listening to many voices. Some spoke in languages I don’t know. It didn’t matter because the richness and variety of tone was still a joy. It is like music, how a voice is deep and warm; another light and delicate and we were lucky to get translations from one speaker. I chatted to a young man who spoke 5 languages! He had his book and was telling me how he was attempting translations to English. Now consider that task – keeping the flow, some rhymes and the same themes and converting to a language that has a different cadence… not easy!

I also spoke to a Poet who kindly gave me her email, just like that! Lesson alert! Don’t be scared to talk to strangers, some will give advice, others may want to swap details – they are just like you! The lady explained how she was nervous before speaking and when I said I hadn’t done that yet but wanted to; she encouraged me. Equally, she hadn’t published anything, I have. So never presume you know how a fellow writer is working. That’s similar to a lesson from Ms Swift (the singer) who says she never assumes people know her name and always introduces herself. How n

 

making faces

give me an OH!

 

My next task – to attend a local poetry group. I know of one that meets every month, so my diary is marked! {also just came across a regular, monthly event close to me that is open to poets, musicians, dancers – all artists willing to perform! ~ need to practice my projections Ahhh BEEE Ceee!}

 

 

The rest of the week =   editing that pesky novel!

I also took time to watch some of the Women’s World Cup. England played France on Tuesday and  I am not a huge football fan (rugby is my game) but it’s important to support the national team. Like most fans I have a second, it is Canada. Not because they’re hosting but I have visited the country twice and it’s always be a pleasure. I will be going again, don’t know when… / England lost, by the way, 1-0 Boo!  😦

But hey! I won another free chocolate bar at my local shop! I love free stuff 😉

In between all of this, I am reading The Quick a delicious gothic horror (watch for my review on Sunday 14th June in the regular/new post: every 2nd Sunday- The Slice).

Wednesday (yesterday) was an early start 7am! But I planned changes to my blog <this blog> then did a house-clean, laundry & wrote two draft blogs ~ all before lunch!  Amazing what a bit of sunlight can do…

Bye now…

Lizzie HW

My week, as it was (3)

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So it’s already my third journal post! How time slips past so fast when I am looking the other way, it’s so sneaky…

Last Thursday I will begin there because I attended a great FREE event funded by Google. It is a series of UK sessions they are doing to help businesses with social media.

I went along, after booking an hour one to one on-line, at the Leeds digital garage.

I got a host of ideas and tips from a knowledgeable Becky (hi!) and it felt like I had homework to do! I am working through those things but I will be heading back as their funding extends til September 2015. The lesson here is very simple: Grab those opportunities, they are everywhere!

FRIDAY ~ radio again! Ok so this wasn’t self-promo but it was a challenging experience. I went on local radio to discuss the news. It’s a regular spot they run called Round Table. Guests chat about current affairs. Oh it was Friday the 8th May (not only my sister-in-law’s birthday 😉 J) but it happened to be after the UK elections! It was interesting. I was a bit anxious but felt fine once we all got going. So that was me, out of my comfort zone again and tackling those pesky fears (which are really more annoyances).

The Weekend – everyone who works Mon-Friday or even Mon-Saturday loves the weekend. I do but I forget sometimes because I work any and every day. But (with arm slightly twisted) I went out with 2 good friends and we had a fab time 🙂   My current work ethic is: Work! Work! all the time, so it’s great to go out and talk about TV, shoes, politics, food (anything but work).

And the rest?  Well writing of course! I have been battling on with a new eBook and my deadline for the first draft zoomed by on Sunday (oh well) so I am battling on; creating new stories and developing ones I have done. There are always ones you think you’ve done, until you read it again and …. it may split into 2 or morph into something completely different or just turn ‘naff’ and need to get dumped.

I am pleased to have completed 2 performance poems.

I love how they flow and have strong emphasis and ….

~~~  pauses and dramatic Tone Changes!

Once I have a few I will be seeking a suitable platform (dimmed lights, small crowd, easy escape route, bar close by) to perform them.

   If you are writing ~~ remember cats can’t, so you’re better than them, never mind how funny they think they are 🙂

If you are not writing – love the reading and cats doing stupid things

Lizzie HW