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It’s a family wedding this weekend and I have just finished packing all my bits and bobs.

Being me, I was all sorted, had my outfit ready and knew exactly what I needed until a few days ago when I decided not to wear the planned outfit because it wasn’t flattering…

In my defence a. It’s a wedding so the photos will be seen. A lot and b. Both outfits will be worn multiple times, so neither is going to waste.

It’s nearing three years since my own wedding, so I can imagine how the bride is feeling now.

I mostly remember that calm feeling of the day though, when people expected me to be stressed.

I wasn’t.

Alll that passed and I was just happy.  I hope they both get that feeling; it was perfect.

Because of the associated family gatherings I might not write a post on Sunday – time will be pretty limited and I want to get the most from seeing people we don’t always see!

So for today I will just say see you soon

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

Challenge Tuesday – Taster

As I still haven’t got a book on the go, I decided to pick one from my ‘to read’ pile, open it at random, and share a quote.  If it makes me want to read, it’s all for the good, and if not, it’ll save me some time.

I chose Special Topics in Calamity Physics, by Marisha Pessl. Not sure if I started this once before but I definitely haven’t finished it.

So here goes:

Hannah was wearing a housedress the color of sandpaper, crudely scissored off at the hem so tiny threads hula-danced around her shins when she opened the door.  Her face was as bare as an unpainted wall, but it was obvious she hadn’t been sleeping.

There’s a lot of description and I cut off before the metaphors got too jumbled – I don’t generally appreciate work that is tightly packed with this kind of description.

However, I love, love, love the name of this book, and the synopsis blurb sounds interesting.  So I think I will give it a go.

I should be reading comedies, but for my long weekend this might be a good choice – it’ll keep me occupied anyway.

I will not be working on poetry per se during the break, although if something comes to mind obviously I will note it down – but there will be no pressure to work, only relax and have fun.

500 pages of a possibly YA novel is a start!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

A Little Bit of Convincing

I apologise for the lack of a Thursday post – I was unwell and forgot to do a deferral!

This week I have been trying to drum up interest in the open mic.

There is more still to do: it takes a number of forms – communication with the writing group, a request for a reminder to all the people going to the emergency event scheduled at the same time (we have moved our start time to avoid overlap!), a message out to friends and family on facebook, posters at strategic points…

But possibly the most fun was a discussion with some waverers at the local pub, where we made a deal: if I would sing on the karaoke that night, they would read something at the open mic.

So I sang, and now I have two more performers on my schedule!

Other than that, it hasn’t been a great week for writing.  We are busy preparing for the family wedding, there have been medical appointments, late nights at work, the return to table tennis, which we’ve missed for a long time; basically, there’s been too much to fit in so writing got sidelined a little.

Still, I might not need so many pieces to read now I have my extra performers!

I am working on the basis of each performance being between 2-4 minutes long, and we have around an hour to an hour and a half for the set as a whole.  So with a couple of songs, a few musical interludes, and about 10 poems (read slowly) we’ll be ok!

The most important thing is not to worry, but to enjoy: we’re there to have an entertaining evening and hopefully encourage a few extra people to have a go at writing.

Failing that, I guess we bring out the karaoke again!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

 

I warned you there was no book this week, but I still wanted to write something for you, and came up with the idea of sharing quotes from books I have read. The purpose is to give an insight into the writing style of the book and perhaps encourage people to read books they’ve never tried.

I wanted to start with a particular favourite but I couldn’t find it (the horror!) so went for a Man Booker prize winner that I read a few years ago and ought to revisit – The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai.

I opened it up at random a few times to see what floated my thought boat and I found this:

Then there was the cat, Mustafa, a sooty hirsute fellow demonstrating a perfection of containment no amount of love or science could penetrate.  He was, at this moment, starting up like a lorry on Sai’s lap, but his eyes looked blankly right into hers, warning her against mistaking this for intimacy.

I was pleased to have found this section, having been told it is International Cat Day today – sometimes the fates align for most peculiar things!

I don’t remember if I enjoyed the book or not, but I feel like I ought to give it a second chance to have a positive impact on me, so onto the list it goes!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

 

Wham Bam, Thank You Spam!

I am sure I am not alone in getting all sorts of strange comments sent to me at the blog.

Recently there has been a decided change because they are nearly all in Spanish.

Normally I just check and trash but having them come through in a different language is quite educational. I try to read them, at least basically, to learn a little.

I am sure you have seen the ones in English that look like random words have been picked from a dictionary; the Spanish ones may well be the same, but at least a word or two are sticking in my brain!

Long term readers may remember that I was trying to use words from other languages or with different roots to English for a mini poetry project. Sadly, after a few efforts it felt a bit forced, and it didn’t last as a concept.

In reading the Spanish spam, I remember that languages have different sound and feel different when you form them in your mouth – that perhaps linguistic choices have to be made differently for a performance piece.

So, once our slightly shortened open mic is done I can think about something new, something with a Spanish feel, for the next time.

And I am already working on the next time.

So when you next clear out your spam, have a quick look at what’s appeared: who knows if it might actually be worth reading!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

I don’t write comedy. I might have amusing scenes, or light-hearted poetry, but I am not someone who is skilled at the laugh out loud moments.  I’m thinking about this, because this week I went to see the funniest play I can remember, The Play That Goes Wrong

Comedy is most definitely an art.  Depending on the nature – physical, reflective, political – completely different skill sets are needed.  For writing, it’s also about picking the perfect words.

I don’t think I have ever really appreciated the art involved in creating a funny, engaging, novel. Most of the comedic poetry I have discovered is quite light, nothing to get you thinking too deeply, but that isn’t the same with a book.

For novels, there’s got to be engagement and sustained levels of comedy over 70,000 or more words.  It sounds impossible!

I am trying to think of a few that are genuinely comedies (rather than simply witty or light-hearted) and am going to have to review a few.  I would really like to understand how it can be done!

I am never likely to write a truly comedy novel, but I might see how to tie in a few more smiles for readers.

Plus, what a great project to see me through the autumn: books to make me laugh!

If you have any suggestions, please let me know in the comments…

Happy laughing!

EJ

🙂

As I said on Sunday I haven’t read anything this week.

It’s been quite nice actually: the only words I have been reviewing are my own.

There are pros and cons to reading when you are writing, but for now there are too many cons. Mainly, I don’t want to lose the voice I have developed for each piece.

I probably won’t start a new book before I go off to the family wedding in a couple of weeks, because that’s when I expect to stop working on the new poems.

But, as always, I reserve the right to charge my mind.  After all, I might see a funky cover, and you know I’m a sucker for one of those…!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂
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