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Archive for the ‘inspiration’ Category

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

🙂

 

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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

🙂

 

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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

🙂

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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

🙂

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Let’s start with the slight panic.

The open mic event is coming along fast, the advert is out and the local community aware. Unfortunately, an emergency local meeting has been booked at the same time as our event.

Naturally, this has an impact on who can take part: some of the writing group might miss our own event!

My best plan is to move our event forward by one hour and hope this minimises the issue. However I have gone from frustrated to upset to sanguine and back round a few times over the weekend!

If all else fails I will keep in mind the immortal cover words from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.

Don’t Panic

Beyond that, it’s all progressing pretty nicely.  We’ve got a few performers lined up, the performance poetry is shaping up well and there is a new vigour in Creativity Corner. The writing group has been joined by a painter and we are going to open up Thursday nights for a selection of creative ventures – hopefully a dedicated space with different artistry will bring us all some new inspiration.

In the meantime I am having dragons painted on my shoes, which will keep me happy for months!

There is still no time for reading properly, although I gave myself Saturday night off anything in particular so I could watch Doctor Who. It was raining and miserable outside and I needed some escapism, so I went right back to the start of the reboot.

Sometimes you just need to switch off thinking, stop thinking about rhyme schemes, and watch a wooden box fly through space…

I am back to work now though.  From now until we go away for the family wedding I will be trying to finish my current work in progress; when I get back I have 3 days to choose my pieces.

I am amazingly confident I will have a good selection to share!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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As I said at the weekend, I am not reading as I am focussed on writing, so there’s nothing book- related today.

Instead, I opened a book at a random page, closed my eyes and pointed, and the sentence has to inform my next poem.

I chose Wild Swans by Jung Chang.  The sentence reads:

But all this introspection was really designed to serve no other purpose than to create a people who had no thoughts of their own.

So that’s my next challenge…  A few ideas are swimming in my head; I just need to land one!

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

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There’s no real post today as writing continues, so this is just a quick update.

I have done the first draft of the spooky poem.  It’s about ghostly visitations and I am enjoying writing it.  It has a proper rhyme scheme, which I don’t normally use, but it’s fun to try.

I have started work on a poem about environmental differences which was inspired one lunchtime – I work in an industrial area which is surrounded by countryside so depending which direction I look I can see either fork lift trucks or fields. That got me thinking about the juxtaposition of the two, which led to the original draft of the poem.

I still have one more to write up before Thursday’s writing group but I am happy with progress.

I haven’t been reading but that’s ok for now.  I will pick up on a new book when I feel I can give it a bit of focus.

So that’s where I am now – I keep on keeping on!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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