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Archive for the ‘Open Mic’ Category

Firstly, this is where my mind went after I typed this week’s post title:

This song brings such a strong emotional response to me, that it’s actually a really good representation of my task for the next few weeks.

I am now in preparation for not one but two open mic nights. ย I decided not to focus on new work for the next one, but to get some neglected work up to the necessary quality.

It’s all about getting the mood and the language in harmony, really – finding the right word at the right time in the poem.

I’ll give you an example I am trying to fix: I wrote a poem about walking in the countryside; it’s a painting-inspired and natural poem in which I used the word crepuscular. Not a good choice: too technical, a little unwieldy and unattractive, and put in to shorten a line rather than because it’s the right word.

In a long poem a single word might not stand out, but this one is so wrong it needs a precision removal and an artistic, fluid word to go in its place. Not sure what but I have a few weeks to find something!

Editing is the hardest part of writing but when I do find the right word it is immeasurably satisfying!

So here’s to being inspired by Tracy Chapman and to making my poems as good as they can be.

Happy writing, and listening!

EJ

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As you may remember, I cajoled a couple of people into performing at the open mic event last month because I was worried about the turnout.

I actually didn’t need them to perform, numbers-wise, but I am glad they did because one of them has developed an interest in poetry as a result.

Not only have they started writing a piece of their own but they have also borrowed a second book of poetry to read through.

Such is the magic of words!

I have also been spending a little time this month explaining why we’re not having an event in September – it’s great that people enjoyed it but from our point of view we need time to work on new poems and performances.

However, the advert is now out for October, the night has been double checked for emergency meetings! and we are building up some more support for the writing group.

Roll on next time – and here’s hoping another person gets struck by the wordy bug!

Happy writing,

EJ

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I didn’t write on Sunday because I forgot it was Sunday – bank holiday weekends always confuse me! Suffice it to say I was still on a high from Thursday and spent some time chatting about the open mic.

I am also going to report a book reading break: I have been reading as I said I would, but the book is languishing on the side awaiting some interest. ย I find it a bit too verbose and not particularly entertaining so will decide this week whether to read on, or reject.

I am especially tempted to reject when I think how much writing time I could gain back!

I will decide by the weekend but for now the focus is on reviewing and refining work to share!

Happy reading and happy writing!

EJ

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I didn’t post yesterday as I was too busy resting on my laurels, as they say!

Thursday’s open mic night went brilliantly, far better than I anticipated: we had about 10 performers (most got up more than once), ran for an hour and a half, the venue was full and at the end a number of people asked when I was arranging the next one. And when I said November, they wanted one sooner!!

It was a huge relief, and a real buzz.

We had mostly poetry, a mix of self-penned originals and recitation of published works, but also some singing and storytelling. ย For a small community, we have a lot of talent!

I can’t say how happy I am that our event was so well received; I only expected about 5 people to turn up (3 of them my family!) so to have a full house was way beyond my imagination!

Now I have to start thinking about next time!

Happy writing,

EJ

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Well, after a lovely long weekend celebrating a family wedding, I am back to the grind with the preparation for tomorrow’s open mic night. ย I have a pile of poems ready to go, and a group of people now putting their hands up to say they’ll take part – or, at least, turn up with a possibility of taking part!

I decided not to spend too long editing the work – partly because there’s less time than I realised! But also because I will use the event to review them, so I can make adjustments as a result of what I hear.

As it’ll be a late night tomorrow I probably won’t tell you how it goes until Friday – in the meantime, wish me luck!

Happy writing,

EJ

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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. ย 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. ย 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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