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Posts Tagged ‘projects’

I made it, and just in time for a non-review…!

I gave up on the book Special Topics in Calamity Physics.  I knew when I read that first segment it was a risky one, but I was sold on the title.  I have said before we should trust our reading instincts and I didn’t.

As I can’t really review it I will just say that the style was not to my taste.  I do, however, feel that it’s more suited to a teenage audience than adults.  The constant parenthetical reference to books the narrator had read, used as a descriptive tool, got very intrusive for me.  I put it down and in nearly 2 weeks haven’t bothered to pick it up again!

However, life is a little bit complicated at the moment and I don’t really feel like writing so no doubt I will dig another book out soon…

Happy reading,

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.  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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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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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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I finally finished my book! which was Bodily Harm, by Margaret Atwood.

I am not sure how to discuss this one. It’s taken longer than expected to read, and the tone changed dramatically in the last 35 pages which took it into an entirely different direction to the one I had expected.

The majority of the story is about Rennie, a journalist whose life has been fundamentally changed by breast cancer.  Trying to escape from her post-surgery life, she seeks an assignment far away from the complications of her newly aware existence.  She leaves behind her old partner, an affair with her oncologist, and an invisible but frightening voyeur/predator/house-breaker who left a rope on her bed after breaking into her flat.

She arrives on the island of St Antoine ready to write a travel piece but before long she is unwittingly and unwillingly caught up in the politics of the island and its neighbour Ste Agathe.

This book is partially a reverie on body confidence and the sense of loving and trusting our bodies, even when faced with challenges.  As Rennie becomes more involved with the mysterious American Paul, she begins to accept her newly scarred body.

However, it is also a tale of corruption, violence and danger, and although there is an underlying menace throughout, this really takes hold of Rennie’s story in the last 50 or so pages, with the outcome being the main focus of the last 35.

I really enjoy ‘human condition’ stories, where the plot is about a character facing a difficulty.  Therefore all these sections worked for me.

However, the other side of the story wasn’t really to my taste. The sense of foreboding was ok but the extremity of the outcome and the last 35 pages was much less enjoyable – although oddly, much quicker to read!

I think in part my reaction to it is about style. Atwood writes in a way that perfectly suits personal reflection. She has a knack for revealing how an individual views their world and how they respond to stimuli. When that gives way to looking at what is happening to a character (rather than how the character is perceiving a situation) it is less powerful.

Add to that the fact that the end feels very rushed in comparison with the rest of the story, and I think these explain why this book is not my favourite Atwood.

I read this for fun but it has made me reflect on a writing truth: as writers, we need to know what type of storytelling works best with our voice. You can stray from the path, of course, but you need to know your way back.

Playing to our strengths is the best way to get our writing noticed.

Happy reading,

EJ

🙂

 

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There’s not a lot more to say since Thursday’s post, really.  The advert for the open mic night (I have gone for the more common spelling now!) has been submitted to the venue and the local newsletter. I will be posting it on facebook and locally in the village too but probably a little closer to the time so people don’t forget about it!  Writing is as it was, with a side order of dark nights and horse races to add to the poetic pot.

I am still not reading enough, and have to focus on that tomorrow evening if I am going to give you the promised post on Tuesday.

There’s not always a lot to say during the writing process but maybe next time I can give you a rundown of the poems I intend to share on the evening.  I will almost certainly share my village walking one, as people will recognise the scene, but beyond that I really am open to persuasion on anything.

Between now and then I have a family wedding so I am sure I will get a few upbeat ideas there too.  If I can get a mix of nature, political, fun, supernatural and – possibly – funny, I’ll have covered all my current interests and all poetic bases.

That’s the plan, for now.  Let’s see where the month takes me!

Happy writing,

EJ

🙂

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