Navigate / search

Poetry and Mince Pies

I am buzzing from having been among such talented and varied voices for the evening and don’t think that I’ll be able to sleep for quite some time to come. Maybe I should seize the moment, pour myself a glass of amaretto and put pen to paper?

To launch the Women’s edition of Roundyhouse poetry magazine, there was an evening of poetry and mince pies at the Oriel Canfas Gallery in Cardiff. I met some people I knew and hadn’t seen for a long time, like Phil Carradice and his wife, Trudy, and Emily Hinshelwood, but also met some new faces, which is always fun. I particularly enjoyed poems by Alexandra Trowbridge-Matthews, Ivy Alvarez, Nick Fisk and Simone Mansell Broome.

A Novel in a Month?

I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m sorry, NaNoWhat? Oh, that. Curses, you remember. Yes,okay, confession time. I did mention that I was considering signing up for NaNoWriMo – that stands for saying goodbye to your life for a month in order to write a novel, or, at least, 50,000 words of one. When I said that I was thinking about it, we were still on the 4th or 5th of November, so not too much of the month had passed and I felt that it was do-able. You’ll be pleased to know that I successfully managed to procrastinate well into the next week and, by that time, it no longer resembled an achievable goal.

Would I like to achieve 50,000 words in a month? Yes, which writer wouldn’t? But I would need to have mapped out enough of the story and characters in order to make that feasible. You might work differently but I need time to mull and ponder before committing anything to the computer or notepad. It’s important for me to have that space and let things ferment. I run ideas around and herd up the possibles before heading for the pen. It’s just how I work. When I started writing classes in 2003, it was something that drove my other half mad. Each week I would have “homework” for class and, each week without fail, I would be up into the small hours of Friday morning (the day of the class) writing whatever it was, be it short story, poem, article or report. I tried to get it done earlier so that I wouldn’t have to go to class the following day on minimal sleep but it rarely worked, or I seldom wrote anything that I was happy with. If my ‘thinking time’ was curtailed in any way, my writing was the poorer for it. I believe that’s still the case and make sure that I make full use of whatever time I have in order to get a piece of writing done. Writing against the clock, down to the wire, whatever you want to call it, works for me.

NaNoWriMo sounds like it should be tailor-made for someone like me. Maybe it is, but I’m not so convinced. I have a picture of a month of fairly intense and constant writing. Where, then, is the thinking time and how the heck would I manage without it?

%d bloggers like this: