Monday, 24 December 2012

A Very Merry Christmas to all my Readers

'The sparkle will soon return to the air, the breath of mortals will soon be visible to all and winter will hold us all in her awe, too beautiful to describe.'

Hello and a very Merry Christmas to one and all! Just one more sleep and we can all open those beautifully wrapped presents, that have been tempting us for days :) We have a silver and red theme this year so all our presents are in red wrapping paper and look very festive.

I hope you like the quote above. It is from some recent automatic writing and I hope you all like the photo of Fluff our cat. This is from last Christmas, she is being very patient as I put decorations around her to get a good photo. Please excuse her dirty nose! lol She is a pig and goes head first into her food.

However you celebrate I hope you all have a happy, joyous, festive day tomorrow :)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Poetry News and Angela Carter

'Midnight, and the clock strikes. It is Christmas Day, the werewolves' birthday, the door of the solstice still wide enough open to let them all slink through.'
                                                                                                                                               By Angela Carter from 'The Company of Wolves'

Well it's nearly here! A week today is Christmas Day! If I was 20 years younger I would be beside myself with ecstatic joy! (I was probably a right pain at Christmas when I was a kid lol) I still have that belief that it's a magical time of year but getting older calms it all down,  at least I haven't lost my love of Christmas just yet.

I couldn't resist this quote. It's Christmasy, macabre and fairytale-like all rolled into one, love it :)

To be honest there isn't that much in the way of news to report. I am still getting compliments and chatting with the other writers about Scratch @ Fruit. I am still smiling about my review and generally winding down, looking forward to Christmas with my family and hopefully a great 2013. I wanted to share some links though, to things I have been reading recently. The first thing I wanted to share was this insightful blog post by Judi Sutherland asking What's Wrong with Poetry? - some great views into what people really think about poetry and poets.

Also a really shocking article in The Guardian as to how women are viewed in Theatre: Women in Theatre; why do so few make it to the top?

Just to remind you all that the 'December Giveaway' is still on going, please if you have any poetry, maybe hidden away gathering dust - send it in! Give it an airing! It could be featured on here and you get a free PDF of 'Silver Threads' for the New Year :) 

The next post will be on Christmas Eve to wish you all Festive Blessings. Have a fantastic week :)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Review of 'Silver Threads' on Little Library Muse

Another great review of 'Silver Threads' by Latoya Hudson of Little Library Muse.

This one came out of the blue! I emailed her way back in September and asked if she would be interested in reviewing 'Silver Threads' for her blog. How it usually works is if they reply saying 'Yes' I send a free PDF copy. Latoya must have bought 'Silver Threads', because I didn't know anything until a few days ago when she emailed me and said the review would be live today. So thank you so much Latoya for the lovely review and for buying :)

'I think the author did a wonderful job expressing different moments and emotions in these poems. She has a way of making the words visually transpose into these little "threads" of inner thought.'

You can see the whole review on Little Library Muse, with the poem 'Expectations' - which I think must have been one of her favourites from 'Silver Threads'

What a great way to end the week. Have a great weekend everyone :)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

The Morning After Scratch @ Fruit

Photograph by Jerome Whittingham

Last night was amazing. I really can't describe how fantastic it was! I was surrounded by such supportive, lovely, creative people. It was one of those 'So this is where I belong!' moments.

The photo on the right is from my excerpt of 'Dragonflies in Amber' performed by the fantastic Erica Barker and Louise Brown - actresses really are worth their weight in gold! It is such a heart-warming thing to hear your words lifted off the page and performed perfectly. I think Erica and Louise have great acting careers in their futures. Both of them were in quite a few other plays last night and never faltered once! :)

The beautiful photo was taken by the very talented Jerome Whittingham, who took photos of all the performances and is a Facebook friend of both me and my Mum. He came along with lots of support and his very professional looking camera. You can see the rest of his photos of the night on Photo Moments

Even though my heart was beating like crazy when I and my play was introduced, the organiser Dave Windass said that 'Dragonflies in Amber' was 'a cracking piece of writing' I think my glow might have been visible at that moment! There were 11 play excerpts altogether from some great writers, including myself, my Mum and our fellow female writing group classmate Louise Beech who's excerpt 'A Christmas Casserole' was fantastic - I must admit I clapped the loudest when all ours came on! lol Well who wouldn't!?

Thank you Louise for this photo

From left to right; Me, Erica Barker, Julie Kennedy (my Mum) & Louise Beech

It truly was a wonderful night and I hope it is the start of something good. Thank you everyone who came to watch and give their support and encouragement. :)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

December Giveaway - Gransel & Hetel by Stephanie Fletcher

Gransel and Hetel ran into the wood,
playing among the evergreen trees, 
to celebrate freedom newly hard won 
after killing dear mother with ease.

Having grown tired of relentless nagging, 
constantly tasked with tedious chores, 
they lopped off her head and flung it aside 
as her body sank down to the floor.

They beamed oh so brightly swelling with pride 
as they went skipping along their way; 
venturing further into the dark wood 
than they’d ever been before that day.

As the path narrowed they rounded a bend 
to step into a delicious sight. 
They had grown weary, with stomachs growling, 
the house looked like a tasty delight.

This young duo stood frozen in wonder 
gazing upon a gingerbread house. 
Hetel quipped a nibble could do no harm, 
tried to sneak up, but stepped on a mouse.

He let out a squeak, the mouse, not Hetel, 
as his eyes burst out from their sockets. 
Gransel stooped down to pick each one up and 
deftly stuffed them into her pockets.

The dark chocolate door slowly slid open 
after all of that ruckus they made. 
A gray head of mussed hair slowly poked out 
as an old raspy voice gently bade,

“Come in dear children. Come in have some treats. 
For, what lies within here you’ll love to eat. 
I’ll plump you up with, er, fill your tummies 
with cookies, gumdrops and tasty gummies. 

You’re weary and weak and surely must rest. 
Come now my sweet ones I’ll treat you the best.”

Scooped right up without a chance to deny 
they were soon seated at her table. 

Oddly, their chairs looked like large roasting pans, 
and the two were tied down with cable.

She quickly began to stuff their faces; 
fattening them up to her liking. 

For days this went on with her not knowing 
the ideas they were contriving.

Holding dried bones for the old bat to feel 
they managed to deceive her dim eyes. 

Without feeling plumping Gransel feared, soon, 
the insane kook would have to realize.

“Oh dear old woman who feeds us so well, 
you cannot see and your house, how it smells. 

I tell you, you need someone who can clean 
to tidy this place and make it all gleam. 
I’m sure you don’t want to eat in a mess 
I am a keen maid. To this I profess.”

The witch considered how helpful this was, 
then at last released the small liar; 
ordering her to wash table and floors, 
but to first stoke the fast dying fire.

Approaching the hearth Gransel eyed the logs 
spelling out “pluck me” in vibrant red. 
So, she picked up a charred end in her hand 
laying it upside their captor's head.

She released her brother who eyed the corpse 
proclaiming it should not go to waste. 
For, there was one thing in this wretched house 
that the two of them had yet to taste.

“A shame to leave what is already dead 
when we truly have not been very well fed. 
There’s a reason, to this house, we were led. 
Reckon brains go good with gingerbread?”

I know it is a very long poem but it's so worth it! This is a brilliant dark, twisted fairytale that could have only ever come from the mind of Stephanie Fletcher! Ok, let me explain - Steph is a good friend of mine that I met on Allpoetry years ago. She is a huge dark poetry fan and encouraged me to embrace the dark side (pun intended! lol) 

She saw on Facebook that I was hosting the 'December Giveaway of Silver Threads' and even though she already has 'Silver Threads' she asked if she could still submit some poetry and of course I couldn't pass up this great twisted tale. It has 'Chrsitmassy' elements too, dark elements but they are still there lol

So here is (I hope) the first of many poems featured on the 'December Giveaway' - I hope you enjoy it. 

Stephanie Fletcher is a very gifted poet and still writes on, you can read her poetry under her username of Concrete Angel 

Happy Thursday :)

Sunday, 2 December 2012

'Silver Threads' December Giveaway

Hello again! I know I only just posted yesterday but I finally gave in to this idea last night of having a giveaway of 'Silver Threads' - I have been thinking of this for a while and decided Christmas would be a great time to give it a go.

I have created a new button up at the top with all the details you need to know but the gist is - you send me one of your best poems and if I like it you get it featured on here and a free PDF of 'Silver Threads' - Sound good??

I can't wait to read what you send me!

Good luck x

Saturday, 1 December 2012

New Poem of the Month for December - Thief

A buckle
where her mouth should be.
Clasped shut
sanded to a copper finish.

She was silenced from birth,
born with a stainless steel spine
and the thoughts
of an enlightened thief.

This is another one of my 'Steampunk Poetry' experiments and it didn't even have a title until I started writing this post! lol I thought it was a nice short one to share with you all and I particularly like the ending. I have noticed that I mostly write about women - their emotions, feelings, how they grow and learn. My play 'Dragonflies in Amber' is about two women. One is the Dreamer and the other, the Narrator is her 'other side' i.e - subconscious, imaginary friend etc. - it is about dreams and finding out who she is and why she acts the way she does. The dreams delve into every part of her (childhood, relationships, friendships) 

Things here are getting quite frantic and busy, which is great! I have found one actress to play one of the female characters on the 11th at Scratch @ Fruit - wow, it's just dawned on me that that is just 10 days away now! (panic). I was quite flippantly saying 'it's not till next month' until today, I had better get a move on! There are sadly no more of my female writers group classes until the New Year, but there is the huge brightness that is Christmas - I love Christmas, it is my favourite time of the year. Carl has always said that I made him more excited about Christmas by just being with me. And of course, this is my first Christmas as a married lady! but then the whole first year is a year of 'firsts' isn't it?

Hope you all have a great weekend :)