Next time, Gadget

The problem with failing to write anything for a while is that occasionally I do actually have things to write about. And I really, really do – a load of things including the Bare Fiction launch, Manx Lit Fest and the incredible talks and performances I saw, and the Furies launch.

But I’ve just tried writing that post and I’m too tired and distracted to do any of it justice. Also, putting it all in one post is like trying to pack too many marshmallows into a mouth – uncomfortable amounts of goodness exploding all over the place and not actually being much fun – so please bear with and I think I’ll have to try and get each section up in parts.

I mean, I have pictures and everything, but the unfortunate side effect of having loads to write about is that it means I’ve been really busy overall (and work has been a corker this week as well), so I’m just about hauling myself back onto my feet this weekend. Can’t even bear to sort out the photos. I’m still, frankly, very peopled out and what I’d like is a little hermit hut to hide out in for a while, with optional forest noises. Fun fact: I’m a classic introvert. Shyness has eff-all to do with it – at this point I can, mostly, hold my own in social situations. What I can’t do is endlessly mix with people without recharging on some alone time, and from last Thursday until yesterday, I didn’t really get to do that, and it’s not a good feeling to know that you’re reaching breaking point but don’t have anywhere to slink away to to hide out. Thank god for the weekend and my sofa and squillions of blankets and my cuddly dog who just likes to lean on me (sat next to me right now in fact, leaning on me and fast asleep). That’s where I spent my Saturday – on the sofa, under blankets, not thinking, just watching crap on telly. CM jokes that one day he is going to lose me under an enormous pile of blankets.

Could you just pile some more on, please? Thanks.

Could you just pile some more on, please? Thanks.

The fortunate side effect of the week is that it’s given me a massive kick up the bum to get back on with writing. Partly because that’s something I can do alone. But also, I can admit, now, that for a month I’ve been word-dry. Couldn’t happily read or write – instead I did endless online jigsaw puzzles and mooched around and came up with other things to urgently do, like cutting back rose bushes.

But all the lit stuff has given me a boost – in particular, Samantha Shannon was an inspiration (more on that in the Lit Fest post) – so I’m back to making things up, which is nice. This evening, fortified by strawberry cider and mint dark chocolate, I’ve mapped out the rough skeleton of the longer thing I’m working on. It’s been floating around in my head in bits and pieces for a while, and obviously my whole ‘yeah, first draft by end of September’ plan has fallen through. I’m hoping having it down on paper (ahem, on screen) will make it more tangible to work on.

Yesterday I got a higher-tier rejection for a story (oh what, yes, of course that’s a victory of sorts!) and following a challenge from my 2x Poetry Slam Champion sister, I submitted to Visual Verse again this month – a univocalism (I chose ‘a’). Because of Visual Verse’s rules (write it in under an hour) my stuff on there always feels rough, but I do like hammering my brain into action for that deadline.

Also, I’m wondering whether it’s at all worth putting up a page of ‘stuff I have had published’ on this blog, or if the tiny amount of success I have had is barely worthwhile noting down. Thoughts, anyone?

By the way, I’ll mention this again, but just wanted to say a quick thanks to those of you that have bought copies of Furies so far – over 100 copies sold in pre-order alone. That’s a very decent amount for a book of poetry and a confirmed £500+ for Rape Crisis so far. Those of you still interested, it’s still available so go for it!

I have just run out of chocolate. Time to sign off.

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