Hello? Is there anybody home?

Eesh. Look at all the dust in this place! The weeds have grown up through the floor, the air is damp, the pipes are cold. ‘Scuse me while I turn on the heat and light and try to figure out how to bring this poor, neglected blog back to life.

I make it over a month since I’ve put anything out here for you lot to read – I hope some of you have stuck around, despite all the broken promises that litter the previous entry. It’s two months, really, since I’ve felt inclined to post at all. I’ve been out of sorts since the beginning of September. I made it as far as putting the key in the lock of this place a couple of times, and then I wimped out and hared off back to the relative safety of made-up-stuff and not-writing (which extended to failing to post cards and write emails, actually). Time to get back to it.

So, in preparation for slightly more in-depth entries about anything, here’s where things are at the moment:

I still intend to write about Manx Lit Fest and surrounding events. That entry will come. I swear.

I’ve created a new page on this blog, here (and the link’s above) which is a list of my published/accepted writings. It’s a very short list, but there’s little pictures and links where possible, and I’m going to use it as a mood booster on those days when I get three rejections in an hour.

Back off, Carly. I'll revel in my achievements if I want to.

Back off, Carly. I’ll revel in my achievements if I want to.

I’ve signed up for the Olympic distance triathlon in Hyde Park next year, so those folks who originally followed this blog for the training stuff, expect more of that coming up. I feel as though I’m basically starting from scratch so I’m following a 0-10k running programme.

Last month I went to Word Factory (where I caught up with some of my favourite writer folk), and had a short conversation with Adam Marek. He’s one of my favourite writers (check out Instruction Manual for Swallowing)– I’ve seen him read a couple of times and never had the nerve to introduce myself before. This time, though, I did, because I’d recently read at the Bare Fiction launch and one of the ways I prepared for that was by reading and re-reading Marek’s article on getting over stage fright (HERE) – the key thing being that he did it and it got better. So I thanked him for that, and he congratulated me on reading and then offered me advice – don’t leave too much time between readings: keep the momentum going and the fear will fade. Also, hypnotism tapes.

I haven’t tried the tapes, but I decided to get straight on to the first suggestion. So on Tuesday this week I went to the Ambit New Voices evening with Coffee Monster and our friend J and signed up for the open mic. Met some lovely people, that I’m hoping to keep in touch with. In the first half of the evening, Malene Engelund, George Jackson, and Ralf Webb read, and singer-songwriter Lail Arad opened both halves. She is fantastic, by the way – look her up. In the second half – the open mic half – I read a poem that I love and wish I’d rehearsed more. I survived fairly well, though, and as I was told, it was a bit easier, the fear was less. The leg shaking didn’t kick in too badly. I didn’t manage to look up, but I think I might next time. This is the first time I’ve spoken in front of people and I remember having fun, not just feeling relieved to have finished.

The standard of open mic speakers was incredibly high and spanned a lot of different styles, and the atmosphere in the room was really friendly. I’ll definitely be going again if they hold another New Voices in London, and I think I might go to the next Ambit issue launch because why not?

On the printed word front, the proofs have come in (and been sent back) for No Love Lost, Pankhearst Slim Volume which is due out soonish. Additionally, on Wednesday I received a lovely email telling me that I’ve had a story (a story I particularly love) accepted by Synaesthesia Magazine. SM is a digital mag, and beautifully produced, wildly illustrated. I love it and I love the writing in it, so I’m very excited about being in the next issue.

So I’m still working on stories and poems, and I’m pootling around on WattPad as well, which is fun. Sort of writing a story on there. I started NaNoWriMo, but I’d happier jumping from project to project at the moment sot that’s fallen by the wayside.

Hopefully the next post will have more of a central point. Or an opinion. Or something. But there will be a next post. In a week. Promise.

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