Just popping in for a sec

“I might get more blog-happy this week, because I have time and head- space and a game plan. This is the springboard for the summer – I’m a leaf on the wind etc etc.”

Ooof. What idiot signs off a blog post with that sort of optimism? Didn’t happen, obviously. Life keeps running away with me at the moment. Or I run away with it – to Amsterdam, a couple of weeks ago; to a writing conference the following weekend.

So it’s taken me two weeks to put up some of the very few pictures I took of our time in Amsterdam on social media (during which I wrote Not A Word). It’s taken me a week to type up the notes from just one of the (helpful/inspiring) talks at New Writing North’s Do It Yourself Writing Conference. I had a brief respite from freelance work before a touch more landed in my inbox. I’ve been struggling to write a story for a project that I am helping to organise. So, as usual the ‘I should write about this’ notes have built up to the point that there’s just too much and I tell myself I’ll probably split them up and write separate entries at a time far in the future when none of it is relevant anymore – knowing full well that I probably never will. So here are the cliff notes:

  • Amsterdam was exhausting and fun, and involved rain and sunshine and museums and queuing. We walked, we cycled, we steered a pedalo badly round the canals, visited a brown bar, quick-marched through the redlight district, walked along the richer canal streets; ate space muffins, cheese, pancakes, apple pie; drank coffee, mint tea, more coffee, cherry beer. We chilled out and watched movies and caught up with old friends. We came home on a hours-delayed flight, hit the ground running into the real world again, but felt a lot better about it.
Muffins made from the recipe in this book. OBVIOUSLY. What did you think I meant?

Muffins made from the recipe in this book. OBVIOUSLY. What did you think I meant?

  • The writing conference was exhausting and fun. I learned a lot and was entertained. I took 14 A4 pages of scrawled, speedy notes and because I was so busy taking notes I failed to tweet almost anything. I met lovely people, a couple of whom I hope to meet for coffee soon, a couple of whom offered great advice on future endeavours and I hope to run into again at future events. I came away inspired to get going on my writing. I now understand how a pitch is put together and how working on that can help you write. I have a list of books to buy that is as long as my forearm. It was brilliant and worthwhile and I’ll be going again next year.

This week:

I’m reading all things short story, I’m writing stories and poems and taking part in a tag thing on facebook that involves linking to or posting poetry I’ve written so that people can read it. It’s a bit of an odd exercise for me to do in an areas of social media where I’m ‘friends’ with only a couple of poets and everyone else is family and old friends, none of whom probably care to read that stuff. So it feels even more than usual like I’m flinging words out into the ether. There’s been a lot of that this week, though. I sent some more poems out to new magazines. Checked out the waiting times on some old submissions, some of which I’ll be chasing up soon.

What I am finding odd is the realisation that more often than not by the time I get something published my style has moved on so much or I have read the published item so much that I’m sick of it. It starts to leave me a bit numb – which makes sharing links to poems on facebook all the weirder (if you look me up on there, by the way, the links are public and some of them are pics of poems that in books only, not online)

This is short and sweet – just checking in, really. Writing in a bit of a headachey cold-y daze, just to keep one toe in the door of this slightly floundering word-space.

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