Friday, 23 December 2011

A few weeks ago I lit this candle

which I had been 'saving' for some yet to happen purpose, like winning a writing prize or finishing some big piece of work. I hadn't won anything, or finished anything, but decided to light the candle to celebrate what can be done.

I haven't written much these past few weeks. As much as I escape into writing I also need a calm headspace to operate in, and Christmas brings about turbulence and demands like no other time of year because, as some of you will know, it also marks the time I lost my Mum, 2 years ago.

I had a sense that I wanted to make something in some way so I set about making christmas cards, mostly for the people I really appreciate knowing but don't see very much. It took me a week, and a fair amount of sequins and gold pens and glitter paint. Sometimes I sat with a big pair of headphones on and sang out loud as I stuck stars onto glittery skies. It felt good.

Now, 2 days after Mum's anniversary, I suddenly feel calm again. It's like getting over another hurdle. For the first time in a while I feel optimistic, and rested, and loved, and ready to face Christmas. And beyond that, the New Year, and all that can be done.

Whatever this time of year means to you, I hope you can find the calm in it all.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

India's Book: call for submissions

Do you know India Emmott?

She's about 25, has lived in London all her life, plays clarinet. Ringing a bell?

Go here for more info, see if it's the girl you're thinking of, and if it is, write about her, or your time with her, and send it to Matt Shoard (editor of Fleeting Magazine) who's putting together a biography about her. Do this by Dec 31st and it may be included in the book, The Life Of India Emmott.

The book is represented by lit agent David Miller at RCW. And I'm gonna be in it, cos I knew India once.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Leibster Award

Thank you to the poet Myfanwy Fox who gave me a 'Liebster Award' last week and said some pretty lovely things about me on her blog. (As well as broadcasting the fact that we've slept together.)

Thank you, Myfanwy - whose poetry is just beautiful, more so if you have the privilege of hearing her read it aloud in a quiet kitchen in a corner of the Yorkshire Dales - pins could have dropped with some volume.

As is the nature of the bloggy award I have a task or two to do. Here's the info on this particular one, which is different to a few of the others I've had before - dammit - you don't get to read 7 new things about me - shame.

Leibster is a German word meaning dearest, and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.

If you receive the award, you should:

1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.

2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.

3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.

4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favourite bloggers and keep it going!’

The 5 blogs I'd like to suggest to you are:

Other Words by Karen Jones: for her brilliant 12-part 'Cruise Diary'. Karen's Mum has been trying to get her to go on a cruise with her for ages - Karen yielded this year - and entertained hugely with her daily observations.

Escape Behaviours by Rachel Fenton: a fascinating epic graphic poem by poet and artist (and more things besides) Rachel Fenton. In her own words:
"More of an oddity than an Odyssey, Escape Behaviours is based on the real life experience of me and my partner migrating to New Zealand from the North of England, getting broke, getting married, and almost getting immediately divorced, but mostly it's a tongue in cheek exploration of stuttering. I gave my husband speech bubbles so you can understand him and love him too."

Anna Cathenka by ... Anna Cathenka: she's a feisty feminist and she's not afraid to construct an intelligent and thought-provoking post. Oftentimes inspired by David Mitchell for she loves him.

Ava and the Snowman by Kendal Chalk: for lovely photography of a new and adventurous family.

And this one is a kind-of cheat because it's not a blog, but a website, that most of you have probably heard of - so totally out of the spirit of this award which is meant for blogs with less than 200 followers... but etsy is a great website to find and buy unique and interesting gifts from independent sellers and artists... and in that way it's quite 'small', and so it is perhaps appropriate.