Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Creative spell

I'm in the middle of a good spell, and slightly worried it will dry up! I'm working on a poem at the moment that's about getting my Mslexia magazine, and reading it in the garden, using notes from one of the two warm days we had last year. I've written several short stories, including one for an assignment. I also wrote a poem from a tutorial that came up with some good ideas.

Four hundred children were sacrificed in the mountains of the Andes

Ghosts visit
tap tap the silence
each breath crushing
her chest, utter dark
sounds trailing
and fading, ears
following every heartbeat.

No-one comes.

Dawn greys the condors,
crows breath mists
child remains, licking off the tears.

This isn't the way I normally write so I was surprised to find a poem emerging. It has encouraged me to use language more freely.

The short stories are evolving too, I've found I can stretch words into different shapes but, bloody hell, how many drafts does it take? Poems take more time than short stories with thirty times as many words.

Today, I felt I couldn't concentrate on any one thing so I spent a day focusing on starting points, just being creative and putting a few plots/poem ideas down on paper. I feel like I've got a few good ideas to develop for competitions.

I entered the debut dagger competition with the novel I've been working on. It's quite expensive, but I felt I could do with another go round even if I'm just recycling material that needs a new angle. So, I started the story in a better place and revamped the material. Giving the synopsis a new ending has really helped. I've now put a long list of comps on the whiteboard and am trying a few. I'm aiming for one a week. I've already written a ghost story for writing magazine for March and I'm working on a 200 word poem for Ambit (how do you write a 200 word poem!).

Long may this productive streak continue!


  1. Hi Rebecca
    I wish you well with A215 - sounds like hard work. If you'd like to receive mails from a sort of news service about poetry in and around Devon do please let me know. I run this for a poetry group called Company of Poets - it's a private Google group so needs an 'invitation' - I'm gradually expanding the readership from the people who know each other and meet every month or so to 'Friends' (members of neighbouring poetry groups - like Fire River, based in Taunton, to which I also belong) and to 'Friends' those simply active and interested.
    May I send you an 'invite' and details to you by e-mail? (PS Have past links with OU - very mention of it makes me sentimental!) - Tony

  2. That would be lovely, thank you! The OU course is excellent, making me revisit my fiction writing again as well as making me dust off my poetry 'skills'.

  3. That Devon poets group I mentioned: the web address is http://groups.google.com/group/company-of-poets

    My personal e-mail address is: knapp.tony (and that's) @btinternet.com

    My name is Tony French - (knapp is taken from the name of our cottage).

    Our Groups offline membership - the people who actually meet each other - stretches from the coast south of Kingsbridge to me north of Honiton and into Somerset (Taunton). The extra online 'Friends' we have so far are mainly Taunton - as I explained - I'm looking to expand the online community.

    This being a private group I do have to put an email address for you in the management details (either to send you an invite or simply to add you)- so you do need to provide that... hopefully I have given you enough personal contact info for you to identify & trust me! (If you look at Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_University the main entry about the OU - scroll down and you'll see my wife's sketch of Walton Hall - from my photo... that's us too... or my photos from across the water north of Ilfracombe on the Dylan Thomas page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dylan_Thomas
    ... cheers - look forward to hearing from you...Tony (French) in Devon