In between the lines

This past wee whiley has been eventful. All my uni work was handed in, on time and without the blind panic of last semester.  I felt good about my work and not a snifter of what my brother has dubbed ‘swot paranoia’ crept in. I even took a whole day off work afterwards to recharge.  Check me oot, min!

I miss my uni classes.  I know, it is very sad, but I do. Now, I feel like I am stuck in between the lines, cursed, in writing limbo. We haven’t had our results from our previous work yet, or any information about our dissertation.  I am obsessively checking evision and blackboard every day for information.  I am beginning to get itchy feet. Yes already. 

Sitting still is not in my nature.  I made a list of magazines and journals that I’d like to send work to, and signed up to attend a couple of local open mic nights.

I submitted a poem to New Boots and Pantisocracies, thinking I’d never actually get published.  I mean, these are REAL poets, who know things about poetry and writing.  I sent it off and concentrated on growing my thick skin for the raft of rejections I had been expecting.  I received an email back.  I held my breath when I saw it come in.  They wanted to publish my poem! Could they omit one word? Aye!

I was so excited I could puke. I couldn’t wait to tell people. Going a bit mental on social media, I shared the living crap out of every post and tweet. I told anyone that would listen. I nae doubt came across as a total gype, but I’m sure that’s allowed for every writer’s first publication. The ability to act normally just leaves you. Then again, I’m not really sure I ever had it.


I also submitted a few poems to Gutter Magazine, but I won’t know the results of that until September.  Next up is a poetry reading at Books and Beans where I plan to read something from ‘Hings beginnin wi P‘ at their open mic bit.

After that, it’s rehearsals for our class LiveWire event at the PG Humanities conference. The theme is Deja Vu.  I’m writing a new piece for that, based on the morning pages I wrote this very day.  For those not in the know, morning pages are a suggestion in the fabulous book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Write three pages of longhand every morning. Most of the time, it is just a way of getting the crap out of my head. Some mornings, the crap in my head is really good and leads to a piece of work.

I’m trying not to think about the LiveWire thing too much, or get all twisted about how many people are going to be there. I’m taking my classmates opinions about my reading (nice things and not lies) and binning mines (sweaty, illiterate, Rowntrees jelly). If I want to be a writer, I will just have to get used to reading in public. The more I do it, the easier it will become…I hope.

I’m working on pieces for a few more magazine submissions and competitions. I’m also writing a collection of short stories for The Boy (my nephew). Once I have my work back and marked, I’m going to send my poetry collection off to publishers. *holds breath and chews nails off*

How fortunate am I to be doing all this new and wonderful stuff at my ripe age, reading, listening to and watching so many fantastic poets. If I believe the feedback I have been getting so far, there will be more to follow. I’ll leave you with this beauty, the gorgeous ‘OCD‘ from Neil Hilborn. This is the one that inspired me to write poetry for performance, albeit in Doric so far. I remember hearing it for the first time and feeling like I’d been hit right in the gut and thinking ‘I want to be able to do that to people’.







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