WHAT ANNOYS – DELIGHTS – AND IS OFTEN UNEXPLAINED.
What is ANNOYING me this week?
The judgements of hypocrites (although this is quite a good name for an album or Poetry Collection.)
What is DELIGHTING me this week?
Music for Films – Brian Eno
SOME OF MY DOINGS:
Last Thursday, saw the meeting of four writing groups in Coalville in Leicestershire. Our hosts The Grace Dieu Writers, invited The Charnwood Writers, the Ashby Writers Club and the group I belong too, The Runaway Writers to come together to share our work.
The evening was themed around short stories, with each group bringing three short stories to be read at the evening. This was not a competition, just an evening of exploring the forms of short stories, meeting old friends and making new ones.
The short stories covered a variety of themes, from a haunting in Ashby, to shopping in a disability carriage, to chocolate eating Spider Monkeys then there was murder at a night class for pantomime dames, the over enthusiastic ambitions of a young man in South London, to a dripping hospital visitor, other stories picked up on the themes of a woman making a decision, does she make love to or kill her brother in law, the end of the holidays, homecomings, libraries and my own offering on the theme of drinking absinthe.
All the stories were of very high quality from individual voices, all of the writers clearly understood the short story form, with hooks to draw you in and then keeping the flow that built the story to its often unexpected conclusion. Characters were developed with realism from the brevity of information that is the welcome constraint of the short story.
The short story is a writing form that is under used, like poetry it can be done badly if the writer does not understand the form and devises that make a good short story. There have been limited outlets for the short story, there are magazines and the occasional anthology, but there could be more, such as short story collections by individual authors and spoken word readings.
All the contributing writers are to be congratulated on their skills, it was a really enjoyable evening, a great opportunity to hear other writers read their work and to gain new inspirations from each other.
We all agreed that we should make meetings like this a feature of our writers groups programmes, that writer’s could go along to each others meetings, if not to join the group but to sit in and listen, sharing wider experiences on a more regular basis.
There was also talk of another “combat creative writing” competition that was a success a couple of years ago with the Write Off.
I would encourage all writers groups to find their local fellow writing groups and arrange to get together at least once a year. I would like to thank Tony Gutteridge and the Grace Dieu Writers for their welcome and hospitality and especially to Rebecca Burns for her effort in co-ordinating the event.
My adventures into the world of STEAMPUNK progressed last week, as the team that has gathered around Rach Gee to organise her book launch met to develop the ideas and to put some real plans together to make this a piece of theatre that hopefully will long be remembered.
The event is likely to take place in April or May of next year and we are busily working on a suitable venue to hold it. We have one favourite location in the Midlands which we are actively pursuing. Along side of this we want to put together an evening of dressing up in Victorian costume with an interview with Rach, readings, Question and Answers and book signing to finished off with a couple of Steampunk bands, a musical genre I have quite taken too and is not what I imagined it would be from its title.
We are also making three short films that take different aspects of the book and will be available to view on YouTube early in the New Year. We want to create an anticipation for readers who will hopefully be chomping at the bit to get hold of a copy. I really love the opportunity to mix different mediums in developing literary creativity. The films will see film makers, CGI animators and new music from Hydranoid Musia, in collaboration, bringing their range of skills to create a real legacy for the event.
Several people have signed up to become sponsors, to which we are extremely grateful and we promise to make this a memorable experience.
We are still looking for sponsors who will donate £20 upfront in return for a package that includes an invitation to the launch along with a signed copy of the book, some limited edition promotional materials, copies of the three films and the complete sound track with additional material that will not have been heard before. Plus you will be one of the 100 named individuals who make up the Mars on the Rise 100.
More details will be posted as they are firmed up.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to become one of the sponsors and I will include you on the list.
Congratulations to my good friend Antony Owen, who was one of eleven poets to have a poem selected by the Wilfred Owen Story as part of this year’s Remembrance Day commemorations. Antony travelled up to be part of the events in the Wirral, the once home of his namesake Wilfred.
This is a well deserved honour for Antony as a poet whose collection the Dreaded Boy provides a new voice to that of previous war poet’s, he is the first war poet from Coventry. His poems give a poignant reminder of the horrors of war, the sacrifice and the suffering. Coventry still has its scars from the blitz, along with its twin cities of Stalingrad and Dresden, their shared experience of war brought them together in peace.
Although seventy years have passed since those events, we still need to remember them and we still need voices like Antony’s to keep out attentions focussed on what we really mean by peace.
You can find more information on from the Wilfred Owen Story website at: http://www.wilfredowenstory.com/events.html
Tomorrow I will be attending the new event in Ashby – the Goblin Folk and Poetry Club, where I will offer my poetic contribution, you will be glad to hear that I won’t offer to sing.
I am a person with a wide range of musical tastes and folk and traditional music has always been one of them. The Pitman Poets last month were excellent as were the local voices of the Leicester Folk scene who gave impromptu performances in the bar and joined in with the songs of Tommy Armstrong. There is a real heart to Folk music as it suggests it belongs to the Folk, the people, it maintains it’s purity through its poetry and the custodianship of the Folk clubs. I for one hope it never falls into the clutches of commercialism.
I will return to my LOST POETS next week.
SOME OF MY COMING SOON DOINGS
15th Nov – The Goblin Folk and Poetry Club – Ashby de la Zouch. – NEW EVENT
22nd Nov – Poetry Bites – Birmingham. Guest Joseph Horgan
25th Nov – Spoken Worlds – Burton – Guest Ash Dickinson