52 to 52 week 4 - Catching Up
Ah, you see? Just 6 weeks in and I'm already 2 weeks behind. Oh well. I'll just have to add two weeks on the end of the year, or carry on through my fifties and stop counting completely until someone says 'enough!'.
I have been a bit busy, though. As well as my day job, which is lovely and I am very lucky to finally earn a living at something I like doing, it does take a lot of planning. One of the classes I teach is English Language GCSE and it is As.Dry.As.A.Bone. There is a creative part to the exam, but even that seems to me to be prescriptive and any real creativity is masked by students being told which language devices to use. The same language devices they are told to find in the writing of others.
I have also been taking part in an online poetry course run by Wendy Pratt. This involves getting a daily prompt and to date, apart from one day, I have written a poem every day this month. This is in addition to the two, maybe three poems I wrote on Saturday at the Prolewrites day in Manchester ...
This was a day of workshops last Saturday in Manchester at The Lloyd's in Chorlton. The day began with a chat with Brett and Phil, the editors of Prole. The session was based on editors suggesting changes to work before publishing. One of my poems was published in Prole, after I had made a suggested change and I was happy to do so but I think when I don't like suggestions is when an editor isn't going to publish. In that case,(in case there are any editors reading) it's best just to tell me you don't want my poem and leave it there.
After our chat with the Prole chaps, we began the workshops. The morning workshop was a brilliant one run by Mark Connors who asked us to write based on 'the voice'. I seem to be channeling Anne Boleyn at the moment so I went with her in mind. I came away with two poems started that I have had to do very little to. The second exercise, where we were asked to reveal something, was especially fruitful. I surprised myself a bit.
In the afternoon we had Susan Castillo to guide us through her workshop and though she was a 'workshop leader virgin' , her session was seamless and again, very fruitful. I have a poem from it that I will definitely be doing something with.
At the end of the day, there was an open mic with some of the poets who had been there all day plus some who joined us for the evening. The day was divided by a wonderful lunch which was included in the very reasonable fee.
As a workshop facilitator, I don't often get chance to take part in writing workshops, so it made a lovely change and I got a great deal from the day. The standard of writing by everyone was amazing, too.
As well as catching up with this blog, I need to tick a few more things off my 'do to' list. I have been promising myself that I would apply for funding for a few ideas I have. Having never done this and having seen and heard the #$%^^&& which other funding applications from friends have brought about, I realise I will have to gird myself, as it were. But, in for a penny, as they say round these parts, in for considerably more. I need to catch up with some reading too, I have more poetry to read as well as a few novels. I also want to submit some of the poems I have written over the last month and begin to formulate my collection into some semblance of order.
It seems, as well as chores and to-dos, the year is catching up with me, too. Next week will be half-term and then begins the inevitable wind-up towards Christmas. I love Christmas, just not the time before it which begins earlier every year. The autumn is in full swing, though and there is nowt we can do to stop it, only enjoy what it has to offer, if we can. Here is a photo I took last week on a walk on the hills near my home. See you next week. Honest!