52 to 52 #week2
oops. It seems I didn't post last week. This was because of a few technical difficulties stopping me being able to write a blog, including not getting on a PC at work, and my laptop being as slow as a slow thing on Slow Day in Slow Town.
But here I am. Week 2, even though it's actually week 3 ( I'll do week 3 blog later this week -- you'll hardly notice!)
Firstly, the reading: hmmm, I went back to work last week so I have been planning lessons, meeting new students, fulfilling the frankly pointless pile of paperwork for every class, and travelling back and forth to Leeds. So I haven't done a great deal of reading, but the bit I have done, I have really enjoyed. I am reading a book at the moment by my friend Susan Gee, who I met at Manchester University when we were both on an MA course which she finished and I didn't. ( hmmm, there is a pattern here, involving commitment, I fear) The book is called 'Kiss Her Goodbye' and is a thriller. Here is the link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kiss-Her-Goodbye-addictive-thriller-ebook/dp/B07DWZJ13M
I am really enjoying it so far and when I have finished it, I'll give it a review.
Talking of MAs, it's five years since I started my MA in creative writing at Leeds Trinity, possibly, one of the best things I have ever done. As I mentioned above, I had already, three years previously, begun and dropped out of an MA at Manchester. This was basically because: the timing wasn't right;my daughter was expecting her first baby, Manchester is a long way to go on a Monday, the fees were more than I could manage etc, etc. For the term I was there, I had a brilliant time, got some stuff written that I brought forward and has gone in my pamphlet, and made some friends who will be friends forever and who have become published authors, themselves. I also got to see Seamus Heaney read and I was 'taught' by Martin Amis. I decided, however that it wasn't my time and worked for a few years.
When I did do an MA, at Leeds Trinity, it was very much my time. I was back at a place I was familiar with and it felt very much like home. I did the course over two years, part-time which made the workload doable and meant it lasted longer. It was on this MA that I became much more confident in my writing and less like I was wasting my time. I even began to think of myself as a poet. It also gave me the push I needed out of a series of worthwhile, but ultimately mundane jobs and towards the career in teaching that I had begun pursuing nearly a decade before. Fast forward to 2018 and I am teaching creative writing, writing more than ever and I have one pamphlet published and a collection in the planning stages. Oh, and I live with a writer. I guess you could say my life changed with that MA.
What I am trying to do, I think, is extol the virtues of writing courses. ( yes I know, I would say that) In my experience, they don't tell you HOW to write, rather, they facilitate (I love that word) writing and give people the confidence to push themselves into publication if that's what they want to do. On a smaller scale to MAs, the workshops I run are places where people who like to write can find a push in the right direction. I never tell them how to write, though.
At the moment I am taking part in an online course run by Wendy Pratt and already, I am loving the focus it's giving me to write very day, and I need to write every day.
The theme of my collection is 'home' in all it's many guises. The more I think about it, the more I find that the word has such different connotations to everyone, so there is plenty to write about.
Our home dynamic altered this week when my middle daughter, Sophie moved into her own house. She's only down the road and she is hardly a noisy person, but she's left a space that will take a while to get used to. The thing with children is that you do all you can to make them independent and then hate it when they are independent enough to leave.
I'll miss Sophie's dog, Milo, too who is a brilliant companion on walks, of which I have been on a few. Here's us on a couple of them. See you next week!