Sunday, 10 May 2015

Another Update

Sorry for this being another update-y post, but I feel the need to take stock of things at the mo. There's been a fair lot going on, and some nice things to look forward to. Work is going fine, despite tiredness and having to work through a random headache I developed earlier in the week. One of the most lovely things that has happened recently is reading out at Peter Barlow's Cigarette in Manchester. I don't know if I'll write a post dedicated to it [I suspect not, since I was actually part of it], but suffice it to say there were a great many brilliant, witty and challenging poets and a generous response to my own work.

In other poetry news, Robert Sheppard's CW25 has purred to a halt, with a delightful couple of extras. Of course I've enjoyed the series, not just the overall diversity and inspiring nature of the endeavour, but also some of the singular poets have really shone above and beyond the general high standard. Check it out if you haven't already [or even if want to revisit!]. I was planning on writing a separate post about my involvement with it. Don't know if that'll happen or not [as time goes on, it's only going to seem less and less relevant to explain], but it's been a great pleasure to be part of it, both as a poet and as a reader [well, a poet is a reader more often than not, but you get what I mean...] - many thanks to Robert for doing it, giving us the opportunity and, on a more solipsistic note, mentioning me here [there'll be a strange mirrored mirror effect if we keep linking to each other in this way...]. It's going to be a bit strange now without it. I've been looking forward to each post for a long time, plus I've been re-blogging them, so my post rate has been higher because of it, but now that's finished. It's not been without problems; there have been times where I've given a CW25 post precedence over something of my own that I wanted to put up. But then that's just the next challenge - to get back to regular, 'original' posts, like I know I should be doing anyway.

On a related note, I've been thinking about setting up a Facebook page [and maybe something Twittery too] for this blog, just to play the social media game a bit better. As I understand it, it means that I won't need to 'manually' paste my links to my friends, and it gives them a better option to opt out of updates but, more importantly, will hopefully allow more people to find the blog and get involved. I'm in the process of setting up another site, too, one advertising myself, as it were. Primarily this is for career, although there's the same 'helping people to find my writing' element of it too [and if you're thinking that's the same as career, that's fine, but I make a distinction between my career and my art. At least for now...]. I'm doing this on the advice of a friend, whose website you can check out here, and, yeah, I'm sort of enjoying it as a bit of a mini-project, but will hopefully enjoy the results in the future [i.e. finding my dream job that starts just as my current contract runs out. Is that too much to hope for? Course not... Especially with our new arts-friendly government].

Speaking of jobby things, I'm having a CV overhaul of sorts. Apologies if this is the least interesting tripe you've ever read, but hey, it's an update [or could/should that be downdate?]. Perhaps because I've been feeling better [with respect to head health] most of the time lately, I've had a bit of an epiphany: I'm not that bad. I have done some interesting things, I do have skills and actually my CV could be pretty impressive. At the minute, it's very much a bullet pointy, angular, sharp-edges and straight lines thing. Very grey. I want to give it a personality, hopefully one that reflects mine and will convince people that I got stuff going for me. Anyway, even I can't say much more about this without falling asleep. I'll just finish by saying that, for some reason, I've been focused in this area of careery jobbiness lately, y'know, it feels like something's clicked and, who knows, maybe there's a future. On the point of interesting things, I've just started a new, free online course about Propaganda and Ideology what me aunt, writer of the wonderful Travelling Frogs, shared with me.

On a general note, I'm feeling more productive of late. Bit more blogging, bit more writing, submitted to IdeasTap's final brief, have started the aforementioned online course, have been looking at the BBC's artist in residence doofer [which I'd like to get, but the rules stipulate that one must be a "professional", and in my case there may need to be some semantic haggling there...], have been helping my folks more [cooking and gardening - Andrew Oldham would be proud!], been reading quite a bit [lots of online poetry etc]... Y'know, it's been reasonably groovy. There's a wee downside in that my level of blogging over at All Hail the Ale has ground to a stop, but I'm gearing up to put another review there soon. Watch that space! And this one, too. Please.

Also I'm really excited about some new purchases. I've been doing quite well at saving the cash lately, but yesterday I went book mad. I wasn't drunk at the time [that was the night before. A lovely night in Morecambe, not hindered in the slightest by rainy skies or election result], but I just felt this need to finally get some books I've been looking at for a long time. For example, from KFS, Joanne Ashcroft's From Parts Becoming Whole has been on my wish list for yonks - well soon I'll have it in my hands. I also got some stuff from Steph Pike, Richard Barrett, Robert Sheppard, Patricia Farrell, Calum Kerr blah blah blah... there's plenty. Troubles Swapped for Something Fresh is exciting. It promises to be an explosive collection of poem and prose-poem manifestoes and un-manifestoes - what the doctor always orders/ in regular doses/ for the artist! I'm not sure what I'm hoping for from it - I guess just a new perspective or two, a light in the dark, a suggestion of a new direction for me that'll see me write something I wouldn't have before. Speaking of great poetics, check out Steven's. I read some other good stuff recently, can't remember where though [I'm sure you're thanking me for that particularly useful statement].

Erm, I think that's it... Well, I think I've forgotten some of what I wanted to say, but that's about it anyways. Thanks for everything.

Peace, love and light.

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