I am particularly proud of this for many reasons, but mostly because the poetry really is my own, authentic voice right now. Good and bad, there is no escaping the inevitable.

Let’s see where it takes me.

The End is the Beginning is the End

The smart amongst you will know this was written after the fact, when I was home, because there was simply not the brain space that existed to properly process at the time. If truth be told, there is still not the space to do that. I’m continuing to break it down and manage the changes to my outlook. This has already affected my work, and when I’m finally awake? TRUST ME. I’m gonna be proper deadly.

Sunday was Nafeesa Hamid, a British Pakistani poet based in the Midlands. She’s also uncompromising when it comes to discussion of mental health, and the second poet I know who’s been sectioned. This is the collection I will be buying, and again I wish I’d had the courage to ask for a signed copy… we’ll get there. We’ll UTTERLY get there.

This is the moment where I admit I’d never heard of Carola Luther until I saw her. The work was quiet, thoughtful and reflective, which worked perfectly in opposition to Nafeesa. It was the perfect end to a stupendous weekend. I also have to give massive snacks and props to the Young Poets who supported all these behemoths of the poetry world and did not seem to bat an eyelid when doing so. Oh, to have that level of confidence at any part of my life.

I have a massive debt of thanks to pass to Clare, Kim and Katie who organized all this. My horizons have been broadened and my possibilities scattered. There was so much more to add to this too: conversations with random attendees, the joy of the Open Mic and early morning poetry writing sessions, Kendal in general (which I’d love to have the time to explore further) and the emergent realization that all this can be something I do and experience without fear or doubt.

This has been the best three days away I’ve had for many, MANY years.

In My Head

Real life events have hit me hard this week. There’s been conversations about both ends of Motherhood. My exercise routine has pretty much turned on its head. There’s a new poetry course started too which is already presenting some interesting possibilities to brain and progression. It’s good when you can say you’ve done your best work in a period when everything is both simultaneously brilliant and terrifying.

The next month, yet again, has the potential to alter everything I am.

I am so fucking ready.

Broken Wings

Yeah, I was right. Boxing is a game changer. Talking to different people is a game changer, as is giving yourself to your peers with no desire for reward. Some real truths were vocalized for the first time this morning too, which were previously very much not touched for very good reason. Knowing what you are is all well and good, but actually coping with that is something very different indeed. All of this will now undoubtedly result in a significant mental change in the Bagging Area.

Therefore, going forward, we will ensure that things are done is as much of a timely fashion as is possible. Some days, I will be late, and there will be less apologizing at the time. Sometimes, shit just happens and that’s that. There will however be absolutely no apologies for anyone or anything who thinks it’s okay to either belittle or do harm to the progress I have made. I see you, and it’s not happening. I do not need your support if it is laced with caveats or benefits you before me.

We are either in this equally or you can fuck right off.

Ghost Town

Quite pleased about this, for a lot of reasons, most of which have to do with output and potential future use. It’s been a bit of a stressful day for other reasons, that were resolved in a better way than has previously been the case. So, it all balances out. I’ve also managed to complete a particularly tricky set of poems for submission. There are potentially two places they can go. Still not sure on one, absolutely set on the other, which makes the task considerably easier.

Tomorrow, I can talk about the TV show I’ve been watching too…

Making Plans for Nigel

There is a LOT on at the moment and juggling all that I have to do with the time available in which to do so… the stress is manifesting as it always does non my body. There are boils, and skin rashes, and generally this is pushing out bad energy through my skin. Each time this happens, how to deal with the issue gets forgotten. This is not the case this time: there are plans and organization and, late last night, came a realization.

A new project is, in this case, not new work. It is old work that never got to see the light of day, and therefore requires me to start playing around again with the old and new. As a result, a space is set and some work has begun, again, at getting the party started. Of course, it’s not ‘popular’ until other people play, but in this case there’s little or no fuss over that. I’ve given myself until July to make it work. That’s plenty of time.

There are a lot of people doing the same things out here right now. I do not want to be them. I wish to be me and nobody else. Time to see if that is conducive with the current climate.

Respect

I’m pretty certain a food allergy wiped me out on Thursday night/Friday morning, so took a day off after 12 days of exercise on the trot having come to the conclusion that it’s really not viable to be that person without a notional change in approach. Regardless of this 10km happened yesterday and now there is a need to arrange myself, so that’s a regular, weekend thing, which means far better shoes as a priority.

It appears there’s still a weekend in the Lake District possible in September too, but honestly how well that goes will depend on the building site. Travelling for four hours and sleeping in an unfamiliar bed is great if there’s at least two days to adjust. Really, dunno if that’s a thing that will happen or whether Dad will go on his own because he just manages, and I don’t.

This week is my referral assessment. I need to go take my forms back to the Doctor, and see if my appointment is in person or telephone. As it’s timed, it could go either way.

How Will I Know?

I have worked my arse off this week, but still got rejected yesterday, because I’m not good enough for the people currently being applied to. How do I get better? I have to do more work, and that’s all there is to it. This is not a big deal, except when I’m tired or there’s other real life issues wearing me down. Right now, a lie in tomorrow is the most exciting thing that can possibly happen, followed closely by the takeaway I just ordered.

We’ll get there, just not this week, that’s all.

Play the Game

Some days, you just KNOW something is a good idea. Others take weeks of thought and deliberation, but this was not one of them. Newsletters are a big deal right now, and I need to be making a couple of others on Mailchimp after I’m done here. This one, however, is for the Gamers, of which I remain one and really, truthfully, I should be doing something about. So, people can sub here if they want it. I’m giving it a month, and we’ll see where we are.


Yesterday, I prepped myself for the next Patreon project, which is making use of many, MANY words, currently gathering dust. My epic poem is ready to submit, it just needs a polish plus a few corrections, and after THAT it is just about picking a few poems for one-off prizes and a novel to go to another award. Everything else is exercise and fiction, and I could not be happier.

I’ve wanted to go back to fiction for a while, if truth be told, because the poetry is great and everything, but it is in fiction that my heart resides with most fondness. This is a period of healing and self-care too, and what matters most as a result is allowing myself the opportunity to reflect on what has been learnt. There is a lot of Real Life stuff coming up too, which needs to be provisioned for. This gives me ample opportunity to do everything and keep it all fresh.

More news as we get there.

Face the Music

Not often I make it past 20 likes in the modern world. REALLY pleased with the rebranding image too, and this one will be used on various things going forward. It’s odd, watching things change as they have over the last month. Last January was the first time I’d exercised every day in my life. Now, it’s just normal behaviour.

Stuff is still going well. I’ve submitted a fair deal of writing this month. Rejected pieces are about to go back into the mill. It’s part of the routine. There are ideals to aim for and achievements to be had, the same as was the case before but right now, I am a bit lost, I can’t lie. Even though I hate crowds and don’t enjoy that kind of situation at all… it is missed. Just going out without feeling guilty is a thing, too.

However, when all is said and done, I’m a better writer now than I was last year.