Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Happy Holidays from Thistle Wren.

Not much to report as we've been busy with Christmas stuff.

I have two poems appear in Three Drops from a Cauldron's Midwinter Issue. Please check it out. They are a lovely online magazine focusing on pagan and mythical writings. They have a quick response time which is always appreciated as well

I'm also enjoying writing a poem based on this prompt from Trish Hopkinson's guest blogger of looking up words in a dictionary and using the words before and after to make a poem. 

Have a lovely holiday season. 

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Ups and Downs

After feeling so positive and energised at last week's post, my mood and writing have taken a nose-dive this week. I haven't done any new writing or any daily prompts. I know it's a blip and I'll come out the other side, so I'm trying not to beat myself up over it. I've had a very productive year, so I'm not complaining at all. I can't wait to look over the numbers for the year in January. 

On a happier note, I did get an acceptance for 5 poems for an online magazine that I've been trying to get into for a while. I'll post a link when it's up. 

I also think I may have figured out a way to get around my problems with my novel, though I don't have any energy to actually do the rewriting. I've sketched out the idea in one of my notebooks, but I will have to go back to the beginning of the novel to make the changes. Hopefully in the new year I can start that and take the revised chapters to my writing group

The kids are off school at the end of the week, so I'll be taking some down-time anyway. I hope to do a bit of writing, but won't be able to commit much time. But now that they're older and can entertain themselves a bit more, I should be able to carve some writing space out. 

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

A Poem A Day and Blogging

If you had told me six months ago that I could write a decent draft of a poem a day, I would have said maybe as a fluke, but never regularly. I've always written very slowly, shaping and tinkering, but my recent online writing courses have taught me to trust my instinct and to just dive in to my writing.  Keeping writing practice as a daily activity helps to make it possible, like keeping the writing muscles limber. I've turned about 10 out of the 17 non-course prompts I've done into poems, some still pretty rough drafts, but some already submitted to magazines.

I'm finding my prompts from various places: newspaper articles and books I'm reading, places I'm at, websites that have daily prompts. I like to have someone else pick my prompts as otherwise I try to find ones that fit my preconceived ideas about what I should write about. I prefer when surprises appear in my writing

Reoccuring themes have been showing up, often to do with Scotland. I'm debating whether I want to add the poems I've written to my Scottish collection as they are part of the themes there, but while they're still being considered by publishers I'll just leave them. 

The poet Luisa A Igloria has been an inspiration in my daily writing. She has written and posted daily poems for over 8 years. She shares them on the Via Negativa blog which she shares with Dave Bonta who also writes daily. And while I'm sure she finds that not every one is good or worthy of publication, she has managed to produce four full length collection and 3 chapbooks and has won lots of awards in that time so it can be worth-while to write daily. I now have enough for at least one more collection after my Scottish and Finnish ones, but there's no obvious thematic flow so I'm not trying to put anything together right now.

Dave Bonta also does a weekly round-up of the Poet Bloggers Revival which I joined up. I'm not included in his round-up, but it's nice to read briefly what other bloggers are writing about and sometimes follow back to the original blog for more. It's interesting how he can often find themes stretching across the world to various poets. 

I'm quite chuffed that I've managed to keep up my weekly blogging this year. I might have missed one or two when on holiday, but otherwise, even when I was feeling quite low, I managed to write something. It gave me a goal to achieve, something to feel like I was still writing even when I couldn't produce a poem or a line of fiction. 

Less than two weeks before the kids finish for Christmas, so hopefully I can keep things going in that time and then ease down for the break. Take care.

Monday, 3 December 2018

What I'm Reading Now and Ticking Along

I'm still trying to do the daily prompt and one way I'm getting ideas is Karl Ove Knausgård's book Autumn, a collection of vignettes written to his unborn daughter about every day items. He writes about apples or jellyfish, badgers, plastic bags and labia among other things. It's a quiet, meditative book, nothing shocking or earth-shatteringly beautiful but it has a lovely reflective feel to it and sometimes the language is hauntingly beautiful and melancholic. I carry it about and read it in short bursts in waiting rooms. There's three more in the series that I might get, following the names of the seasons, but it really makes me want to read his My Struggle series which is also autobiographical.

Anyway, I'm occasionally taking the subject of one of his sections and using that as a prompt for my own writing. Sometimes I get a poem, other times I just spend the time writing with no final output. I like the fact that I'm keeping up with writing practices, not every day, but often enough that I don't feel like I'm wasting my writing time. The poems are still coming, not daily like with the course, but one or two a week which I'm happy with. 

Otherwise, it's just back to the normal writing, editing, submitting, attending my writing group. I'm only working on poetry though we had a craft week on Friday discussing dialogue. We did a short writing exercise and it reminded me why I'm not working on my novel right now. I just can't get a feel for it at the moment, the characters just feel so tangled up, I can't get a hold on them or their motivations. So I'm happy to continue on with my poetry until I see a way out. It's still percolating in the back of my head, but I'm not really giving it any paper time.  

Enjoy your week.