NaNoWriMo-the preparation begins

It has been months since I have written anything, my most recent being a poem about the men who were involved in the D-Day landings. So when an email from the lovely people from (inter) National Novel Writing Month skipped its way into my inbox this week, encouraging past nano-ers to prepare for another year’s madness- I mean month of glorious writing greatness!- that I thought, why not? I did it a couple of years ago, and loved every second of it.
I wasn’t able to do it last year due to holidaying and bridesmaiding in Australia with my best friends (one of whom emigrated there three years ago).
Through twitter and facebook, I was kept up to date with the latest from the write-ins, online word sprints and other nano-2013-related shenanigans, and I was disappointed that I didn’t have the time to do it all!
So this year, I have cleared my diary, made sure that I do not have any special birthdays/anniversaries/chores to be available for throughout November, and made a conscious decision to go whole-heartedly into 30 full days of WRITING!!!!

Frida Kahlo & The Survivors of Symphysiotomy

Symphy- whatnow? I hear you say!

Some of you may have not heard of Frida Kahlow.

All of you will wonder why I’m putting the two together.

The following link will explain the latter – Beware some graphic descriptions http://uk.news.yahoo.com/just-27-butchered-symphysiotomy-survivors-own-words-175701507.html#TTnHMvm

This link will explain Frida Kahlow a little better http://www.fridakahlo.com/

What you may not know is that one of the handrails on the trolley-bus Frida was riding when the crash happened, ended up exiting her groin.

In 2010-2011, Pascale Petit (http://www.pascalepetit.co.uk) published her fifth collection “What the Water Gave Me – poems after Frida Kahlow,” Poems inspired by Kahlow’s paintings (Petit is a visual artist by background), and often written in Kahlow’s voice – or something similar.

I saw Petit at the Cheltenham Literature Festival 2012, reading from the collection, and explaining some of Kahlow’s background. (It is also the first time I have ever been star-struck. A geeky way I know, but I stood there, having my copy signed and grinning like a loon! That is another story though)

In the collection is a poem called “Remembrance of an Open Wound,” the full poem can and should be read in “What the Water Gave Me” which also gives context, but this poem immediately came to mind when I read about the Symphysiotomy Survivors. Here is a small excerpt:

Neither of us knows
when the petrol tank will explode.
You say I’ve decorated my house
to recreate the accident –
my skeleton wired with fireworks,
my menagerie flinging air about.
…It’s time to pull the handrail out.
I didn’t expect love to feel like this –
you holding me down with your knee,
wrenching the steel rod from my charred body
quickly, kindly, setting me free.
(Pascale Petit, 2010)

 

Hopefully, out of all this will come good, and changes will happen to women’s health across the world.

 

 

Not quite MIA

Hi all,

I thought I’d stop by to ensure you don’t think I’ve gone Missing In Action!

The start of 2014 has just not started out as writing-friendly as I’d hoped. This is mainly down to tiredness and jewellery making. As in, I get home from work, make some jewellery and therefore, I’m too tired to even think about writing.

I realised that, actually, this may be a good thing at the moment.

I was becoming more stressed about NOT writing, it was causing me to not-write even more. So I stopped stressing, and stopped writing for a bit.

I’ve put pen to paper once or twice, nothing full or exactly polished, but it’s words and a semblance of poetry.

Maybe a little later in the year…

Watch this space!

 

Picture it & write – the long stretch

Here’s a late entry to last week’s picture it and write over on Ermilia http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/

And Here is the picture prompt

creative-writing-exercise

For more information about this picture and the week’s prompt, pop over to http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2013/08/25/picture-it-write-15/

 

The Long Stretch

As soon as my leg had healed after the accident, my friends and family told me to “get back on the bike” or I “never would again and regret it.” Nothing I’d not told myself, like. I knew that never going my usual route to work again (I like the scenic route) would cause all sorts of regrets.

So I got back on my new bike (the old one had an imprint of my leg in the back wheel) and took a leisurely ride down the ever familiar road. That’s when it happened.

My panic attack. The world began to spin. My heart raced and I thought I would hyperventilate. I knew I was veering all over the road – just like the car that hit me, despite me riding off the road to get out of its way – I quickly got off the bike and began walking slowly towards the area I was knocked over. The attack didn’t ease much – the road simply warped and stretched forever in front of me.

Picture it and write – memory

A Couple of weeks ago, Ermilia put this picture up for Picture it and Write

by DiggieVitt on Flickr

For more information on this picture and the prompt, please see  http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2013/08/11/__picture-it-write-62/

and here is my contribution for this

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Memory

He kept running.

 Somehow he had to get the crows away from his sister. The crows had stolen his memories – and most of hers. But there were two memories she kept deep within her.

 He had to make sure they were kept safe.

 One was of their mother; who she was, where she was.

 The other was of his wife and child.

 

Picture it and write – Shipwrecked

Here is this weeks prompt for the regular Picture it and write over on Ermilia

tumblr_mrleeqyeU41qzwhyzo1_500

For more information on this image and prompt, see http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2013/08/18/__picture-it-write-63/

And here is my contribution:

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Cerri had been swimming for hours – or was it days – since the shipwreck. A few hours ago she had managed – somehow – to wrap herself in a rope that was attached to a floating piece of old fishing boat that she had come across.

 

After swimming for a few hours she pulled herself onto that bit of boat to rest.

 

She had fallen asleep.

 

Waking, she found herself on dry land. She was face down on a beach. But how? The boat fragment had now disappeared. She didn’t care how. The rope remained around her wrists and arms. She wasn’t going anywhere. She was safe. She could rest again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture it and write – Masqueless

With a great thanks to http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com for another wonderful suggested picture for this week’s picture it and write.

ladywhite

Click here http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/__picture-it-write-61/  for the link to this week’s picture it and write and to read more about this picture

Masqueless

I slipped my shell; bone hard

Impenetrable

Exposed my real self; fragile

Vulnerable in this thick dark water

The only light from my alabaster

Heart hammering signals in Morse-code

SONAR warning of enemy shipwrecks

With faces like my old self

This blackness doesn’t frighten me

My past is easily left there

The future is somewhere ahead

me, a blog and a big black dog

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If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been the last few weeks/months, I can assure you I haven’t disappeared off the face of the planet; however, I have been hiding in a cave from a big black dog.

In March this year, I was diagnosed with stress-related depression. At that moment, six months of brain-fog, loss of concentration and reading ability, drop in motivation and chaotic prioritisation all made sense.

I had not seen that train coming, and it floored me.

 

Oddly, there seems to be a relationship between writers and depression. I am not saying all writers have depression, or that they should, but that there are a lot of writers who are followed by that black dog. Just looking at Amazon.co.uk brought up a ton of books about writers, depression, and – most famously – Winston Churchill, who has been quoted to say that he was followed by a black dog. That’s right folks, Sir Winston Churchill,  the stalwart leader of Britain during and following WWII, who agreed to some harebrained ideas which helped change the course of history, and helped to save our little island from attack.

Maybe the depression helped…

 

For many years, the word depression was NEVER spoken. It conjures up images of straight-jackets, institutions and archaic treatments.

It is still a word that, when spoken, causes most non-sufferers to look at you wide-eyed and become tongue tied. No one seems to know what to say or do.

And guess what – I’m a Christian too!

Churches all over the country, if not the world still cannot consider depression. It is a stigma which can release comments or thoughts such as, “you’re not trusting God enough,” “you’re not a true Christian,” and anything else that you can think of. I can tell you this. It is not true. God is with me through this foggy woodland I find my self in. He has hold of my hand, and has a rifle to keep away that wild black dog. The bible speaks umpteen truths to me, and its longest prayer (Psalm 119), is about depression. I can’t read my bible regularly, simply because I do not have the concentration, but I read what I can, in short bursts, and let God do the rest.

My depression takes all sorts of forms, these are a few of them:

Usually happy to be with a large group of people, more than eight people in one place causes an odd anxiety which makes me want to escape. I feel claustrophobic.

My bubbliness is infrequently apparent, and I have appeared to have lost my ability to calmly cope with rude people. I have to walk away from them; otherwise I will start an argument. Or slap them, whichever would come first.

Logical thought is virtually none existent, so I apologise if this post is all over the place as I struggle to lay out writing logically.

Most annoyingly – and importantly – I have been unable to read anything, nor have I been able to write a single thing.

I haven’t even been able to look at my own blog for ages. Twitter? Forget it! Facebook has forgotten me.

So what have I been doing whilst in the cave?

I have begun making jewellery, and letting out a creative side that I boxed away sometime between 1998-2005. I have met some great people as a result, some of whom have similar experiences to myself, and all who have turned to jewellery making for a release (and some me-time therapy).

I was encouraged to start a creative blog which is here: http://beadsbymel.blogspot.com

In terms of my poetry, I attended my very first open mic night at Gladstones Café & bookshop here in Liverpool, on 8th June. I loved it, and even met a great poet called Mike Richardson whose website is www.poetscode.co.uk (currently under construction). My poems went down well, and hopefully, I will be invited back sometime after the summer.

Oof, so that’s an awful lot to take in. This has taken me the best part of an hour to write, but, at least I have written it!

At some point soon, I will put on one or two newer poems on the sight, but for now, I’ll see you soon!

 

Picture it & write – Online presence

Before you read this, you Must See this week’s picture it & write over on http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2013/03/03/picture-it-and-write-special/  if you don’t read it, nothing that follows will make much sense! Hope you enjoy!

Hope this finds you well                                                       You are? Oh,

Facebook recommends                                                       friend of a friend

On top five                                                                            mutual acquaintance-

List of interesting                                                                  strangers, stalking

Profiles and facts                                                                  ex-lovers, gossip

About you, your life                                                                public, unsecure

On-line                                                                                   breached

 

I was once a friend                                                                 Sometime ago

Of your brother                                                                       Frankie dated her

He doesn’t seem to be                                                           daily stalked him

On Facebook                                                                          after they broke up

 

Is he okay?                                                                              Disappeared off-line

I haven’t seen him around                                                       Moved county

Tell him I said hi                                                                     Not a word

And that me and you are now friends                                   She’s mad

I.M. you later!                                                                         Block – right now

Goodbye!                                                                               Goodbye!

Picture It & Write – TARDIS strikes again

I left a poem by the kettle. Had to go back to the TARDIS to retrieve it.

This one is in response to: 10th June 2012; http://ermiliablog.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/__picture-it-write-31/

 

Wet pages

 

Words run from the page

Like red dye from a sock

 

Separated from sentence and structure

Evade recapture

 

Reform to drift on tides

Of time and metre

 

Metaphors slip through fingers

Land with splashes of delight

That ripples like a tidal wave in Lilliput

 

If I were a poet

I would immerse myself in such things

 

Court charming nouns

Make art from recycled water drops