Had a stab of guilt about going to London on Lizzie's birthday on Saturday. Listening to Woman’s Hour on the way to work this morning (missing the rush hour!!) and single Mums were talking about negotiating the "special days’ like birthdays and Christmas with their ex- husbands. I realised that I don't see birthdays as such a big thing but that's because I'm the other side of 50. So I have had a good chat with Lizzie about it and she still teases me with her disappointment but also appreciates the significance of what happened for me with the poetry collection. The whole family knew about the work I was doing as it took over for a while as I edited and put together the poems, sorted it in MS Publisher and then found a printer who would do small runs of booklets. I found a lovely printer near Knitsley in County Durham (they have now moved to Westgate in Weardale) and they commented on the booklet when I went to collect it. I had incorporated the lady's artwork into the book and they also loved the little poems. They had also read the introduction and had realised what is was all about.
I don't think I will ever be a mainstream poet writing work that will get national prizes or get recognised by the great and good BUT what I can do is help others discover the value and power of reading and writing poetry.
I am sure I will have lots to reflect on when I get back from London but in the mean time I have that essay to put off!!
Also started the Decorated Sketchbook class with Mandy Pattullo last night – a bit intimidating as there are lots of “proper” artists on the course and I wasn’t sure why I was there to start off with and became quite uncharacteristically quiet – even got a bit defensive when I was introduced by someone as a writer – hit a nerve – imposter phenomenon me thinks!! Anyway I got absorbed in what we were doing – transfer monotype drawing and really enjoyed it – and came out with some satisfactory images. I am trying to capture images of Weardale as I really want to write more poems about the area but have failed to get anything satisfactory – wrote 2 on the MA that were OK but have got a bit stuck so I thought that the visual imagery might help focus the words.
Hope to share some of the work once I have explored it all a bit more.
The poem below is the first one in the collection and I will be sharing it with the participants at the Symposium on Saturday – I just hope I can do it without crying!!
Also below is one of the pieces of artwork included in the collection
Not too long.
Only a few lines.
Involved, interested, important.
Wanted, engaged, a purpose.
Find myself in the words