Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What's out there

Have had a busy time and low on energy but I came across this and wanted to share

Thought I would share this, too

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Mobile phones and driving

When I meet people and tell them about my blog and twitter name they go " oh surely you are not grumpy" - but I am so grumpy sometimes it bothers me. This morning sat at traffic lights I looked to my right to see the car driver texting away on her mobile phone. Well I always hate this - I try not to react and tell people off BUT I have a short fuse and often don't stop myself saying something. Well this morning was no exception and I took a quick photo of the offender which upset her greatly. I also embarrassed my daughter so in the spirit of reflexivity and self-awareness I am writing about it so I can stop over reacting and, more importantly, upsetting my daughter.

I react this way because testing whilst driving (even at traffic lights) means you are not paying attention to driving - I think that’s why it is a driving offence. It also makes me wonder what is so urgent that it needs texting now and how we now communicate with each other as a matter of urgency instead of communicating in a reflective and thoughtful style.

I have a low tolerance of what are seen as “mild offences” – like this one and parking on double yellow lines – some people don’t see what the fuss is about but I see it as a basic lack of consideration of ways of behaving to maintain “the order of things” in society.


Writing is a good way of moving on from rumination so that is why I have written his – the blog helps me write rather than thinking about writing!!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I have been involved in two sessions this week discussing how we can involve service users in the preparation and on-going development of health & social care practitioners.

In the discussion care and compassion have been raised a number of times and I have taken every opportunity I can to promote the work of Hearts in Healthcare and have had Robin’s book on prominent display!!

Writing Workshops

Here is a link to some information about a series of writing workshops for those interested in the therapeutic benefit of creative writing, facilitated by Kate Evans

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Getting out and about

After last weekend's inspiring experience in York I have realised I need to pay more attention to my writing self. So....

I have been out to an evening with Mari Hannah  at Whickham Library. If you like crime writing then you will love Mari's work - she is a lovely woman and a fabulous writer. Lots of evidence of attentive editing and rigorous re-writes. Makes for a pacy and engaging read, it's great to have a local writer to recommend.

ALSO went along to a workshop with the wonderful Sheree Mack, writer-in-residence at the equally wonderful  Lit and Phil in Newcastle. A great place with a wonderful atmosphere. I have a special place in my heart for both as it is thanks to Sheree that I "went public" with my poetry when I read at the Lit and Phil on National Poetry Day in 2006. Below is the poem I read out 3 days after my Mum died. Poetry will always play a very special in my life because of that time and the connections with poetry with my Mum before she died and with my Dad since.

Now and Then
Attention to detail has never been my strong point.
Baking cakes a nightmare
as I miss stages in the process.
Dealing with the minutiae
of life, boring and tedious.

Explaining procedures,
filling in forms
send me into a decline.
Grasp at the whole –
I ignore the fine grain.
Often find a justification for
not knowing everything I should.

Losing things in a mess of papers.
Restrained and submissive I used to be.
Tense and frustrated
I’d find my mind closed.

Now I am going to be
Unruly and spirited
I want to cultivate
wonder and excitement.

Zigzag along the paths –
no more straight lines for me.

This poem has been around along time. It started life in a workshop with Julia Darling, early 2005 - using the alphabet as an initial structure - each line starting with a word beginning with a,b,c, d etc. It then got worked on when I was on the MA. Not sure it resembles its starting point but that's the value of workshopping - you don't have a blank page.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekend Away

I have been at the NAWE Conference in York this weekend meeting a host of wonderful people. I was there to give a presentation on how I believe creative/expressive writing has a vital role in supporting and developing professionals in health and social care.
The best part of the weekend was meeting fellow travellers on this road of discovery and the discussion around the need to network and collaborate. Writers working in health can see a real need to support staff as well as patients and carers. They are wondering why the professions and their mangers are not seeing how vulnerable their staff are becoming to stress. The question was not why do we need writing workshops for health care professionals BUT why are they not available and how do we get that message across to senior people and decision makers.
Only 2 people turned up for my presentation so it was more a joyful conversation than an academic polemic BUT that was great. I am beginning to think I may have more in common with writers willing to work in health than I have with my nursing colleagues.
I read somewhere recently that if you have noticed that there is a book you really want to read on a topic and it isn't already written maybe it is the book you should write. Meeting folk this weekend suggests to me that there is a real interest in supporting staff in health care with creative writing - it is time we gave it a wider audience and see how it can contribute to proper supervision in practice and professional and practice development - ultimately leading to a better experience for both sides in health care delivery.
It wasn't!!!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Playing around

Helping Lizzie with her Art homework I was inspired to try out some mark making on some previous work. Also bought new printer/scanner that allows me to put type onto scans - marvellous!!
This has given me ideas...

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Mindful writing day Small Stone

Group Poetry

Each one of us takes
a moment to choose,

a moment to choose
the words we rearrange

we rearrange to find meaning
find meaning in others' words