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 ThenAttention 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 beUnruly 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.