Hitting the ground running

As usual I start with an apology. It’s been well over a year since I last blogged. I did tell you that I am pretty rubbish at this, but still, it’s no real excuse. There’s a bit to catch up on, so I’ll try and keep it brief. I promise to try and blog a bit more often.

 

Someone recently asked me how I fit it all in. I said I probably don’t. I work a 40 hour week at the day job before I even sit down to think about editing for Elbow Room or writing my own work. I constantly feel guilty. When I’m at work, I wish I was writing. When I’m writing, I feel guilty about the neglected housework. Then there’s the thank you cards I forget to send until they are so late after the event everyone’s forgotten about it anyway. The gigs of friends I can’t attend because I’m working or too tired from working to make it. The ones I forget about because I haven’t had a chance to look at my diary for weeks. The blog I’ve not written for months. My terrible disorganisation and constant chaos.

 

Sometimes, it all feels pretty mad. But somewhere in the chaos I manage. I manage to feed myself (most of the time anyway), I manage to get to work on time. I manage to read a bit, write a bit, edit a bit. I manage to make plans. I manage to follow some of them through. So maybe I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. But I am, it’s just in the DNA.

 

Last time, I wrote about how I’d gone through a bit of a dry patch poetry wise and how I was coming out of it. After writing the blog, I had a bit of a relapse. Which may be why, subconsciously, I’ve not blogged for a while. Not that the two could be related, but our brains make connections between the most ridiculous things sometimes. But I worked through it, wrote a bit, some of which I was happy with, some of which got published. So not bad at all. Towards Christmas it slowed down again and I dreaded months of stalled thought again. But I needn’t have. January came around and since the new year, I have produced more than I have in a while. And it feels great. Still don’t know how I’m fitting it all in, but I am, and it’s good. More work has led to a little flurry of poems getting published too, which is always a great feeling.

 

Apart from my own work, I’ve been putting in the time with Elbow Room, making ‘secret’ plans (which I will blog about at another time) and generally having a great time with it. We are getting a lot of quality submissions in, particularly in terms of poetry, which is really wonderful. It’s always a pleasure and a privilege to read through them all. Like any small magazine, we wish we could publish more, but we’re loving being able to showcase just a bit of the wonderful talent that is out there. If you’re interested in submitting, or just want to check it out, I would actively encourage you to check it out HERE.

 

So, things to look out for… I am doing a little open mic slot at Listen Softly London, in Southwark on Wednesday. I’m a bit out of practice, so please come and see me make a beautiful mess of it. There’ll also be a little surprise on the night too! Work soon to be published in the wonderful Bare Fiction and Spontaneity, so keep an eye out for those over the next few weeks.

 

There, see, that wasn’t so painful afterall! Thank you everyone for your continued support, for reading my work, for tweeting about it, talking about it, writing about it.

 

Take care of yourselves x

On joining the Elbow Room team…

Yes, it’s official… I’m now a part of the editorial team for Elbow Room!

When I first came across Elbow Room, I knew it was something I had to be involved in and, back in August, I was delighted to have some of my work printed in the very first volume of the magazine.

Now, just a couple of months later, I have been invited to be a part of this little micro press as part of the editorial team. Since I announced it on Twitter a few days ago, a few people have asked me why I was so eager to get involved, so I thought I would share with you some thoughts on joining the team…

Firstly, I loved the concept of Elbow Room from the very beginning. I have been involved in other projects and magazines (such as Popshot) in which poetry is placed alongside illustration and other art forms, and for me, that’s something that really excites me. No art form stands alone, separate from its counterparts. Creativity breeds creativity and each person has their own way of exploring and expressing their reactions to the world around them, whether that’s with words or film or paint or sound. And I really like the idea of bringing all those different ways of looking at the world, of re-interpreting the world, and putting them alongside each other. It creates a dialogue. And I think that’s a good thing.

Secondly, in the small presses (and micro presses such as this one) there is a lot of risk involved. A lot of good risk. Small presses are exciting because they are places where new work is seen for the first time, experiments are made, risks are taken, boundaries and rules bent and broken. They are places where new voices are given a platform. They are full of innovation. They are full of unseen things, previously hidden things, little gems waiting to be discovered. And most of all, they are passionate about what they do. Everything, in my opinion, that art, in all its forms and guises, should be about.

And lastly, most importantly, it’s bloody good fun!

I’m so glad to be a part of this particular little micro press and cannot wait to get sifting through the submissions!  There’s still time to get your work in the next issue, so if you want to be involved, make sure you check out the Elbow Room blog for details.