Year end blog

This is just a really quick, short blog to say thank you, wholeheartedly, for all your support and kindness this year. Thank you for sticking with me!

This year has been action-packed (and not always for poetic reasons) so I thought I’d take a moment to reflect and share just a few of the highlights from this year:

For me, the overall highlight of the year must be launching my debut collection, The Girl in the Dog-tooth Coat, with Bare Fiction in July this year. It’s a landmark I’d been daring to dream of for a little while before I was approached, but didn’t think would happen quite so soon. I’m very grateful for the creative guidance and beautiful production of the book itself from Robert Harper at Bare Fiction. Thank you to everyone who has bought it, shared it, read it, talked about it and made it happen through the original crowdfunder. I’ve been overwhelmed by the reaction to it and the generosity of you all.

One of the wonderful things that has happened through launching the book (and other things) has been the opportunity to go and read at venues and places I have never been to before. I’ve put faces to names, made new connections, gained new friends. I’ve heard and read some incredible, beautiful work that I might not have otherwise. I’ve learned a lot. And that’s always a good thing.

As a writer, it’s easy to forget that something you make at your desk in your one-bed flat can reach someone somewhere in the distance, maybe someone you haven’t even met yet. When Nadia King found a poem of mine in Popshot, she liked it enough to look me up (thankfully I’m easy to find) and she asked if she could interview me on her blog. I agreed, though it’s not something I’d ‘normally’ do and couldn’t be happier with the result.

Elbow Room is growing. My final highlight of the year has to be running the Elbow Room competition for the first time, finding incredible work and having our wonderful winner’s event in Battersea. There’s no denying it was extremely hard work, and I can’t quite believe we’re going to do it all again next year, but it was also an absolute joy.

And just finally, while I’m looking back, I’d like to say a huge thank you to all the places that have published my work this year including: HARK, Clear Poetry, The Fat Damsel, Nutshells & Nuggets, Belleville Park Pages, Obsessed with Pipework, The Yellow Chair Review, Lampeter Review, Anomaly, Haverthorn Magazine and Ink, Sweat & Tears.

2016 is already promising to keep me very busy indeed. As well as 2 collaborations in the first half of the year with 2 fabulous photographers, I have a book (but not quite as you know it) coming out with As Yet Untitled in late Autumn. Elbow Room is also going from strength to strength and continues to grow and blossom. As Yet Untitled, Elbow Room’s parent press, will be launching 3 books in the first year of our expansion. So there’s plenty to keep me out of mischief (or in it, depending on how you look at it).

With that in mind, I’m taking the next two weeks off for some rest, recuperation and some family time, getting ready for the adventures ahead. So don’t worry if I’m a little quiet for a bit.

That wasn’t quite a quick a blog as I’d thought, but thank you—for listening, for being part of the journey, for sticking with it.

Whatever you have planned for the holidays and the new year, I hope it’s a happy, healthy one.

Best wishes, Zelda x

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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