POEMS on the WEB

To begin . . . ‘a killer’ poem, to quote my publisher, which isn’t on the web but printed in ‘Obsessed with Pipework’.

BANANAS

I nick the neck of a Fair Trade banana

strip the skin

peel the shrivel-my-tongue veins

slice it over my morning porridge

drown it in milk

IMG_0796and think of you.

AND ON THE WEB . . . South Bank Poetry Library

http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=28629

http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=28632

http://www.poetrymagazines.org.uk/magazine/record.asp?id=28634

reflectCheck out: http://www.paintingpress.wordpress.com for your Book Cover Design and Illustration for writers with visual ideas

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In Praise of FATNESS in Women

 

 

Sunday morning watching TV at breakfast. Football news is on with the sound off, a footballer is having a paddy on the grass, I’m waiting for to weather even though I can see it through the window, now – a fat woman with impressive hips, I saw one yesterday in town whose hips were amazing. Seems to be a big down on fat. I make a sudden resolution – no more news! There it’s done.

 

Here are two views on FAT which differ from TV news where opinions are bundled and dished up, ‘fat accumplee’.  One view of ABUNDANCE encapsulated in an iron age statue could be a woman today, seen clothed,  walking around, shopping, chatting, taking care of children, sculpting, painting, writing playing the cello, singing . . .

Venus of Willendorf

The Venus of Willendorf is a 4.25-inch (10.8 cm) high statuette of a fertile, female figure, estimated variously between 28,000 and 20,000 BC, or 30,00 – 27,000 BC. It is carved from oolitic limestone, and was covered with red ochre when found in Lower Austria, 1908.

 Another view of such MAGNIFICENCE is created in a fairy story, (keeper of the soul). 

The Butterfly Woman

La Mariposa  is old, very, very old. one of her shoulders is bare she is wrapped in cloth of red and black. Her body is heavy and she has tiny feet. She is the butterfly woman arrived to strengthen the weak. she is that which most of us think of as not strong; age, the butterfly, the feminine.

Butterfly woman’s hair reaches to the ground, thick and stone grey. Her hips are two baskets and the fleshy top of her buttocks is wide enough to ride two children. She dances and waves a fan of feathers, spreading the earth with the pollinating spirit of the butterfly.

Her shell bracelets rattle like snake, the bells on her garters tinkle like rain. In one breast is the thunderworld, the underworld in the other. her back is the curve of planet earth the back of her neck carries the sunrise and the sunset. Her belly holds all the babies that will ever be born.

Butterfly woman cross-fertilises, the soul with dreams, the mundane world, she takes a little here, puts a little there. She transforms. A little is enough.

‘Women Who Run with the Wolves’; Clarissa Pinkola Estes; (Rider Books)

‘There is no ‘supposed to be’ in bodies. Does it have happiness, joy, can it move in its own way? Dance, step, wiggle?’

butterflyCheckout; http://www.silverfingerpress.wordpress.com

Winchester Writers’ Festival 2014

 

 

Winchester Writers' Festival 2014

Winchester Writers’ Festival 2014

 

I was pleased and surprised to receive feedback by e mail from the literary agent I didn’t stay to see at the Winchester Writers’ Festival. It was good feedback, most useful and insightful of all, I wish I had been well enough to meet her. But on the plus side, I do have all feedback in e mail, better than my half-remembered scribbled notes.

 And yes! she wants to read the whole thing – after some of the character and back- story details are brought to the beginning. My novel, ‘ASH WEDNESDAY’, a working title,  was begun in 2008, during OU study within guidelines which appealed to maximum marks for the final assignment. It achieved ‘distinction.’ ‘Begin in media res’, had been the current advice. I took another year to complete the novel and I have since written another. No longer obliged to conform to certain O.U. guidelines, and with much more writing experience, I have become a better writer.

Angel (2)

It will be a challenge to apply my writing experience to a protagonist who may well have become very different from 6 years ago. I shall be able to concentrate solely on the art of writing since my initial draft is heavily illustrated.

 Now to reacquaint myself . . .angela12 022

PS – the Forensic Medicine book as recommended by . . . her name escapes me, at the Festival and which I bought for a few pounds from Blackwells, I had to leave open on a cookery book stand in the conservatory because the previous owner had been a heavy smoker. I glimpsed an image, had nightmares and threw the book in the dustbin first thing the next morning. Memoirs of a forensic psychologist was interesting but I did have to miss out the paragraphs which described violence in detail. That was a library book.

Checkouthttp://www.silverfingerpress.wordpress.com

 

The Day After the Day Before

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The day after the day after Winchester Writers’ Festival I spent the first hour walking along the shore. I didn’t think about dead bodies, or forensics. The second hour I sat in the dappled garden with tea and crumpet. I read, ‘The Uninvited’, by Liz Jensen. Just half way through and it is finally getting my attention.

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I carried my camera to the shore and into the garden, and took 109 photos. I also slipped it into my bag before the festival and took not one single snap. I was unable to gather any interest at all despite giving myself a pep talk, ‘you’ll like it once you get there,’ ‘a free lunch’ . . . it didn’t work . . . ‘feedback on your novel,’ aroused some interest.

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A place at the festival was my first prize for the best murder short-story last summer and I had been looking forward to going. I had just finished a 75,000 word detective story and was happy!!  Ahh, there’s the rub.blog7

blog5I had been cluttered with all four one-to-one sessions in one day, not my choice. With ME I knew I would be shattered . . . was shattered by 10.30am. Shattered after I parked the car in ‘disabled,’ a seriously angled narrow bay between two brick walls, a car-length wide.

All three agents gave completely and utterly diverse feedback: ‘excellent pitch’, ‘not long enough’; ‘Great opening’; ‘lose the opening’; ‘really connected to character’; ‘character betrays responsibility to reader’ . . . I could go on. What did I expect?

The peach; ‘An accountant, an organised person, and a good one, does not aspire to murder.’ This comment threw me. Nowhere does this character aspire to, or commit murder.Where’s the sense in that remark?

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Then, I understood, either he hadn’t bothered to read the synopsis properly, or I hadn’t written it well enough . . . I doubt he had read the requested 10,000 words. Then came the ‘how to’ tip – ‘Have a picture of your protagonist’ . . . A’HEM . . . The lecture continued and I switched off, glad when it was over. For this level of feedback, I could have borrowed a book from the library. Soooo glad it was free!

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Apart from that, the novel is; ‘publishable’, has ‘definite commercial viability’, all agreed it was, ‘well written’.

I was too flat and tired to hang about for the final 1-2-1 but left my e mail in order for her to contact me with feedback. Wonder if she’ll bother?

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At lunch I met and had an agreeable conversation with a young man who had completed his first novel, gained a professional critique and was a member of a supportive writing group. After the festival he planned to ‘send off’, to lots of publishers, if the book wasn’t taken up, he would publish digitally. Well planned.

I am sorry to have lost his blog address, (I lose things frequently) and if he reads this, please send it to me via my other blog; www.silverfingerpress.wordpress.com – thank you.

I have ordered a second hand forensics manual from Blackwells, a tip for all sleuth-writers from the hour of master class; ‘Bring out your Dark Side’ that I did manage to get to.

1-2-1 Feedback was personal with an eye on business. I sat next to a young woman while waiting, her novel is about a town of angels on earth taking care of us humans. I metaphorically cast my eyes heavenwards thinking ‘derivative’, while smiling; ‘lovely.’I spoke to her afterwards, the agent will read it when it’s finished. There we go.

I have seen my angel. It appeared between me and a dying woman in case death mistook me for her. The angel was much bigger than the hospital ward and gold flakes, like fish scales caught the light before it went. The woman in the bed opposite died while the angel was there. I’d like to say, ‘while the angel spread its wings,’ but I didn’t see wings.

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Top 30 Opening Words

Some opening words of the latest FASTBACKS from Southampton Library Service top 30 books. What makes you read on?

Top 30 Authors

51g5C9Eo-OL__BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-66,22_AA300_SH20_OU02_Kate Atkinson • ‘Life After Life’  – A FUG OF tobacco smoke and damp clammy air hit her as she entered the café.

Linwood Barclay51mKhYBGWCL__SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_

510-9P9882L__SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_

Sophie Kinsella – ‘Wedding Night’Prologue – Young people!’

Mark Billingham • The Dying Hours’Prologue – ‘How much blood?’

Rosamund Lupton – ‘Forgive Me’ – ‘Prologue – Flora kicked off her shoes, pulled her dress over her head and tossed it on the bed’.

Maeve Binchy 

510RdMOZELL__SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_Ian McEwan – ‘Sweet Tooth’ – ‘My name is Serena Frome (rhymes with plume) and almost forty years ago I was sent on a secret mission for the British Secret Service.’

Dan Brown

51iwRssMi5L__SL150_Stephen King

Jo Nesbo – ‘The Bat’ – ‘Something was wrong.’

Lee Child – ‘Never Go Back’ – ‘Eventually they put Reacher in a car and drove him to a motel a mile away,where the night clerk gave him a room, which had all the features Reacher expected, because he had seen such rooms a thousand times before.’

James Patterson
• Harlan Coben • Lesley Pearse
• Martina Cole • Jodi Picoult
51CDfE2J1FL__SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_ Michael Connolly ‘The Gods of Guilt’ – ‘I approach the witness stand with a warm and welcoming smile.‘                                                     

• Ian Rankin • Ken Follett • Kathy Reichs                                             

Tess Gerritsen ‘Last to Die’ – ‘On the night that thirteen-year-old Claire Ward should have died, she stood on the window ledge of her third floor Ithica bedroom, trying to decide whether to jump.’

Ruth Rendell
• Philippa Gregory • Peter Robinson
• John Grisham •

Karin Slaughter – Unseen’ – ‘Detective Lena Adams winced as she took of her t shirt.’
P D James •

51dPiN0GpoL__SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_Wilbur Smith

Peter James

 

 

51XYpK+ffdL__SL160_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-dp,TopRight,12,-18_SH30_OU02_AA160_S J Watson

 

 

 

             Take a look at my other blog –   www.silverfingerpress.wordpress.com

Bumpy Ride

Look-back at 2013.

I am very happy to have won the short murder story competition at the Winchester Writers Conference. And pleased that it takes pride of place in the 2013 anthology. Best-Of-2013-Cover

http://store.winchester.ac.uk/browse/extra_info.asp?compid=1&modid=1&catid=56&prodid=238

I shall take my prize, a place at the conference, next summer and look forward to it.
     Am I happy with my detective novel? No, I’ve not written enough. The detective agency is, at this moment, poised for the delicious ‘clashing together’ and final eruption.
     I blipped with marketeering.
    There was a bumpy end to my brief market career. Silverfinger publications are VERY particular about their venue and didn’t like being ignored or riffled through and abandoned. They learned to take with a pinch of salt, ‘positive venue thinking’, sooner than I did.
netleysmall1    

Netley Grange was my last actual market attendence. A supportive Writing Buddy took my stuff to both the Marlands and Mayfield Christmas markets, when I was unable to attend but had committed to, and did her best for me. Thank you!

The wet Winchester Sunday with a totally inadequate stall and poor position was the worse. I understand from other stall-holders that Winchester Guildhall was to be avoided at all costs.

Market Oct (9)

     blog5I created the Silverfinger Press as a result of marketeering, which is good and shows promise for the future. I published five Silverfinger books, four of them fully illustrated and twelfve sets of Christmas cards.
The ‘Didi’ books are a success with small children, mums and grandmothers. Positive feedback. The little book of Nursery Rhymes is also popular.

www.silverfingerpress.wordpress.com 

And, I did quite enjoy ‘being out there’ for a while. It was an experience, observing people not interested in books, or riffling through the pages, even reading a whole book of poems, commenting, ‘so true’, about ‘Poems for a State of Grace’, before dropping the carefully made Silverfinger publication and walking off. 
     I was so surprised at my first sale of Christmas cards that I mislaid the money, or perhaps even gave it back.
I have painted, mostly blue and gold, sea, sky. silver 004.
And I have made a friend and lost one, finally drew the line at posting my neighbour a Christmas card and tore up the one from a distant relative I have nothing to do with. I enjoyed both acts.

I also drove through a storm, visited London and cooked a Christmas meal.

aprilAprril

PEACE and CREATIVITY in the NEW YEAR

The Marketeer calls ‘BOOKS for SALE!

Sunday, 15th September, Winchester Market.

A first. Selling books at a market. There were no marketeer yodels. It may have helped.
Market 007My publisher was unable to do a print run for me so I decided to do my own. I had already hoarded a lovely word – Silverfinger .

small title

A digital PRESS for limited edition print-runs was born. I chose as the logo – ‘a woman arrayed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars’.

Have a look . . . silverfingerpress.wordpress.com where you will see the results of my first print-runs and contact details: silverfinger@outlook.com should you need your own, ‘LITTLE WORK OF ART’.

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On the stall I hung an A3 poster trumpeting Silverfinger PRESS and another, dripping with blood, which boasted my first prize win at the Winchester Writers’ Conference. Tied to the stall’s frame above the display table, the posters twisted in the wind, escaped their plastic grip and eventually had to be taken down.

Market 005

BM1I made book marks, freebees, from coloured manilla advertising my books and my prize-winning story twhich will be published this autumn. 

I published two ‘little works of art’, especially for the launch of the Silverfinger PRESS – ‘Poems for a State of Grace’, The poems were written in 2002 following the death of my mother. And, ‘A Diet of Worms & Blackberries’, which I illustrated.

  StateofGrace cover 

My two books were displayed on a small table easelDOWCover for people to pick up and riffle through, I kept pristine books to sell out of reach, framed House Blessings and small,colourful prints together with flyers for the PRESS and my books, and free book marks, completed my wares and I laid them on a red-covered table top apprx 4ft x 2.

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Initial outlay – 120gm paper, £7.50, 100gm paper, £6.50, two A3 posters, £3.06, plastic clips, £2.80, set of printing inks, £55, quarter stall fee, £10.
Three books sold; YIPEE! total £9. Scarf bought, couldn’t resist – £19.

Will I do it again?. Yes, on 20th October with an additional Silverfinger publication and Christmassy cards.blog8

Murder Revisited

authorplansmurder

I am thoroughly engaged in planning and executing mouth watering comeuppances via my literary detective agency. I am not deterred that the first assignment went awry, was a disaster in fact but the Boss is determined not to loose heart, she will stick to her original plans and try again.
      The six women sleuth books I took from the library, to see if one matched mine in pace, tension or touches of humour and to which I may refer in my letter to an agent – don’t. I shall have to look further. (Does that mean I’m a one-off?)
      P.D.James, erratic pace, sometimes dead boring, writes of wisteria in a hot summer sun, (wisteria blossoms in spring), BUT I do connect to the protagonist and wonder if mine is also accessible? Time to call upon my ‘reader’.
      D.L.Sayers – NO, Susan Hill – no – M.C.Beaton, can’t face it.
     

However, two unexpected bonuses –

Antonello_St_Jerome_in_his_Study_14601. P.D.James describes a painting by Antonello, to which I was attracted. I found the painting on the internet, ‘St Jerome in his Study’, 1480.

Antonello_St_Jerome_in_his_Study_1460

The author has changed St Jerome to a ‘young, tonsured monk’, and there are no frivolities or oxen seen in the tiny but delightful landscape through the window, but P.D.James captures the feeling, perfectly.

The feeling of the painting, one of a man ‘in the spirit’, alone, in a mood of contemplation, connects me with my own, unfinished ‘murder’ painting of an author whose imaginative images come to life in her sitting room.

about 1475    

2. Susan Hill’s ‘Shadow in the Street’, names a book, ‘Learning to Dance’, by Michael Mayne. For some reason, I liked the title and looked it up on Amazon. Michael Mayne was Dean of Westminster Abbey and head of BBC radio religious programmes.
      On browsing further, I discovered that Michael Mayne suffered with ME. A condition which I live with. I have ordered the book in which he describes himself and ME, ‘A Year Lost and Found’.
      I also like the painting on the book’s cover which uses complementary colours – ie mauve/yellow – turquoise/gold, colours which make each other sing out loud.
      The post-script to Michael Mayne’s last book, ‘The Enduring Melody’, written when he had terminal cancer, seems to me to be important –

‘However mixed our motives in writing (or reading) books, in the end they are about the desire to share (or learn more) what it means to be human and what matters to us most, to speak what we feel not what we ought to say. For those who write such books and launch them into a critical world, they aim to be, in short, a small – and sometimes quite risky – act of love.’                                                      Michael Mayne, ‘The Enduring Melody’.
    

And this quote, used by Michael Mayne, expands and speaks to thoughts contained in my post ‘Positive Thinking’, January 2013, though spoken in a quite different way –

‘All is well. Not by facile optimism, not in blinkered evasions, but in the richest and most active dimensions of our humanity. It is the illumination we must and ever seek on the other side of the dark.’ Dennis Potter.