Inspired in part, by the downgrading of exam grades in British schools this week, Too Late Now was written as a way of venting my anger and frustration at the stupidity of Mankind.
Probably because of the urgency I felt, prose did not seem the correct medium and so I chose poetry. To me a poem should, whatever its subject, pack a punch.
After it has rested, I may look at the poem again and rework it, hopefully make improvements. However, it felt right to share with you this raw version.
Three O’s at eight o’clock each night
echo about the red brick walls
with the ghost of a love that comes
haunting with a buried hand squeezed tight.
As I missed adding to the wealth of New Year blog posts on writing resolutions, veganism, teetotalism, and other ‘isms’, shouldn’t we have a spring look-at-me update about the projects lined up? Thought so.
In the winter of 2018, I took the initial draft of my novel from the locked drawer for the first time in two years. Shortly after, it went back. I might continue with the urban fantasy – I’m still in love with the story – or I might not. Plenty of first novels stay hidden indefinitely, and had this been only a stepping stone to a new plot? Whatever the gods decide.
What am I doing, then? Four projects, since you asked.
The first, and one that’s got me stoked as it nears fruition, is Rewilding, a chapbook to be published with the illustrator and anarchist, Mutartis Boswell. The story, (written, critiqued, rewritten, beta-read, rewritten, edited, rewritten and proofed :-)) explores the themes of abuse, isolation and instinct. The project is allowing Bos to experiment with inks and atmosphere, and comfort zones too. We’re looking to print using some pretty old machinery by experienced printers to gain an impressive look and touch to our product. Watch out for details of the Kickstarter on here and social media as there’ll be a chance to pick up a signed copy of the chapbook, along with artwork that captures the text and dons the many masks of the Speculative including Folk Horror.
Next up, a collaboration with the ace Belgian photographer, Ines Adriaens, for her abandoned places project. Ines, a master at capturing atmosphere, sent me and two other writers a variety of images and asked us to write pieces inspired by them. This project has allowed me to engage in the highly concentrated, powerful form of poetry. I am lucky to have four pieces in this photography book which will hopefully be available this year.
I was both excited and nervous when Joffre White asked me to work together on the short story collection, The Gateway, a Speculative examination of the grit trapped in Western society’s shell, mainly because our writing styles wave to each other from across a chasm. Joffre is a UK Patron of Reading, Reading and Writing Motivator, and an author, he’s also a cracking guy to work with. The project is almost like a writing exercise, and I’m able to play with shorter length and streamline my writing style using character-driven stories.
Lastly, a collection of my own short fiction yet to be titled is in progress. A brew of horrors seasoned with a pinch of magic realism. The plan is to feature mostly published work after revision, with a couple of bonus new ones. The word count is currently at 50,000.
The opportunity to work closely with these talented artists is precious and, I’m sure, will lead to some amazing work. Should be a good year! Certainly busy.
The lambs have gone from fields today.
My first visit to the regular Words and Ears event held at The Swan in Bradford on Avon proved to be a treat on Thursday 28th December. Hosted by Dawn … Continue reading Words and Ears
Read poetry. Learn the beauty of your language through its masters. I would like to read a poem a day, but it often doesn’t work out that way.
I recently read Herman Wouk Is Still Alive, a short story by Stephen King that won the 2011 Best Short Fiction Bram Stoker Award, and was struck by how the author weaved poetry with the fiction to such stunning effect. (Spoilers not given intentionally, just read the story available in The Bazaar of Bad Dreams short story collection. Oh, and read some more poetry.)
Three Drops Press are looking for ghost-themed poetry and flash fiction.