Saturday, 7 May 2011

Chapters, short stories and a pit pony called Jutt

Morning folks, from a damp and dreary Warwickshire. The forecast rain has started and looks as if writing will be the only option for the whole weekend - yay! I've had the best week ever. Firstly, I've managed to continue the daily writing routine that I started in the Easter break; the result being two completed chapters this week! I was quite amazed, I usually struggle to get one polished and edited. But onwards and upwards, so they say. I now have ten chapters, which I consider, complete and ready to send to an agent when the time comes. Last week I printed a hard copy of my draft and have found this an invaluable tool, as it means I can read ahead of my computer screen, correct details and pick out specific sections to bring forward to knit together for the next chapter - my book is simply one big word jigsaw on paper. Anyhow, my plan for this week is to continue the routine, come what may.

I've got several ideas on the horizon, one being  an entry for which is asking for the opening chapters of unpublished novels, the rules are pretty specific so take a look before deciding.

The second idea, being a visit to the Grace Dieu writers circle based near Coalville. Why I hear you cry? Well, the honest truth is that I'm not networking with as many writers as I know I should be - simple. I attend the Mad Hatters' writers' Group in Atherstone, which I love but I know that I need to spread my wings further a field and meet other local writers. meet every fortnight on a Thursday, which slots in right behind my Mad Hatters' meet every fortnight on Wednesday evenings. Fingers crossed, I shall have more to report next week.

Now.... and this needs a drum roll for certain.... the final 16 poems for The Polesworth Poerty Trail - phase two have been announced. I'm proud to report that my poem 'Jutt', about a pit pony was chosen;-


Russet, rotund and stumpy; Welsh hooves steadfast.
Seven coal tubs harnessed: each ten hundred weight.
"Gee up, Jutt" - neigh.
No lug, no haul or drag.
Coaxing, hollering, tempting.
Static, silent, staring.
He's determined, unyielding, never undermined.
Release, unlatch, remove.
Six coal tubs harnessed: each ten hundred weight.
"Gee up, Jutt" - the pony lumbers forth.

I'm sure that the 15 poets also chosen were delighted with their work, too.

Brick Making Remembered – By Peter Grey
Pooley Hall – By Gary Longden
Unrippled – By Sarah James
Advice to a Geordie Lad at Pooley - By Barry Patterson
Living Echoes - By Gina Coates
The Pooley Miners Tale  - By Barry Hunt
Women’s Memories of Mining Menfolk - By Dea Costelloe
Pooley Pit Ponies - By Margaret Torr.
In their Footsteps - By Marjorie Neilson
A Cry – By Janet Smith
Them up there don’t know us down here exist – By Gary Carr.
Aloft – By Janis Kind
Black Swan Possibility – By Jacqui Rowe
Ladies of the Woods – By Terri Jolland
Dreams of Alvecote – By Colin Henchley
Kite – Collaborative poem by Malcolm Dewhirst and The Year 3 Children at Birchwood Primary School 2011.

It's worth taking a look at the Pollysword link for more details of The Polesworth Poetry Trail and its organiser Mal Dewhirst.

Followers of the blog know that I entered two poems 'Jutt' and another called 'Pooley Hall' which I had the pleasure of visiting by way of research. I'd said from the start that I'm not a poet, I'm a writer - which is underlined by the fact that the poem chosen tells the story of Jutt, and it came into being in a flourish of creative thought rather than detailed research, drafting and to be quite honest, weeks of hard work from which Pooley Hall came.

A word about my short story submissions. I have received notice that my short story 'Hush little baby, don't say a word' has been received by 'Take a Break' magazine. No, they don't have a system of informing you, but I always put a self addressed, stamped postcard in with all my submission work which the postroom staff return on opening my submission envelope - a simple way of knowing that my work has arrived safely, plus an indicator that I can now post my next offering 'Vibes and Jibes'.

I now plan to write a short story aimed at 'The Peoples Friend' magazine, which is a completely different genre to 'Take a Break' magazine but it'll do me no harm climbing out of my comfort zone. I've bought several issues, have read and analysed each story; style, topic, characters, word lenght, punctuation and advert content (as a guage to audience readers) - now for the fun part, writing to their requirement - as always, I'll let you know how I get on.

And finally, a big shout out to all my readers - I regularly check where folks are from via a statistics page which has a tiny globe showing a reader's country of origin. I'm delighted and amazed at the range of countries where you guys are reading from, quite humbled infact. I do up-date my 'visitors from afar' section on my blog, so please check it out and know that I do appreciate your following.

As I mentioned earlier it's been a full week, so I'll love you and leave, as I need to dash to the post box to send my next submission and purchase lemon bon bons from the sweet shop. Enjoy!

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