Saturday, 31 March 2012

Celebrating ‘Jutt’, Scott's poem and my last day at 40

Morning folks – a day of celebration for me. Firstly, it is my last day aged 40 but more importantly (drum roll needed) my poem ‘Jutt’ about a stubborn pit pony, has been positioned upon the Polesworth Poetry Trail at Pooley Heritage Park. I went to view the poem this morning and was a little shocked and then very embarrassed at finding it positioned in a prime spot, right next to the visitors centre. I shall just have to get used to the fact that so many people will be reading my work whilst enjoying their cuppa! I don’t usually add images into my blog – but hey, today’s different - the panel on the right shows the installation. 

So, I shall be writing an entry in my 40th April Fool list a final entry to complete the year. Talking of my 40th April Fool list – there are several things that haven’t been completed: Number 27 - to learn to whistle using my fingers (have tried so hard, still can’t do it), 30 – to attend a murder mystery weekend, 31 – to hold a tarantula, 32 – to milk a cow, 36 – to go to the top of the Empire States building. I have decided that these will now remain outstanding, which I need to address a.s.a.p.

This week has been an excellent one. I am still waiting to hear from any agents, but it is nice to know my work is out in the big wide world circulating. I hadn’t any writers' meetings this week so spent the time writing. I have set a writing exercise for the Mad Hatters' writing group in relation to an grave in a local cemetery that has an unusual feature. The group will take a number of weeks to produce a short story of 2000 words – we’ll have a dedicated night to read them and compare our efforts. It has been a while since we completed such an exercise but from the previous attempts we each produce very different pieces from the same inspiration. For previous exercises we’ve gained inspiration from specific poems, photographs, murder floor plan and an opening sentence.

I have written a poem to commemorate the centenary of Captain Scott’s death, 29th March 1912. As you’ve probably realized over recent weeks I do have a slight obsession about certain topics and people - it just happens that Titanic and Scott’s anniversaries occur in a short space of time. One fascinating fact that I dwell on is that Kathleen Scott, widow of Captain RF Scott, created the sculpture of Captain Smith of the Titanic, trying to earn money to raise her son. On completion Stoke-on-Trent refused to home the statue in Smith’s hometown and so Lichfield gave the newly created sculpture a home in Beacon park, where it remains to this day.

I have continued with my pre-judging role by reading competition entries – a few weeks ago, I listed common errors made and sadly, my complaints remain. I urge anyone to craft their story carefully, read it to another writer or poet, edit and amend on their suggestion and then present for competition.

Last Sunday, I posted my entry to the Bristol Prize competition which close today (31.03.12) – so my fingers are crossed that I have followed me own advice. I am pleased to say this is my fourth short story submission since the New Year – when I set the goal of six this year!  

I am very tempted today, my last day of 40, to share my writing secret with a very close friend and her husband, who have known me all my life. You might remember that I have only shared my work with some close friends as I don’t want the pressure of being bated by others wanting to constantly talk about my work. I don’t mind chatting about it with like minded individuals but in the past I’ve found that non-creative types believe that I’m going to wake up tomorrow and be JK Rowling. Such unrealistic excitement has previously been an unwanted pressure, so I am in two minds. I know she’s delighted about my poem being placed on the poetry trail today, so maybe, just maybe she’d be happy to hear some more. Hummmmmm.

I’m going to leave you on that note, while I go and have a think. Remember you can follow me on ‘Twitter’ by searching and following odwyer_author – please pass this blog onto others who may be interested. Enjoy!

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