When I ordered the promotional stickers for my non-linear visual poem colouring in book on identity Love: A Stranger Dream these lovely blue stickers turned up, I think they were a mistake there was only like three of them and the rest were all the black and white as requested. But actually I really love the effect and kind of want to get the stickers done in green, magenta and so on.
The cataclysmic boom, sliced the gloom
Of turgid twilight, that consumed
Endeavors that never left the brain’s loom
People cowered at self-made doom
The nihilistic bloom
Swallowing decaying rooms whilst housewives bake macaroons
There is no escape, we took the bait
Couldn’t wait but left all too late
A heart sealed, mouldering tomb
The despised coon – there was no boon to life
Just strife, rife, gushing with glittering knife
No husband, no wife, no kids, no fight
Just the catacombs of extinction looming
The dream consuming, consumers mourning
Dreading the dawning of an age not to be
This is the future, for you and for me
It didn’t start with the honey bee
But it didn’t stop either
With the corporate media weavers
And political divas, the age old money levers
That sunk an economy
They blamed and shamed – the poor
Locked and bolted all the doors
Stood knackered with their trafficked whores
Bemoaning their lot
Announcing all deviants should be shot
Defiance of their own rot
Faces smeared in snot, grot of a new stage
Withered in the womb, shrivelled cocoon
Of golden times gone by
When you were promised cars that could fly
Same as the old, the same old, same old, old
Dreams turn to ashes, as poets receive lashes
For speaking the truth, or a thought
For a belief, too afraid to speak
So no one spoke, none of us
We all choked
In effluent and bile
The end was a whimper, what could be simpler
Poisoned air, the nine yard stare
Mercury in the fish, no rice in the dish
The bread bowl is dust, even the shiny cars rust
Desert of thinking
It’s feast time
New Leaf writers asked me if I would like to join their closed group – I said yes and I have not regretted it! I love my writer communities weather they are on line or in real life. New Leaf has a local aspect to it for me and ties in with some physical go out to groups I know in my area.
Prompts, feedback and info posted by members on events coming up have all been very helpful. I was worried that I’d joined too many but actually when I am being productive it is not quiet enough and it doesn’t matter if I miss a few weeks etc… as everybody else is used to people with busy hectic and distracted lives.
Making a living wage as an Artist and Writer is actually pretty hard and yes I am also a Science Communicator but that is kind of just the same thing. Ways I make money vary – I wish I could do it all for free, for the love and stuff but I can’t because you know I need to eat and so do my kids.
I am lucky… I am married and bar a short stint of 3 months where I was the sole earner and completely failed to actually manage to pay for everything… my husbands wages pay for mortgage and car but it doesn’t pay for everything.
And even if I put no money into the house I still need to buy things like a new computer and cameras and art supplies and those can add up surprisingly fast. Yes writing is a cheap hobby… but it does still cost.
Besides which this is no hobby this is my living.
So I run workshops, I used to do a lot of bespoke copy writing for blogs, it ate up all my time. My writing time was often swallowed by me trying to type up menus into webforms for various marketing sites and so on. I sell prints, I used to have adverts on the blogs and make ok money from them but that stopped when the blog bubble burst. I teach people stuff, judge competitions, make and sell zines and story jars and jewellery.
I do lots of scrapping the pennies together stuff… I have merchandise. On of the things I am trying out is Patreon. This is like a rolling Kickstarter or crowd funding campaign. I have used such platfroms before for specific one off projects but this one I hope to be longer lasting. It has worked well for other endeavours and artists.
There are different levels of funding people can opt for – I set it up as a monthly subscription because I tend to put the various blog posts out there for free for everyone and some people like to give money for that. Above the £3 a month range there are a variety of awards and I post previews of work on their first.
I have already used money from the patreon to remove adds from some of the sites/blogs and to buy a new camera though sadly still no new computer!
The launch of Love: A Stranger Dream would have been a lot harder without it and it has sprouted an art project all of it’s own!
So if you feel you would like to support this artist then this might be a good place to start
I’ve been experimenting with a new social media/arts platform called ello which I found a while back. It’s kind of like google plus meets pinterest?
Mainly using it to share my creations and to find new inspiring artists. Fellow poets might want to check it out for inspiration and idea getting.
February is almost upon us and that can mean only one thing!!! It is WoPo time. WoPo is a Poem a Day Challenge I set up years ago now, there are exercises and bits on writing know how going out on the blog and the Facebook Page through out the year but Feb. is the Poem a Day Challenge and so things really gear up! There are also prompts visual and so on going out on both my personal twitter @Saffy and @TheMonsterBlogs
Previous years I have made stickers and wiggly pets and so on but this year I thought I’d make little illustrated notelets for people to write on with my art work one side. If wanted the resultant poem can be rolled up into a scroll!
So I’ve made these little kits up which I will be leaving at events I go to, to try and inspire people to write! I have also made little flip books to send out to those who have regularly done the challenge. There is a core group that have been doing the challenge from the beginning so that get first dibs on them. These are again free and I’m happy to post anywhere in the world.
Then I have made a super writing support kit for my Patreon supporters – these people give me money and I send them stuff monthly (thankyou so much!!!). I’ve created a hand made book-wallet for the scrolls and thrown in a few extras
I really hope this will help people get creative How I made them will be going on on Salaric Craft.
So if you fancy it join up and get writing though out February!
Food For Thought is my local monthly spoken word event, this months one was lit. standing room only and was live streamed.
I as always crashed into the speaker whilst getting up on the little raised platform but all was well. There was a brilliant mix of poems from conventional to rhyming comedics and pretty much anything else you can think of.
I scattered these illustrated poetry scrolls I’ve made around the room for people to find. It was a great conversation starter as people tracked me down to see if they were my work
Next month is the Two Year birthday of Food For Thought which is absolutely brilliant! And as I will be in throws of running the WoPo Poem a Day challenge I shall be taking little writing packs to hide around for people to find
It is pretty much mid winter here in the northern hemisphere, we are shrouded in darkness for most of the day with murky reprieves.
I’ve been writing a little bit here and a little bit there, Christmas tends to bring out two types of poetry in me – kids and dark introspective stuff. This is not surprising, it is also the time I get lots of story ideas – in a similar vein.
Winter can be an extremely productive time… if I can keep momentum and motivation going. The summer I am here there and everywhere with events and looking after allotments and animals and kids etc… winter I am holed up in the house a lot of the time.
So there is plenty of time to write… Christmas I find no problem with even though the time is family time and is generally playing with the kids or watching films or zooming off to meet various family and friends. I get loads of ideas especially for the kids and will dash something off on my phone.
But it is this time… the after time, when there is not the lights and colours and distractions of Christmas but the weather is bitter or damp and you just want to sleep until spring. This is actually when for me there is the most time to do writing – it is also the time when I find writing hard.
Therefore I focus on writing challenges – I use these, all and any to galvanise myself into action, to give myself a purpose in the grey gloom of not yet spring.
It works for me.
On the Sat 4th Feb 2017 there is the OK True Believers Comic Book Festival at the Race Course in Cheltenham. This will be it’s third year – it will be my third year there selling zines and poetry booklets and my illustrations plus maybe some steam punk, cyber and fantasy jewellery etc… I have made these little page corners or origami bookmarks.
They are my little muse monsters – the ones that the blogs are based on and that I use in my writing workshops to help kids and adults write. Also because I am me the monsters also appear in some comics I’ve written and a few stories