WoPo 2017

January 28th, 2017

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!

Bag of poetry notelets for WoPo Poem a Day Writing Challenge

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.

Flip note-let booklet with customised pencil

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 :)

Poetry writing kit with hand made book-wallet for poetry notelets

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!

Jan Food For Thought

January 21st, 2017

Food For Thought is my local monthly spoken word event, this months one was lit. standing room only and was live streamed.

A packed Food for Thought Jan 2017

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.

Bag of mini poetry scrolls to give out at Food For Thought

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 :)

Illustrated mini poetry scrolls

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 :)

Christmas and Winter and Poetry and Stuff

January 15th, 2017

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.

Marking Your Musings

January 7th, 2017

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.

Muse Monster Book 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 :)

Happy Poetry New Year!!! 2017!

January 3rd, 2017

Happy New Year and I hope this blog finds you all enjoying the festive season :)

2017 is going to be an EPIC year :)

So what are my poetry plans?

Well as always there are the poetry writing drives – there are four I shall be undertaking this year.

Month of Poetry – which was started years ago now by a fellow twitterer, it is set in January and I am not sure if any body else still does it but I find it is always a great start to the year. The beginning of the year is generally when I actually write most of my poetry. So the idea is that you write a poem a day for the month. I tend to go with something more along the lines of… I will spend an hour a day working on poetry stuff!

The second in February there is World Poetry Writing Month or WoPo this is actually my own project and I put up writing prompts for others, similar idea to the Month of Poetry – it is a poem a day writing drive to help those who might have found themselves a bit stuck or unsure of a direction to take their work in. There is also a Facebook page.

Thirdly there is National Poetry Writing Month which is an american based poem a day challenge set in April. I often take this one to advance my children’s poetry or work on illustrated and visual poetry stuff.

The forth is a writing kickstarter course run by Sharon Larkin of the Cheltenham Poetry Society and will hopefully see me writing poetry all year round rather than all bunched up at the beginning like normal :)

Other than that there are exciting things happening in my home town (technically a city but it’s tiny!). Gloucester has found poetry and is giving it wings – there is now a Gloucester Poetry Society and several open mics and possibly even a festival!!! So that is all very very exciting :)

There are more plans – they include getting more zines out there and maybe sort out some of the poetry collections. Submitting poetry which I always forget to do! And last but not least I have several new poetry workshop ideas and crafts which I want to develop and get out there at festivals and events.

Then there is Love: A Stranger Dream my non-linear visual poem in the form of a colouring book. It will be having it’s first birthday which I am hoping to celebrate :)

The Cheltenham Poetry festival is gearing up to be awesome once again and I hope to take part in more slams this year.

So yeah I think it is going to be a pretty poetic year!!!

2017 is also a prime year as in 2017 is a prime number so I may do some special maths based poetry just for the lols 😀

A Quick Look Back 2016

December 28th, 2016

I had meant to submit poetry this year – I kind of didn’t but I did take part in The Cheltenham Poetry Festival, Swindon Literature Festival, Wychwood Music Festival, Cornbury Music Festival, Science Show Off, Horoscope Disco, Bristol Mini Makers Faire, the Cheltenham Literature Festival, the Saffron Waldon Maze Festival, the Wilson Gallery’s events. There were more I think but those are the ones I can name straight off! At them I read/performed, run workshops and compared.

I also ran creativity and writing drives through out the year and launched Love: A Stranger Dream as well as producing several zines and booklets.

I discovered more local poetry events near my home and turned down many more things than I went to. I would like to do more but with two school aged children and health issues that can be tricky so I am happy to have done the amount I have :)

Besides that is almost a big event every month!

I would like to get Love: A Stranger Dream into the book shops I probably should have organised that but kind of ended up busy with acting and other things :)

Other things I did… I produced a short film for Love: A Stranger Dream and a little vid for The Winter’s Heart and launched Within and Without.

So I am proud of what I have achieved poetically in 2016 – I know that it is not the conventional way of doing things but it is getting there – now to see if I can actually afford my Poetry Society membership renewal as I believe that is coming up next year!

Christmas Activity Booklet

December 21st, 2016

Christmas Activity Booklet by Sarah Snell-Pym

I have created this Christmas Activity Booklet, they are all made at home by me and my husband – rock on printer and binding machine!!!

It contains a craft activity tutorial, festive poetry, colouring in, a story and a puzzle. It is one of a series of booklets I am creating at the moment including colouring in and Science, this one is getting a mention here as it contains poetry :)

I have created all the visuals and written word for it though Alaric has had to help mightily with the layout and editing. Currently these are not up for internet sale as they are for events I go to in person but next year they probably will be up in my etsy shop :)

The Winter’s Heart Video

December 14th, 2016

I’ve combined the images from Winter’s Bloom with the song Winter’s Heart to make a music video – hope you enjoy it :)

Suggested Festive Readings :)

December 7th, 2016

Disclaimer – I know all the authors/poets involved in these books – this is how I found the books.

The imagery in Bethany’s work is amazingly vivid and often stark and hard hitting. Her stuff can be emotionally hard going but very worth it.

Basilisk Soup and Other Fantasies is the long awaited collection of my friend Olly Smith, his stories and poetry are often other worldly and dark in premise.

Clive Oseman has been doing the British slam and poetry circuit recently, blasting us with diverse pieces about real life. He is currently in launching his new book Happy which is also on sale through Waterstones.

Jacqueline Watts new collection Years Ago You Coloured Me is well worth a read as are her other works which you can find via her website. Cats and Other Myths is a favourite in our household.

2016 has been one hell of a year, one in which I have watched the long shadow of fascism rise and felt increasingly that the world needs poems on politics and the environment and the other – this collection encapsulates that. It also contains the amazing Anna Saunders who’s poetry always leaves chills and imagery locked in the mind, she is also the lady who set me so firmly on the road to becoming a poet.

Christmas Fayre :)

December 1st, 2016

Just a reminder that I have a few things for sale this festive season!

Starting with Love: A Stranger Dream which is a non-linear visual poem on identity presented as a colouring book.

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Then there is the audio which you can listen to for free or by the poetry-art album Within and Without which includes A Stranger Dream as part of it.

There is also the my children’s Christmas Collection, which includes the audio to The Little Book of Festive Poetry, Percival’s Christmas Wish and the song It’s Christmas Time. If you opt to pay for downloads then there are extra bonus stuff for both albums and download is included with any merch purchase.

If you would like to buy zines and special edition books then there is my etsy shop where you can find poetry cards and art prints as well as some of the craft things I make. Christmas specifics include The Little Book of Festive Poetry and Winter’s Bloom as well as activity and colouring as spiral bound booklets.

For those interested in things like the Star Jar stories and book art I am doing a series of craft fairs but these events are last minute booking so keep an eye on my Facebook Page and my twitter feed @Saffy.

Apart from all of this there are a couple of poetry readings coming up and work being done on various poetry collections etc… :)