Villanelles Workshop

April 17th, 2017

Exciting poetry things are a foot in Gloucester (UK) at the moment – one such thing is the night Villanelles at the Fountain Inn. The night includes recording poetry for the Gloucester Poetry Societies Youtube channel, an open mic and… starting with this coming event… workshops :)

Which a few of us will be running – I am running the next one on the 27th April 2017, the whole event is 7-11 with the workshop being at the beginning.

For those of you who can not make it to the physical event I will be making a digital archive of workshops, will much over lap with the WoPoWriMo site.


April 7th, 2017

A few years ago I came across a rather novel publishing company – at the time crowd sourcing was still a relatively new thing. I was working at a music festival running workshops when my little girl spotted something of interest elsewhere on the festival grounds.

It turned out to be the QI Elves, we had seen them the year previously at the festival but as a small little aside in one of the bars with basically quiz machine games. This was different.

We all beat the QI elves with our questions/answers and won ourselves badged and I got an autographed photo. I can’t remember if it was that year or the next that they were sharing a tent with Unbound?

There were a series of author talks as well as the QI elves and lots of fun optical illusion stuff etc… to be honest I can’t remember which year was which nor which festival it was!

But we signed up to the crowd-sourced and funded publisher Unbound and got lots of badges.

Subsequent years we bought books, and saw Robert Llewellyn who does many things including writing books though obviously most people know his TV career. They have brought me poets and writers and the QI elves and I have watched the various projected get funding… or not. My husband has help celebs (ok well Alan Davis) find the right bit of the festival for their talks and I’ve asked lots of questions I would not have had the oppurtunity to do other wise.

Basically you vote by making a money pledge which gets refunded to you if the project you are backing fails. There are different reward tiers and it works really well for books that would never be considered by traditional publishers but need that little bit extra than most self publishers could manage.

So yeah we love this project and I thought I would just bring it to peoples attention :)


Shadowing Souls

March 28th, 2017

Shadowing Souls from A Stranger Dream

For the initial launch of Love: A Stranger Dream I made these little figurines out of polymer clay and beads. They are 3D colour representations of the little Shadowing Souls that appear through out the visual poem.


March 21st, 2017

Infinities book mark for Love: A Stranger Dream

I created some bookmarks to go with A Stranger Dream, using the art work and the laminator – I really like how they have come out :)

Blue Stickers!

March 16th, 2017

Blue Stickers for Love A Stranger Dream

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.


March 7th, 2017

A Stranger Dream Postcards

I really love how the post cards for my visual poem Love: A Stranger Dream came out :)

The End

February 28th, 2017

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
Crippled society
turned cannibal
It’s feast time

New Leaf Writers

February 21st, 2017

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.


February 16th, 2017

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 :)


February 7th, 2017

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.