Suspension Suspended

So a while back, my good friend from university, John Doak, set up a little online poetry zine called Suspension Magazine.  He had loads of submissions from people around the country and some of them were really good.  I very much enjoyed being able to read the poetry people had sent to him and it gave me a chance to experience poetry that I might not normally read, as it was unpublished in book form.

Well, I don’t know why (I’m sure he has good reasons), but a message appeared on the zine today saying that it’ll having a hiatus for a while.  I hope that whatever it is forcing him to take a break goes away soon so that more great poetry appears on the internets soon.

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Writing Resolutions Revisited

On July 19th, I wrote a post setting out some resolutions for writing this summer.  They were:

  1. Write SOMETHING at least once a day.
  2. Write at least 750 words on the computer once a day (using this brilliant online tool, made by a guy who is not a tool)
  3. Finish the story tentatively titled ‘Born Into Trouble’
  4. Finish the story tentatively titled ‘Grand Gesture, Poorly Executed’
  5. Come up with 5 possible things on which to base a novel.
Unfortunately, I have already failed the first two resolutions.  I have found it very difficult to make myself sit and write every day and have had a lot of my time taken up with things like preparing to move house and looking at wedding planning stuff.  I know that these are excuses, but they are my excuses and I’m sticking with them.
The other day, my friend Bea gave me a copy of Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande and it has shown me some of the reasons why these resolutions haven’t worked.  Therefore, once I’ve finished reading this wonderful book, I’ll get back to you with a new plan for making myself a more effective writer. So stay tuned!

An Evening to Myself

This evening I have the house to myself because the other half is out at her staff summer do.  I had the whole of last week to myself also, but I was out every evening, so that didn’t really count.

Anyway, I would usually waste such an evening loafing about watching TV I didn’t really care about (not being able to carry on with the current boxed set without the other half present).  but I have decided not to do this tonight.  I am going to be productive and get stuff done, so here is a list of what i want to do tonight:

  • A half-hour of TV (probably The Simpsons) (it was the episode where the hobo tells them stories.  A bit meh)
  • Type up all of the handwritten stuff I have for one story (All handwritten work on Nation of Duty now typed up)
  • Write a song (attempted, and riff roughly sketched out, but no lyrics ready, and no subject forthcoming)
  • Listen to 2-3 records I haven’t heard in a while, and have been yearning to listen to lately (one of these is Kind of Blue) (I have listened to Miles Davis: Kind of Blue and Silkworm: Developer)
Wish me luck!

Some writing resolutions

This summer I am not going away on holiday anywhere, but I will be moving.  This means I will probably have a whole pile of stress going on in my life, which will need dissipating somehow.  I’m going to try and do that by committing some real time to writing.  that way, I will be able to work out stuff while I think of it and might even be able to get stuff finished and feel good about myself.  Anyhow, here are some resolutions I am going to try and live by (they are a hierarchy of sorts, so stack up):

  1. Write SOMETHING at least once a day.
  2. Write at least 750 words on the computer once a day (using this brilliant online tool, made by a guy who is not a tool)
  3. Finish the story tentatively titled ‘Born Into Trouble’
  4. Finish the story tentatively titled ‘Grand Gesture, Poorly Executed’
  5. Come up with 5 possible things on which to base a novel.
If I can achieve these things over the summer, I will be a happy guy. The novel thing is not entirely serious, but it is something I’d like to think more about as I grow older.

Reith Lectures

So I finally got around to listening to the first of the Reith Lectures being given by Aung San Suu Kyi this morning. The topic was ‘Liberty’ and included a frank, rational but passionate analysis of what the idea of freedom means to this most incredible of women. I know it’s very cool to harp on about how great Aung San Suu Kyi is and I normally shy away from those sorts of personality cults, but I refuse to be put off by that.

Suu Kyi is a genuinely inspiring person whose quiet dignity under adversity should be an example to us all.

I actually wrote a short story inspired by Suu Kyi last year, which was published as a part of the 2010 Anthology of New Asian Writing.  The story can be read here.  I don’t want to post it here, as I don’t want to take custom away from their website.

Strangely, I just got an email asking me to submit a story for their 2011 anthology, and have had an idea knocking about lately set in the aftermath of the Japanese tsunami, so I might get started on writing that this week.