Archives for the month of: March, 2017

I’ve been blessed this past week with inspiration from other writers. Last Thursday I watched and listened to Rowan McCabe perform at The Stanza in North Shields. Five years ago Rowan, Andrew Sclater and I took part in Amuse Bouche, a scheme run by Apples and Snakes and Stockton ARC to improve our poetry performance skills. We three enjoyed working together and  it was wonderful to see natural performer Rowan in full flow at The Stanza.

The following day I ordered Andrew Sclater’s poetry pamphlet, Dinner at the Blaws-Baxters from the delightful Happenstance Press. This Scottish publisher produced the pamphlet last year. My copy arrived on Saturday morning but I’d already left the house to co-run the third North Tyneside Writers’ Circle at North Shields library by the time it was pushed through my letterbox. I opened the package that evening.

Opening the Happenstance package felt like opening a birthday or Christmas present. What a treat. My excitement mingled with the buzz from the day. That morning I’d enjoyed North Tyneside Writers’ Circle guest, the poet Steve Urwin performing and talking about his work. Inspirational.

I devoured Andrew Sclater’s Happenstance pamphlet on Sunday morning and hope I get to see him perform again soon.

Yesterday morning I ran a workshop for the  Cramlington Writers’ group. It was my third visit to this committed and supportive group. I borrowed Jennifer C Wilson’s Ekphrasis workshop idea and shared it in Cramlington. The workshop tried to coax inspiration out of art: painting, photos, sculpture.

Cramlington Writers’ group had done their homework. They brought a wide range of art from their homes including a Balinese wooden sculpture and a 60 year old wood cut from Africa.

Thanks to Rowan, Andrew, Steve, Jennifer, Happenstance Press and The Cramlington Writers’ Group. Your words and actions are inspiring me to write this week.

Before poetry there was music. I started writing poetry over 30 years ago but I’ve loved music since childhood.

I remember lying in bed aged four and conducting an imaginary orchestra for my production of Swan Lake. I’d do this in order to stay awake for my Mam’s return from teaching at an evening class. I usually nodded off before she arrived home.

volumeMy adolescent and teenage years were filled with Top of the Pops, The Tube, The Oxford Road Show, Whistle Test, NME, Smash Hits, gigs at Newcastle City Hall, The Mayfair and Riverside, buying records at HMV, Windows and Volume Records on Newcastle’s Ridley Place.

My love of music spurred me on to earn a living as a music journalist and to start up several bands. Why? Because being in a band was and still is the coolest thing.

Music is the inspiration behind a creative writing workshop I’m co-running with Jennifer Wilson on Saturday here in Whitley Bay. Fancy joining us?

Teenage Kicks: Creative Writing Workshop takes place this coming Saturday, 4th March, at Whitley Bay Library.Attendees are  encouraged to  ‘bring along’  favourite songs (mentally only, no CDs needed!), and see where they go when combined with Jennifer’s prompts. Charming Salon Party

Jennifer and I will be sharing songs and pieces of music to conjure up new inspiration, and show how songs can inspire some fascinating moods, characters and plots. 

Teenage Kicks: Creative Writing Workshop Saturday 4th March, St Mary’s room, Whitley Bay library.  Tickets cost £15 . Advance booking recommended. Click here to book

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