Thursday, 11 March 2010


Been away from my personal record of events for some time now.I have not attended many Open Mics(just one)as at times I have been staying late in the printing shop to get my first booklet sorted out.

From the last post I was caught wondering about the discrepancy between the number of pages available with the relative lack of material prepared to fill them! I reduced the booklet back to 32 pages which included a fair amount of material superimposed on pictures and images. To do this the printer converted to white script or red with black edging and so forth. I am very pleased with the finished product and particularly with the cover which portrays exactly the apocalyptic scenario I sought.

I have also been up to my parents(5 days)as one or two things now need to be sorted out within the family so I have used holiday saved and needing to be taken before the end of this month. To this purpose I have a further 5 days starting from this Saturday. I do have a laptop but as it is at the mercy of the same signal as mobile phones are unluckily it cannot be used at my parents home!It is ok round where I live. I have to go out in the car to park to find a signal up there.

All very limiting from the point of view of this blog but I can tell this blog that I have another booklet taking shape in my mind as well as an idea for a display. this would incorporate images some of which appear in the booklet, blown up to fill, with others, a standalone poster. This will I hope create interest amongst the booksellers in respect of book signings. Whilst up in Hertfordshire I visited bookstores in Stevenage and Hitchin with no result or interest. The main outlets appear to be at the mercy of head office or have had others try and fail and the smaller ones have little space and deal mostly with local history-at any rate not with new books. Interesting problem and experience gained in an area of the country where I had not the intention of trialling realistically. I'll have to work out what to say with my local shops with the aid of my poster when the time comes.

I have also discovered that an ISBN number is required. One can't just sit in the corner and happily plug away, taking money and giving change. Everything is not only done through the shop till but the author gets paid by Head Office. Will sign off now as short time left at the library. Will comment further.

Friday, 19 February 2010

Booklet creation

Been a bit absent from this record as have been trying to push through production of a 36 page booklet in anticipation of making a 5 day visit to the Open Mics of the Bristol/Bath areas beginning March.However the combination of the printing chap suddenly being away on holiday a few days ago, my not knowing what I'm doing- what he needs from me and more to the point, what is possible ; also I will now be away for the weekend including the Monday-means I am not on target.

A further complication being that the printer, who is extremely helpful way beyond the call of duty, has inadvertently created a blank booklet with too many pages(40) in and I have not got enough material prepared to fill them at the last minute like this. All in all I will put it down to the usual life thingies unexpectedly throwing things in the way.

I have been to some events and when I get back I shall catch up here.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Fox and Hounds Cattistock 9th Feb every other Tuesday

A once in a lifetime event for me I'm afraid. Not everything in life runs smoothly and this was one of those times.I quickly realised that this was the Annie Freud show(yes indeed-a relative)and that the quieter I remained the smoother my life became.

It was not just the edgyness one felt when it was your poem's turn for criticism-the backhanded compliments, but that any remark you made was liable for a good slapping down. I noticed that the other two males were very wary and I could see why. One was however as it were taken under the wing as he declared to all and sundry that he liked a good drink of an evening after work(every evening)and as the theme(unbeknownst to me)had been set as 'Drinking' I could quickly see how this habit was considered to be a valuable asset.

Most of the work was couched around falling down drunk and the freedom you felt. Most of the participants declared a healthy interest in this activity and therefore the event proved a raging success. I must declare myself neutral at best when it comes to the amber nectar being able to go for months on end with no thought of it passing my lips. Shame I missed out on a valuable experience and I intend to do so again

Sunday 8th Feb at Gateway, Alder Hills,Poole

A very pleasant evening at the Gateway Church. Mary who mc'd and read from her own work as well as acting a comedy sketch with another lady, was very encouraging to poets and musicians experienced and not so.

Due to the new nature of this event I was able to read from one of my longer poems and enjoyed the practice.There was a break for coffee and biscuits(free as well as free entry)then I was able to read from my shorter poem Brown & Co about Baron Von Richthofen.

To conclude proceedings Mary gave a powerpoint account of the life of St Valentine from Ancient Roman times. This was a charming and topical way to top off a great evening.I shall most definitely go again.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Freeplay Mix at King Charles pub in Poole Thursday 4th Feb

My second involvement in this format was equally enjoyable. Again I was asked to read to musicians jamming. It was quite a coincidence as I had decided to read out my poem Rorke's Drift and it so happened that there was a gentleman from West Africa there that night who played the drums-loads of them!

Earlier in the evening(the evening lasting about three hours!)this chap had done a Masterclass on the playing of these involving many willing members of the gathering.He explained what each drum was made out of and what it was called-demonstrating one by one the different tone of each. He then coached all to produce a gradually more complicated synchronisation. What a good teacher.

Right at the start of the evening (and I had known about this through googling near to the time so that I was prepared)we were encouraged individually to come to the mic and talk about our work and what plans we had to advance or transmit it.I talked about how I had this website and blog and that a friendly printer was helping me prepare my work for an initial small booklet(perhaps one of three)and business cards to use like confetti.

Here I am gradually catching up with events on my blog. Plenty more to follow. Still to talk about an excellent Open Mic at a Church where I was able to read one of my long poems...coming up.

Tongues and Grooves at Portsmouth Sunday 31st Jan

In the end I was only able to read one short poem though I was promised two originally. This was mainly due to the function room at the Florence Arms being jam packed!Obviously a popular venue and perhaps made more so by the teasing and leg-pulling indulged in by the creator and MC of this event Maggie. All the more quirky when juxtaposed with her quite serious demeanor!Mercifully she left us newbies alone. I don't know what to expect next time though.

There were some excellent musicians and singers, truly masterful and I could understand if these were chosen over what may be always some over-indulgent poetry!

Friday, 29 January 2010

Poetry Cafe at Salisbury Arts Centre

This was last night and monthly on I think the last Thursday of each month. Very good atmos and a few people I recognise from other Poetry Evenings in the area. Would like to have had a chance to read one of my longer poems but the event too popular for that!Grace is very sweet and you can turn up and book in on the night. There is usually a guest poet.

The Arts Centre is in the actual Cathedral and at night the effect of the lighting around the outside of the building is quite dramatic.Inside is friendly and surprisingly warm and there is a Bar!See you there.