selfie

Hello WordPress

Author selfie

I’ve been on a slight hiatus this past week or so. With Spring arriving, it feels like time to pause and check in with myself. I’ve had a bit of success with my writing. But I’ve also made a few rookie mistakes and started grappling with that learning curve. Basically, I found that I really wanted to submit my work to a bunch of literary journals because I’m used to the Shoot! Cut! Print! mentality of working in media and I find it really hard not to have a “finished” product for my work. I’m trying to wean myself off this feeling as I think it means I sometimes send stuff off a bit half-baked in my desire to be done. That said, completion is no bad thing. DONE IS BETTER THAN PERFECT is a bigtime mantra of mine.

I wanted to talk a bit about WordPress as well. For those who don’t know – WordPress is the blogging platform I use here for Clairevetica. Around Christmas time, I took Facebook off my phone which has meant that now, instead of noodling around on the ‘book, I tend to read a bunch of blogs instead, which is nice. Although I do find the WordPress phone app does some odd stuff with its feeds. So, if I followed you but it seems like I never ‘like’ your stuff – it might be because I never see it? My feed seems to be full of the same 10 or 20 blogs even though I follow a few hundred. Oh well.

In writing news, I’m doing two things in the next few weeks. One – I’m starting an online writing course, which will be interesting and hopefully valuable. Two – I am planning to participate in GloPoWriMo again – the Global Poetry Writing Month that last April kind of kicked me into a new dimension of creativity. If all goes according to plan, both these things should help consolidate and advance my writing. Or it could all fall in a screaming heap because how tf do I have time for both these things?!

Anyway, I have at least one more story that’s being published but not until end of April so I’ll wait and tell you about that when it’s live. And I’m planning to keep submitting stuff but it takes ages – not just the actual submissions but reading the journals and trying to work out if my stuff will fit (usually, I think yes? But it’s hard to know for sure).  And then you get into this weird rabbit-hole of all the short story and poetry competitions – most of which you need to pay to enter. So it becomes a situation of do I put my money where my mouth (or pen) is? And, although the rewards could be huge (comp winners often find agents and book deals come knocking), it’s also stressful and a bit distasteful. Like – what an indication of privilege to be able to enter stuff and pay… and the other entrants will surely just be other rich first worlders so where’s the diversity in that? But, if I CAN afford to enter a few things and I really believe in my work… argh… you see the dilemma. Maybe once I’ve done this course and got some genuine feedback on if my stuff is “ready” I will be able to judge better whether it’s worth entering competitions. Anyway, hence the attempt at another author selfie. I don’t know about the sunglasses. A bit too closed off, no?*

PS: Do you guys want to read some flash fiction writing prompt stuff on here? I’m not sure if it’s really worth publishing but trying to ‘keep the hand moving’ and, as stated above, I feel the need to cut, shoot print.

 

*Sometimes my inner voice goes a bit Karl Lagerfeld

Goodbye old friend?

Phone

 

How do I speak about you as your twilight approaches

The way you fit so smoothly

in the palm of my hand

So many times I’ve held you

My fingers caressing your surface

A reassuring presence in so many ways.

Have my eyes dwelt on your radiant face

More often than on the sweet heads of my children?

I hope not, but I fear

You’ve been with me, so near

In almost every moment these past five years.

Have my fingers moved across your surface

More than they’ve trailed over my husband’s body?

Undoubtedly. How unfortunate.

So how do I say goodbye

To one who’s been so intimate

So close

And yet, also, tethered me to tough times

a symptom? or a cause?

when the wet rope of anxiety

wraps round my wrist

cutting, painful, trapped

dragging down, suffocating

in your glowing depths.

But you were a beacon

on those long, long newborn nights

A conduit of joy

upset, rage and the mundane

So many Moments: captured!

A modicum of comfort in exhaustion and despair

A window to the world, it sounds so trite!

Friends spoke, smiled and sobbed through you

And now, my most ardent hope

Is that your stuttering, failing light

Doesn’t flicker out before I fickle find

Your replacement

(A new galaxy awaits!)

It seems absurd to eulogise a machine

But, my smug little Smarty

Mirror of a thousand selfies

You’ve been with me through such a time

It feels silly-sad to lay you to rest

without some remark

before you go to gather dust in a drawer

is it fitting to bid you

Goodbye old friend?