#atinylife VIPoet

Since my residency at Lanterne Rouge ended, I hadn’t been back to the coffee shop. ‘I’m so busy!’ I told myself.

Bluff.

I was scared that it might feel different. Less mine, somehow. That I wouldn’t be a VIPoet anymore.

At the time of writing, I am back. It’s just the same. Although there are some very lovely new sugar bowls! The box where folk could ask for book recommendations has been replaced by a Cyclist Café of the Year award. There’s a collecting tin where I used to put my poem of the month.

very important poet

And the best bit is the welcome. It always has been, here. I still feel like a VIP – everyone who comes to this wee coffee shop in this wee part of the world is welcomed, made to feel important and special.

Because we all are.

#atinylife Listen Softly²

Listen S Feature SetI’m back at Listen Softly Edinburgh on Thursday 16th January.

Not as an open mic guest.

Not as a new voice.

Not as a co-host.

As a FEATURE PERFORMER!

For those who aren’t obsessed with spoken-word, a feature performance is the sort of thing you can put on your CV – it puts your name on the listing with, other, frankly, much more successful (and indeed intimidating) poets and writers.

I get to prepare six whole poems to read – not two, or one long one. I’m even able to include a short work which I’ve not read before. I’ll also be reading a new version of my most successful poem to date, Cauterise, which was short listed for an international award last year.

If you’re in the area, it would be great to see you. Tickets are available from this link.

#atinylife The Last

This is one of those weeks where 140 words won’t be enough.

I launched my first anthology this week: edited and printed in East Lothian, part of my residency of Lanterne Rouge, cycling cafe of the year UK(!) in Gifford, East Lothian.

The book has twenty poems, some from East Lothian, some from further afield.Lanterne Rouge The Last All proceeds from sales go to St Columba’s Hospice.

It was printed with excellence (a five star service) by East Lothian Council’s print unit. Wendy Neill is amazing!

We hosted a daytime and an evening event on launch day. Both were packed.

Many, many people told me how well I had done.

I am not used to hearing that.

There are copies of the book available at the cafe. I am working on getting them online so people further afield can purchase one. Watch this space!

 

#tinylife write like a grrrl

For the last six weeks, I’ve been escaping from the teatime/bedtime routine and driving myself into Edinburgh.

I’ve been learning how to build a character, a setting, dialogue, and how to put these elements together into a short story, all under the magnificent captaincy of Dr Claire Askew.

WLAG

But by far the best part has been meeting the rest of the group. My WLAG colleagues. Writing with them, sharing with them. We have already started championing each other’s work and projects – a meet up is planned at my next spoken word gig! I can’t wait to see what each of them go on to do next. I’m looking forward to saying ‘yes, we did Write Like a Grrrl together.’ 

Writers work alone. But we need that community, too. That encouragement. The busy silence of a roomful of writers, writing.

#atinylife gonefishin’

gone fishin'As I scuttle off for the summer months, I just wanted to say some ‘thank yous.’

Thanks for sticking with me.

Thanks for telling me you read tinylife every week.

Thanks for the likes and comments: here, on Facebook, on Twitter.

Thanks for letting me whine, ramble, rant, figure things out as I go along, say very little, say far too much, say things in a roundabout way, say things in a direct way, say things with brutal honesty, and talk on a range of disparate subjects.

Thanks for putting up with my God-awful drawing skills.

Particular thanks to Cheryl for not being cross when I forgot (again!) to post her guest posts.

Thanks to Cheryl for her guest posts.

Thank you for supporting my writing, my poetry, my novels, and my creative life.

tinylife will be back in September.

#tinylife binaryfree

It’s tricky to make sure everyone feels included sometimes. Here are some non-binary terms for everyday use.

For a mixed group of people

binary free

Folks (see also, Folx)

People (see also Peeps)

Everyone

Team

Gang

 

Foolish Mortals, Rat Bags, Noodles, You Horrible Lot, Hominids [these are all to be said in a nice way, and as a joke, just so you know…]

Children: class, weans, kids, kiddies, wee-ones, possums, lambs, loves, my loves, campers.

For Family

Offspring, Siblings, Niblings (your sibling’s children), My oldest/youngest, My nibling, Parents, Family, Grandparent, Nuncle (goes with nibling and probably better than nunty?)

For a person of any gender

Mate, Pet, My lovely, Duckie, Honeybun, Chicken-poodle, Lambie,

Doctor, Professor, Judge, the Right Honourable, Bishop, the Reverend, Very Reverend

Your highness, oh Great One, Mighty Ruler, Wonderful Counsellor, Your Grace, the Everlasting  [these will usually be sarcastic?]

 

 

#atinylife nap

I have wonderful friends. And family. I’m lucky.

But the bar can always be raised, right? Right? We all went to a friend’s house the other day. Regular readers will know about my ongoing (whining about) mental health problems. It had been one of those weeks.

What is the best thing to do to help a friend who is struggling? I am rubbish at helping other people with their mental health – I know what it feels like, not how to help.

But this friend, she knew. She didn’t ask anything of me, not even my company. I was tucked up on a day bed, in their spare room, with my youngest, and a computer playing Spiderman and the Spiderverse. I had a power nap and managed to keep up with the story.

nap

It was the best visit ever. Thanks guys!