poetry

Writing goals 2018 and a question, dear readers…

 

Welcome to 2018! I’ve found it was useful to talk about writing goals at various points in the past so this is my housekeeping/ looking forward/ looking back blog for the year. Partly for my own reference but I’ve also got a question for you guys!

Housekeeping: I was really pleased to finish #26Cantons52weeks in the allotted time. I made a snazzy (sort of) homepage for it here: https://clairevetica.wordpress.com/26cantons52weeks/

I’ve also updated my About me page and added a new pic.

Taking stock: according to my submissions document, in 2017 I had 32 rejections and 4 acceptances. They say you should aim for 100 rejections per year so I only got a third of the way there. Partly this is because I only have about 6 hours ‘writing time’ per week but mostly because I really slowed down on sending submissions for various reasons, including making a decision not to pay for any submissions/reading fees/competition entries. Three acceptances were short stories, one is a poem that’s still in the pipeline. I love my poems but I guess in general the lit journals don’t? Or maybe I’m too impatient and I just publish all the best ones here 😉

My writing plans for 2017 were as follows

  • have a reasonable first draft of the novel by mid-year to give to early readers to feed back on – Not even close, I’ve barely touched my novel, although I did have a brainwave for a new start the other day, watch this space
  • (self-?) publish a chapbook of poetry and/or publish or contribute to a book of short stories –  The more I think about this, I don’t think I’m ready yet. I need to keep writing poems and consider themes etc.  before I go there.
  • record more poems – let’s say 6. At least one every two months – I achieved this and more, yay! Check out my soundcloud
  • perform some poetry live to an audience at least once (eek!) – haven’t made much headway here 
  • make a bit of money off my creative writing (ie: non-journalism) – not so far, still hopeful! 
  • get at least five pieces published in places that are not Claire-controlled: journals etc. – I made this target, if I include my upcoming poem and this writeCon writeup I had in The Woolf 
  • And I finished the #26Cantons25Weeks project. Woo hoo! As I say in the Woolf story, it was a valuable lesson to learn from Diccon Bewes about the amount of work it would take to potentially spin a project such as this into a book. Food for thought…

Writing goals 2018

I’m at a point where I really need a paid job. Both for myself and due to family circumstances. So I’ll be focusing on that for the next couple of months, which will mean less blogging. At this stage, I’ve had to be a bit tough with myself and decide I won’t even think about novel writing, short stories or poems too much while I focus on the job-hunt. It’s make or break time.

I’m sure a few poems will pop out, and maybe some travel stuff, but I need to give myself permission not to feel bad about putting my creativity on hold (sob!) to focus on finding work. And unfortunately, due to some travel in April, I won’t be able to participate in GloPoWriMo global poetry month this year either. 😦

Otherwise from that, I guess my goals remain much as above… I will revisit it all in May.

 

A few other bits and pieces:

  • I have created a Facebook author page if you want to ‘like’ me on there. It is mostly just publicising my blog posts at this stage but hoping to share a few articles and maybe have more writer-type discussions there. https://www.facebook.com/clairedoblewriter/
  • I’ve started using Twitter a bit more and I’m @Carabosse there

 

 

AND FINALLY…

I made this poll a while back and never published it. I was going to ask you, my readers, what you would you like to see in the next, say, six to twelve months, from Clairevetica?

Since this is mostly a place for me to write whatever, I don’t promise I’ll actually follow your advice. But it would be nice to know what some of you think!

Please feel free to pm/ speak / email me with your thoughts as well

 

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Cheers, Claire

Advertisements

Sale!

I clip the coupons

shop the bargains

steel myself

for the feel

of cheap shoes

that sweat up my feet

cheat and lie

that it’s working

I’m saving

the planet?

ha ha

steal some time

from myself

spend some time

on myself

me-time

me-spend

me-save

me-fake

new year, new you?

what about

me, me me!

never keep

the receipts

 

Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/sale

The Caged Lake

trapped behind bars

and rooms with candelabras

watched over by stone lions

hemmed by iron pylons

you laugh a liquid chuckle

claim your sovereignty

in droplets

human greed encroaches

puts you in a bottle

still you slide away

you are me, you say

I’ll destroy your structures

by the molecule

as you build them

I erode

froth, ozone, fog and puddle

cage me if you wish

I’m the undertow

the overthrow

and more

in every pore

you know

the score

 

I wanted to use this line ‘the undertow and the overthrow’ since reading it in a poem by Aurora Phoenix, it seemed to fit here on a poem musing about Lake Geneva, how it’s so big and yet people seek to own it and/or make private property of it. How can we own nature? Water is part of us. And yet clean water is a privilege and a commodity. Not sure I entirely captured it (!) but need a few poems to break up the ‘cantons’ … 

 Photo: the fence of a chateau on Lake Geneva (snapped by me!)

Eyeball

 

my eyeball is scratched or

there’s a filament of lint on it

and I lie here and wonder if

I’ll go blind

a bit melodramatic

more like think if

I’ll still feel it in the morning, if not

will I remember

the ghost of lint past?

contact lenses

I look better but I don’t see better

And my big toe hurts

at the side where

the nail’s cut too short

maybe it’s infected

or my sheet is tucked too tight

maybe it’s cancer

we don’t talk anymore

in bed because

you’re not here

and

there’s a sort of pride in holding all one’s own problems

inside one’s own head but

oh well

good night.

 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@alia_wilhelm

 

 

Pack up your bushel in your old kit bag: Spoken word

 

I think the problems

are the bad things ?

I think the strengths weak

oh, cut the strings

 

Talk, talk, talk, talk

feels like a beginning

but it’s banter, chatter, nothing-muchof

saying ‘I am’ is not winning

 

It’s all fused like

a mangled globe of light

don’t hide it under a bushel, love!

but what if/ the bad things/ the bad thoughts/ the bad strengths/ the bad weaks/ the bad weeks/ the bad strings

are right?

 

 

Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/recording-125

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@pieschwarzler

Bluelight

The world makes itself anew

colder and darker

in this hemisphere

begins to shutter herself

for winter and why

do I always see a dull sunrise

over the Piccadilly line

those rows and rows of human homes

neat and pointed, roofs as far

as the eye can see

I can see

the world begin and end here

maybe

mean old time

is a bully from Greenwich

a bleak day

for a new year

as the pall of a zillion tiny screens

slides over faces

uncaring and uncareful with unshed

bluelight tears

Blood

every woman knows

how to wash

blood from cloth

so it disappears

you might see the shadow of the stain

if you know how to look

oh, we hear the whispers

secret shames, not saying names

like we know the ache of

cold hands

cracked with soap

to soak blood away

tendrils shift and flow but

no, never be new again

blood, blood, indelible and

has War been declared?

or merely a parable

as we breathe battle cries

in soft, lipstick-smears

but

don’t underestimate the touch

the shrill, strident, bossy, quiet, nurturing clamour

of those who ken

how

to out blood

because we know how

know when,

oh, me too

minor, major, doesn’t matter

the wound sits

dark, underneath

and maybe it’s time

to win a battle

crack silence, a shot

and

take a little ground

do not, do not, underestimate the power

of those whose life is bound

in blood and shadows

do you feel it? The rising awe, the gore

I can taste blood. Blood! I can taste

a shift. blood

Blood,

I can taste…

victory

 

 

Added to dVerse open link night

atmosphere

 

between the top of clouds and

the lid of the sky

sunlight breathes shallow and sits

in thin air

her warm fingers edged with

cold wind

the weight of majestic rays

higher than mountains, above fields

alone, over hidden cities of busy lives,

the mess and rush of love and hate, real life

up here

not really anywhere,

significant

temporary

ripped only by metal wings or feathered flight

mostly, a lonely nowhere

except

hovering in that secret blue place

I ache and stretch tendrils of tenderness,

could I reach?

everywhere

my yearning

feels like atmosphere

 

 

 

The inspiration for this came in part from a poem by Frank Hubeny which conjured the idea of the sun above the clouds having its own little game up there.

I sat on this for a month because I was planning to submit it to a journal callout for ‘immigrant poems’ — it speaks to my experience as an expat/person out of place/away from home. But then I got busy and missed the deadline, oops. 

Photo: Idella Maeland on Unsplash

cars & guitars

try to pin thoughts

like pressing guitar strings into

my heart – tender meat – but

I never learnt that instrument

apart from listening

my fingers, so clumsy

I can’t. No. I can’t

understand anymore

where do I start

already halfway gone, and

there’s no place to

pull in

open up my bonnet

tweak the engine, maybe

put a new one in

 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@felipeluiz27