I'm mad for resolutions, can't help myself. It helps me focus to have goals or a theme, even if its a Do- Nothing Theme, which might be January for me. I'm so sluggish after Christmas I might as well be covered in mud. I had an amazing writing year last year, an agent, a book deal for The herbalist and winning Writer Of The Year and I kept, most, of my writing resolutions. This year I'm hungry to find out more about poetry, so I'll be doing a lot of reading, and hopefully workshops if I can find the time/cash, but in the meantime, I'm adding a section to my blog posts called Some Words On Poetry.
So, this years resolutions look like this-
Complete Poetry CollectionI'm working hard on a series of poems, most seem to be inspired by characters from Irish myths and European fairy tales and some are fueled by my own life, I wonder are they two collections or one?
I'll just keep writing and see. I'm reading Strong Words, manifestos from poets on poetry, some of the manifestos are marvellous- those from Yeats and Selima Hill, but a lot of them would do your head in.
Arrange Short Story Collection
I have a collection of short stories, written over four years, from 2009-2012 and I will be putting them in order in one ms. I also have a few stories, more recent ones, that I want to rework and add to the collection. It's called The Wild Cats Buffet after one of my earliest stories, though it may change.
Write NovelI'll be working on a new novel, a fast first draft. I had begun a novel I was excited about last year but made the brutal mistake of gabbing about it too early, so its lost most of its fire for me. I'm going back nevertheless to try again on Monday, when the kids are back in school. I'll devote six weeks to getting as much down as I can, and this time I'll stay stum.
4, 5, 6...
This year I would love to travel, Paris would so nicely:) And I'm going to stop biting my nails. And launch my novel this summer. And get up earlier, and be more organised, and get haircuts and .... those kinds of normal woman things... and, of course, tidy the bloody ramshackling house. And watch loads of silent movies in bed. And rediscover the joys of porridge.
Some Words On Poetry
'Revision is the party'( from Billy Collins /Paris Review Interview)
'I try to write very fast. I don’t revise very much. I write the poem in one sitting. Just let it rip. It’s usually over in twenty to forty minutes. I’ll go back and tinker with a word or two, change a line for some metrical reason weeks later, but I try to get the whole thing just done. Most of these poems have a kind of rhetorical momentum. If the whole thing doesn’t come out at once, it doesn’t come out at all. I just pitch it...
People say, Don’t throw anything away. This is standard workshop advice: Always save everything. You could use it in another poem. I don’t believe that. I say, Get rid of it. Because if it got into a later poem it would be Scotch-taped on. It would not be part of the organic, you know, chi, the spine that the poem has, the way it all should be one continuous movement.