The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Moby Dick and the Mysterious Spaces

My blog, Wordled

My blog, Wordled


Friend Wendy exists in a parallel universe as children’s author Lorrie Porter, indeed exists in a parallel universe for much of the time. She introduced me this week to Wordle. It’s bloody marvellous – type in your own words and you get a brilliant word cloud. Here’s one based on this blog (above). The word I use most often turns out to be ‘poetry’.  
For those of you who want to see the designs for the companion stones I’ve been talking about so much – visit the supplementary page listed above as ‘companion stones – progress report’. Meanwhile, there was a corking event last week at the Taurus Bar in Manchester as part of Pride. I went to wave a flag for Allison McVety, former Arvon colleague and now a Forward Prize shortlister, who read beautifully and with a quiet strength of confidence. More flag-waving for John Lindley, at an evening in Sandiway organised by Liverpool’s Dead Good Poets: a full and energetic house in both cases.

Kirsty's chapel


On to Ledbury, where the orchards are heavy with apples and pears, for a trustees’ meeting following this year’s Ledbury Poetry Festival. It was the best ever; now we have to start thinking about 2009. If anyone has particular acts to recommend, let me know. I kept heading west, to visit chum Kirsty’s Gloucestershire chapel (see chapel left and garden below), where she spends her days fixing and glazing and plumbing and is currently building an eco-friendly toilet.

Kirsty's garden...
Personally, I only Do It Myself when driven to it – which for boaters, is often. Every time it rains a wet patch emerges on my mattress; not the carnal sort, the canal sort. I consulted the Handymen Oracles of the marina, Loz and Tom, as they slaved over a hot fairy cake (I’m in domestic goddess mode again). ‘Your portholes need to come out,’ said Tom, adding helpfully; ‘really, you should do it every year.’ La la la…. So, house-dwellers, I have to take all my windows out and stick them back in with chewing gum.

Fourpenny Circus are mid-bid (let us know right away of good venues in the NW or East Mids; small theatres and arts centres, village halls etc), and the companion stones is at the ‘now hand in your report’ phase. All arts projects are like this – a sandwich of applications on one side, reports on the other, with the artistic bits squeezed into the middle. Between stages is Charles Monkhouse’s Night Stations which looks like being a moving and strange affair. Equally mysterious is the random spacing that sometimes appears on this blog. Sorry chaps.

I’m reading Moby Dick and it’s fantastic. No-one told me it was funny! A wry sense of humour and a surreal structure rather like Tristram Shandy. Call me Ishmael. Or, as a performer at Pride said, call me Daisy Buttercup.

2 comments on “Moby Dick and the Mysterious Spaces

  1. lorrie porter
    August 25, 2008

    I told you, the stars twinkle more brightly in my universe.


  2. fiona robyn
    September 2, 2008

    Thank you for the link Jo – hope your readers drop by and maybe send me a submission or two!

Comments are closed.


This entry was posted on August 23, 2008 by in Writing exercises.
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