The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Let it snow…

Naval contemplation

Isn’t this lovely? It’s by Laurie Rowan, a fellow traveller in the Hundred Days to Make Me a Better Person project. I am already a 13% better person, having written for 15 minutes every day since December 1st. Suddenly I’m attempting short stories and plays, as well as poetry. Very heartening. I’m getting back into thinking like a writer – seeing ideas everywhere and longing to write them down immediately.

It seems that an application for two years’ funding takes about two years to write. At last, the draft of National

Little Venice: buildings and boats

Poetry Day’s big funding bid is complete. Indeed, it’s been a planning-centric week  – I’ve been in That London for meetings about NPD and a poem to accompany a film for the National Trust. I stayed with friend Ruth (below) in Little Venice, where rusty little boats snuggle up to big Georgian houses. Back at my desk there were emails and calls about other projects – readings with Jenn Ashworth and Sam Youd, the Illuminate Festival in Derby, a  project for young people in Brum (please pass this on to any West Midlands-based young writers) and my writing residency at Derby Hospital.

Veg shopping in the dark. How metropolitan.

Let me explain... Alan Buckley

After all that planning it was nice to do an actual (tiny) reading at the Blue Cap, Sandiway

Charlie with Moqapi Selassie

– short story writer/ novelist David Gaffney did a brilliant set. Then it was back to Birmingham for the severalth time in weeks, to meet with talented poet Alan Buckley (left) about a future collaboration which, though still amorphous, got us both very excited. Afterwards it was on to Wolverhampton for a double-bill of bolshiness – Adrian Johnson and Emma Purshouse in Resistance, Revolt, Rebellion. Adrian’s piece, Love and Taxes, can be seen in miniature here. He’s making a real fist of his year as Birmingham Poet Laureate and is planning all manner of poetic activity through 2010. I snuck in a bit of Christmas shopping too, and a meal with mentee Charlie Jordan.

Adrian with music man Jessie

Summer in Macclesfield

Saturday was supposed to be a day of rest but actually involved a lot of necessary DIY/ boaty stuff – and then it all went dark. I was invited to Curly Jane’s. The residents are skilled (or at least experienced) drinkers and we blame them entirely for what followed. At least we didn’t get covered in flour this week. But we woke up feeling a bit like this (left)….

Hollybush merriment

Then… home, to the chimps’ tea party which is the Macclesfield Home for the Unusual.

Home sweet home

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2 comments on “Let it snow…

  1. Jane Munro
    December 14, 2009

    Curly Jane says:’Mmmm, I was a little liverish, myself on Sunday. The marbles have been a god send mind.’

    • Jo Bell
      December 14, 2009

      How was I to know that you would be Straight Jane that evening? Glad the marbles have come in handy. See you soon dearie – sorry we left early, I was knackered!

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