"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde
I’m knackered, dear reader. This week saw the beginning of my year as writer in residence at the Royal Derby Hospital (RDH). The arts team at the hospital arranged a series of back-to-back visits to give me a flavour of work in several departments. I’ve led a fairly charmed life in terms of illness and injury, so my own hospital experience is a bit limited. Even this first session gave me a wealth of stories and characters to think about.
Speaking (as we almost were) of surgery, Tinker has been suffering for some time with a troublesome hole, which was attended to by Rob the Hat. Cold air no longer whistles through the back cabin, and the boat feels much more snug.
I had a brief meeting with Jane Mathieson of Time to Read and Steve Dearden of NALD: inspiring and energising figures. We are all determined to improve the relationships between writers (who like to read in libraries) and librarians (who like to use writers, but don’t always know how): so we’re setting up a training day.
Meanwhile, planning goes on for the revived Barnaby Festival – including this website. A team of dedicated and unpaid volunteers are busy programming to make this a really lively, high-quality arts festival which will jerk Macclesfield out of its cultural apathy. The new identity looks very cool.
The weekend arrived and I headed for Walsall to lead a workshop, then battened down the hatches to do further work on Aching for Dick, in response to feedback from last week’s workshops. Playwriting is so different from poetry – there has to be a plot, dammit, and people talk to each other all the bloody time. The challenge is great, but the rewards when I’m making progress are great too.
Obsessive origamist Howard has moved on in his own art, from shagging pigs…. let me rephrase that, ‘ from origami representations of shagging pigs…’ to floral arrangements, which I was persuaded to model after a glass of wine. What will he try next?
It’s Mothers’ Day next Sunday. How about writing a piece (poetry, prose, whatever) about your mother? Post the finished piece in ‘comments’ and let’s see what results.