My mother had a surprise last week. I gather she was knitting whilst listening to the BBC Wales evening news and, at the mention of Swansea University, she looked up and my ugly mug was staring back at her from the TV! How I got in there I don't know but I hope somebody is going to let me out soon ;)
In The Art of Poetic Volunteering back on October 7th, I mentioned that I was intending to attend (that's a nice phrase innit!) a seminar by poet and playwright Patrick Jones. I went with Yang Ming, a fellow MA classmate, and enjoyed hearing about the ways that writing can open up the lives of people living with mental disabilities like dementia.
Curiously enough, as a person who has had high dose chemo and radiotherapy, I know that early onset dementia may be waiting for me somewhere in my timeline and I wrote a poem, The Missing Man, that ponders what sort of man I'll be if that transpires. I didn't have my laptop with me so couldn't use Hazel to read it aloud to the group, but somebody used their phone and pulled it up on the Ink Pantry website and Patrick read it out himself :)
What I had forgotten was that there was somebody filming a part of the seminar. Patrick is Artist in Residence at the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, so assumed it was for their use, but it was this that was being shown on the Welsh news. I gather that Yang Ming and I are shown for a decent amount of time, Yang Ming writing something, me looking deep in thought well that's how I picture myself anyway — I'm aiming for a speaking part next time, haha). If I can figure out how to edit the video copy I made of the news to cut out the 20 preceding minutes, I'll post the clip on YouTube as soon as I can :)
No, this isn't just an excuse for you to listen to some music by The Beatles! I'm feeling more and more uncomfortable about writing a novel set in Paris without having been to Paris for more years than I can remember (I remember travelling on a coach through Paris en route to the South of France, but I've never walked the streets to absorb the sounds and smells and ambience of the city. Now that I can't see pictures of the streets and buildings, can't look at a map to use realistic locations and routes, I worry that my prose is going to be lacking; at MA level I can't afford it to be unconvincing.
So I'm pondering the options for a Paris day trip! Goodness knows how I'm going to fit it in between now and Christmas (on Christmas Day I'll have about 2 weeks left to write my 6000-word chunk of prose and 2000-word reflective essay) for Long Form Fiction, up to 3000 words of poetry and a 2000-word reflective essay for Poetry 1, and a 45-page movie or TV script plus treatment and character profiles for the screenwriting assignment. What would be handy would be if the Big Friendly Giant could come and make me dream of Paris one night so I can absorb its essence without having to get myself there!
Closer to Home
For anybody in Swansea, or within travelling distance of Swansea, I think I'm going to be doing a longer slot at Noah's Yard in the Uplands sometime this month. I don't know the date yet, but I suspect it'll be a Wednesday evening since that's when the last poetry at Noah's Yard event was held. Watch this space :) xx