Why such chuff-ness, I hear you cry?
Well, it’s all to do with the writing of my eight-poem sequence, Identity: My Early Writing Influences. This past weekend, I completed the Final Draft of the final poem; on Tuesday my fab friend and craft-y extraordinaire Zoe helped me create digital scrapbook-type images to illustrate the display folder (not only has this poem-process been a writing one for me, it has also been a creative-across-the-mediums one, teaching me that I can express my creative thoughts in ways other than just with words – plus, there are only eight poems, you see, so after the title, contents and end pages, the remaining empty poly-pockets needed filling!); and today I have craft-covered the folder to create a proper jacket for it...and so my Sequence is truly completed.
For those of you craft-centred (!), the green/gold paper is handmade and sold at my local craft shop, and the absolutely stunning magical/fairy tale images that I’ve used on the inside covers comes from ‘The Once Upon a Time’ papers from DCWV Premium Stacks (an indulgent but oh-so-wonderful purchase!). I created the frame on the front from a topper I had, backed it onto a journal-page-ish paper, and glued a key embellishment inside. I took my time with this crafting as I didn’t want to bodge this (!), and I’m really pleased with the result. I’m now thinking I could use this technique to revitalise the other boring, regulation plastic display folders I’ve got...!
I’m thrilled to say I have completed this project within its year anniversary (idea conceived 28th May 2011), and so can give myself a huge tick on my New Year’s Resolutions list – all is explained here! : http://debspenpot.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/resolution-review.html
Mainly, though, this project has been an enlightening reflection on the forces, events and people who influenced me as a Writer before I went to university (where I learned a helluva lot but hadn’t quite yet ‘found’ myself) and wrote my first novel (which I have mixed feelings about): if I was inspired, had ideas and wrote pieces before all that, I will do so again.
Which is a timely and rousing theme tune, as the process of beginning Novel Number Two has been a bit daunting and overwhelming for a while now. Interestingly, since poem-completion on Sunday, I’ve had characterisation and motivation thoughts pop into my head about one of my main people in NNT, who before was steadfastly blank and boring (even though she isn’t supposed to be)!
If you’re interested in reading any of the poems in my sequence, or indeed all of it (!), please leave a comment below with your email address (which the Pen Pot won’t publish, as I respect yours and my privacy), and I’ll email them to you for your perusal. This is because, unfortunately, featuring the poems on the blog would be considered ‘publishing’ them, making them ineligible for entrance into competitions and anthologies etc etc (although there’s always the exceptions, of course) – and I don’t want to rule myself out of any later opportunities I might wish to take.
So, in champagne-cork-popping closing, I’ll leave you with the final running order (and super-quick explanations), and hope you’ll join me in raising my glass to:
Identity: My Early Writing Influences
[how reading book-ends my life experiences]
A Piece of History
[from a homework task, a character comes alive & my teacher invests in her]
Alchemy of the Wordsmith
[the magic of using a thesaurus to find the right word]
Dear Jessica Fletcher
[a letter to my personal role model, who influenced me as a woman and a writer]
Murder, We Wrote
[a reflection on how the writerly instinct pushes through the TV programme]
[the confession of how I almost – but didn’t – use another writer’s words]
The Writer’s Toil
[to write is to toil, through all the stages it involves – and then it rewards]
[at my first dedicated place to writing, the desk, I learn to live inside & outside writing]
PS And for all my earlier twittering about A Piece of History & The Almost-Pirate being written in tandem and expecting them to appear in the sequence one after the other, still in tandem, I’ve only gone and split them up! Just goes to show you never quite know...