You’ll be glad to know I survived the Great North Run, and it was marvellous but right now I can’t get up and down the stairs without swearing. Thank you so much for the donations, you are all utterly wonderful and you have helped to save babies lives, which is just an incredible thing. I’ll blog more on the GNR another time, along with some other bits and pieces (readings, books etc) but today I’m talking about the new course for which I am now taking bookings! See this page for how to secure your place: Season of Mist
Ah, autumn. It’s almost upon us, we’ve got the darker nights and the turning leaves, the elderberries just waiting to be made into wine and the sloes just waiting to be made into sloe gin (bit of a theme emerging here) but it’s still riding on the tail end of summer. It’s a strange time of year, after the buzz and flurry of constant bird song, fledglings, flowers, crops, and sunshine it’s almost a sheer drop when we find that it’s dark by 7pm, and it’s raining and you wake up to the sound of the heating coming on, and then you notice the birds aren’t singing anymore, and the stillness and quiet gets under your skin. I feel particularly peaceful at this time of year. It’s a time of year for re-evaluating life goals. In fact, I make better resolutions in autumn than I do in the New Year. I’m lucky enough being self employed to be able to take a break from work and get outside to walk the dog during the day time. We either go down onto the beach, or round the back lanes and farms or sometimes down Forge Valley. I feel like the world belongs only to me and I take great pleasure in my time out in the fresh air. But I also miss the summer. I miss the ease of summer clothes, not really needing make up because the sun does such a good job keeping my skin tanned and fresh looking, I miss sitting out and snoozing to the sound of bees and of course, any change in season is a reflection of time passing, age approaches, the years go quicker, our opportunities to do the things we want to do get fewer. As a social animal, especially in this age of instantaneity and immediacy, it’s difficult to not feel angry or frustrated over the changes we see, in the world, in society, in ourselves. There’s so much pressure to do everything while we’re young, and then it’s almost as if, post forty, you start to disappear, and by fifty you’re obsolete. Newspapers and magazines seem to have the sole aim of making us feel old, and advising us on how to fool the world into appearing ten years younger, because who wants to be their age and be obsolete? We’re on the outside of the pack, suddenly, and vulnerable to attack, we’d be picked off in the zombie apocalypse.
There is power in acceptance of change, there is power in allowing ourselves to be angry, there is power in sodding the rules and doing whatever you want to do despite what society thinks of you.
In this new online poetry workshop/course we’ll look at change and how it affects us. We’ll look at change in the seasons, in nature, in animals and plants, we’ll look at the frustrations of a changing society, and the way that we are manipulated by societal pressures. We’ll look at our own personal stories of change, our own anger and our own acceptance, and we’ll write warrior poems and celebration poems and poems that tell it how it is. Each week there will be a ‘lesson plan’ in which we’ll look at a poem or two by published, emerging and established authors and we’ll work our week’s writing around them. Each day you will receive a writing prompt directly to your inbox. You’ll also be invited to join a closed facebook group, which is a safe place to share poems and chat to other course participants.
Because this is a straightforward, no pressure workshop, I want to encourage people of all abilities and experience. I want to make these fun courses accessible even for people on a low budget. The fee for the whole thing is just £10, I need to cover my own time but I think this is a low enough amount that most people can save for it or afford it. There is a limited number of places and the previous course proved popular, so if you can, you are best off booking ASAP.
You don’t need to be in the facebook group, lots of the previous course participants did not join the facebook group, nor do you need to produce anything finished, or anything at all for that matter. The prompts are there for you to choose to use or not, there is no pressure at all.
The fee for the course is an up front payment of £10, payable by PayPal. Once payment has been made you can request to join the closed Facebook group. The group is not going to be officially active until October 1st but if you could just post a ‘hello’ and your name post I’d appreciate it, just so that I can make sure the technical aspects are working well.
As I’ve said before, you DO NOT need to be in the Facebook group to take part in the course, it’s not for everyone and quite understandable if you are just wanting to see what you can get from the course without it.
I’ll be running some ‘how to’ courses next year, starting in January, these will be a bit more involved and hands on, details will be posted on this website!