Posted by: storytellerbard | May 1, 2012

So, it’s been …

So, it’s been  quiet’ish sort of week.  I chucked out the TV license and cancelled my Sky subscription before I realised I can’t find any cake decorating programmes on iPlayer, either BBC or ITV; so I’ve shot myself in the foot a bit.

Problem is, since I spent all my money on going to uni these past three years (BA(Hons. doncha know!)  I can no longer afford to run my car AND watch TV so one had to go, and I do love driving.

I even received a little refund from the Beeb so that was nice. I don’t miss the TV at all, in fact as it’s already hooked up to my pc watching iPlayer is just like watching real TV except it’s better because you can choose exactly when you want to watch and not be dictated to by the TV Times. Of course this means no more cake progs, but there’s always You tube so it’s fine, really, it is, I’ll cope, okay?

Before I go any further I would like to say that I tried desperately hard to put pictures showing each stage of the technique; I placed the relevant pics at the end of the lines describing the action, but then it all went stupid and the wrong pictures were in the right places and the right pictures were in the wrong places and eventually I got fed up and abandoned the idea; however, it’s now 12.10am and I’m off to bed. Who knows: tomorrow when I’m refreshed and raring to go (yeah, right, like that ever happens) I might try to add a gallery so you can make sense of the twisted directions.

I haven’t decorated any cakes this week but I have been R&D’ing; still looking for that recipe for fondant which will meet my quite strict criteria.  It has to be strong, slightly supple, hard enough to hold it’s shape yet flexible enough to bend and not shatter (Does that sound like the ideal partner, or just wishful thinking?!)  Anyway, I’ve mixed, mashed,  melded and  moulded and still not quite there,  although I have high hopes for another recipe which I’ve come up with and will try out later in the week; I almost said tomorrow but forgot for a moment that something quite exciting is happening on Thursday, which necessitates tidying up the house tomorrow; I’ll tell you about it later, although it has absolutely nothing to do with cake decoration ( to be fair neither does this blog so far!).

I recently bought some ‘Silicone Plastique’, which is food-grade moulding material, so you can make your own moulds for sugar-crafting. The first couple of attempts were disastrous, but I think I’m getting the hang of it now.  The thing is you have to find something suitable for casting, such as a nice brooch or something. I made a lovely plaque from an old brooch I’ve had for donkeys years, which I plan to use on the sides of cakes and it would even make nice cup-cake toppers so there may be a market there.  Once I’ve perfected my fondant recipe I’ll be making lots of decorations and hopefully people will like them enough to pay for them.

Anyway, here’s that technique I’ve developed for adding colouring to the fondant; if you’ve ever done that you’ll know what a messy job it is; the colour stains everything it touches, including your fingers, and it takes such a long time; kneading and pulling and stretching and pushing for hours. But not any more!   I start by putting about 100gm  (that’s about three and a half ounce) of the prepared fondant into a arge sandwich/freezer bag  (I found the ones which have a touch-close zip-fastener thingy on top are best)  You need a good quality bag; those very thin, eco-friendly ones are just not strong enough for this.

So, your fondant is in the bag (shouldn’t we be calling  it ‘sugar-paste’ at this point? I think so; don’t you?) So, your sugar-paste in the bag, about in the centre.  Put the bag down on the worktop: don’t fasten it up! Gently begin, on the outside of the bag,  to flatten out the dollop of SP (abbrev, such fun 🙂 with the flat of your hand and then roll out the SP  from the centre toward the sides of the bag, not all the way to the sides mind.  If, after every couple of passes with the rolling pin, you open the bag, put your fingers in and gently ease the plastic away for the top of the SP you’ll make it easier to manipulate.  Turn the bag over and do the same finger-easing thing on the other side, then carry on rolling ’til the SP is quite thin. Now, tricky part first time you do it, but it gets easier: turn the bag inside out, with the SP sticking to one side of it, and now the SP is on the outside.

Lay the bag back down, SP side on top, and take a toothpick (a new one though, not the one you used after dinner last night!) or a small paintbrush and dip it in the food colouring medium.  I prefer the concentrated ones, but they are a bit pricey, so for practicing I use the cheapo supermarket ones. Dab a small amount of colour across the surface of the SP, it’s very concentrated so less is more; easier to add a little later if the colour’s not strong enough, but damn near impossible to take any away.  So, you should now be looking at something resembling your little cousin’s measles outbreak.  Gently ease your finger under the edge of the SP and begin to roll it up as though Cleopatra was laying on it, gagging for Caesar.

Ok so far? Good. Now, turn the bag outside in, so the SP is back inside the bag: don’t fasten it.  Begin to manipulate the SP through the bag, remember the SP is inside the bag and your fingers are outside the bag, yes I know you’re not an idiot but it doesn’t hurt to make sure. Remember those stress balls which used to be so fashionable, in fact there’s probably one down the side of the settee cushions if you look, use that sort of motion to pull, push and roll the SP and you should see the colour begin to mix with the white paste.  Keep kneading until all the colour is evenly mixed, unless you fancy a nice marbled effect, in which case stop before all the colour is mixed through.  I like the marbled effect and use it quite often; it’s nice for making lilies and orchards and other flowers where mottled colours abound.

Now; aren’t you impressed? No mess, no horrible sticky fingers, no shiny smudges on your nose, because you can put money on  it itching when you’re in the middle of something like this. And no layers of multi-coloured dust enveloping the house: there’s not much to beat icing sugar’s ability to drift over the entire place and lay in the oddest corners, exactly where your mother-in-law will run her white-gloved hand to check that you’re keeping up with the housework.

Since last week I’ve baked another German Friendship cake; this time I added bananas and walnuts, but it just wasn’t as nice as last weeks which was apple, sultana and walnut, so unfortunately there doesn’t seem much point in freezing it, I guess it’ll just have to be eaten, what a pity never mind. This is a cake which begins life as a yeast culture; not sure where it began but rumoured to have been growing for a number of weeks. What you do is you take the jam jar full of culture which your very nice friend has given to you, and you nurture it for 9 days. You stir it, feed it with sugar, flour and milk on days 4 and 8 and then on day 9 you divide it fourfold, use one portion to make your cake and give three portions (or two if you fancy making another cake from it) to friends, hence the name, Friendship Cake, rather a nice touch I thought.

I made my first one with bramleys, crushed walnuts and sultanas and it was delish; very more’ish and kids love it,. It made quite a big tray full; unfortunately I left mine in the oven a little too long and it burnt on the bottom, but it was delicious anyway and now it’s all gone 😦

Luckily, I saved a portion of potion from the first batch so I baked another Herman the German Friendship Cake  today, and now have three more portions to go at so the next one is going to be Carrot and Orange, I think.

Had a bit of a disaster in the kitchen though, which I’ll tell you about next week. x

Coming next week: The Day the Cake Escaped, and other stories (and Sugar-craft  stuff too if I remember/can be bothered 🙂

Posted by: storytellerbard | June 30, 2010

Long time standing

I’ve been on  a nice holiday in the Cotswolds with my sister, Wendy. We went on a coach trip;  I know, we got all the jokes when we foolishly told people we’d booked it but it was great. We thoroughly enjoyed every single moment of it, so there!
I always fancied a coach trip; when you’re a driver you go to these lovely places but never get to see anything of the actual journey apart from the road straight ahead, so just the thought of sitting back, not worrying about traffic jams and letting someone else deal with the inevitable (when I’m driving) road-rage while I sat serenely gazing at the scenery, was great.  Don’t let anyone ever tell you coach trips are for fuddy-duddys: we met some truly mad and remarkable people, we stayed in a wonderful hotel, had fantastic food and astonishing entertainment, but more of the entertainment in a minute.
I know the Cotswolds quite well, having taken my Aunt down there half a dozen times to see a  friend whom she knew as a young girl in 1942-43 in India. That’s a story in itself, but not for just now. I particularly love Bourton-on-the-water and beautiful Broadway and we got to go to these places on the day trips. Not having to worry about finding somewhere to park or stressing that I’d get fined for overstaying parking time was just wonderful.  The villages and market towns we visited were lovely, the weather was fantastic and we had a great time; I’d recommend it to anyone.  We met some great people too; fellow passengers who were mad as moles and well up for a laugh.

Anyway, the entertainment. Friday night, pissed off with that own goal in that football match, Wendy and I decided to doll ourselves up and go down to the bar for a drink. We’re both usually teetotal by the way, although that may not be apparent by the end of this post!  Now, this wasn’t a big deal for me: I hate football, always have and always will, but Wendy has a house full of soccer fanatics and is, in fact, a fully qualified referee: there, you weren’t expecting that were you?  She’d been quite looking forward to the football and I’d planned on a leisurely bathe while she watched the match in our room.  The bar was packed with disgruntled soccer fans, so,  feeling adventurous,  we got half a lager and lime each and wandered out into the foyer to see if there was anyone interesting to talk to.  Wendy peeked into the dining room to see if there was anything going on, as we’d heard a rumour at dinner that there may be a band playing that evening.  She quickly closed the door, said, “You gotta see this!” and shoved me at the door. There was a band on; the rumour was true: hurrah! 

I only wish you could have been there with us. We entered the dining room and sat at a table by the window; I couldn’t look at Wendy for fear of bursting into maniacal laughter and hurting the feelings of the ‘band’.
The singer would have been lucky to come last in a ‘Vera Lynn’ look-alike contest, the keyboard player was obviously used to playing solo organ in church, as she took not a blind bit of notice what the other two members were doing and never played the same tune as the guitarist, and the guitarist… I know about guitarers; my son, son-in-law and nephew are all guitarers, my son-in-law plays in 2 bands and my nephew is lead guitar with NYK, so I have a pretty good idea of what guitaring should sound like. This one didn’t sound like any I’d heard before. He played tunes known only to himself, but heavily influenced by Iron Maiden and John Denver, sometimes in the same song. 
If their combined ages were less than 180 then I’ll never let alcohol touch my lips again.   
I have never seen a performance like it. Ever. And I’ve seen plenty of strange performances. 
Vera was resplendent in a little off-the-shoulder baby-pink shift dress, it wasn’t designed to be off-the-shoulder, it just ended up that way.  She sported a Veronica Lake suicide blonde (dyed by her own hand) hairstyle, and wore the sweetest silver open-toed, backless, kitten-heeled shoes, which were obviously causing her some problems, as she frequently walked in front of the organ and the guitar to sit on a chair, remove the shoes and rub her feet: while the band played on.  Then she placed something around her neck which can only be described as a kipper-tie-shaped washboard, you know, of the type favoured by Lonnie Donnegan in his skiffle days.  She attempted to play this by running her now thimble-clad fingers up and down it, at least, she did until the string broke. 
Now, I was at the bar getting our glasses re-filled with more of this alcohol stuff that we don’t normally drink, and maybe that had something to do with our lack of control later.  Wendy described the incident in detail when I got back. 
Vera was mid-skiffle, not in time to the rest of the band of course, when the kipper-tie thing took on a life of its own.  Perhaps in a bid to escape her atrocious vocals it  began to slide down her chest until it became hooked on the neckline of her dress.  Unnoticed by Vera, but to the delight of the audience, her neckline plunged deeper and deeper, showing off her décolletage, encased in a pretty black and white polka-dot bra, to its finest advantage until it became too heavy for the frock and crashed to the floor, amid howls of laughter.  Unperturbed and ever the trooper, Vera simply kicked it behind her and carried on singing as though nothing untoward had happened. 
I returned to the room at this point. 
Vera  must have thought the music then lacked a certain something because she  produced  two wooden eggs from somewhere and commenced to shake them, but not in time to the music, at least, not in time to any music we could hear.   Meanwhile, the organist was having a problem with her mic.  It wasn’t the mic’s fault, I’m sure it would have been perfectly fine for anyone else, but she was in the  habit of nodding her head vigorously in time to some beat or other and often caught the mic with her forehead on the upswing and sent it spinning round on its boom stand, well away from her mouth, but as she wasn’t actually singing anything it didn’t make a great deal of difference to be honest, although she dutifully pulled it back round when time, and music, allowed. 
She was also having a bit of a problem with her left leg.  She was using both her feet on the pedals, as a good organist surely should, but occasionally the left leg found itself with nothing to do for a couple of beats, so it would amuse itself, and the audience, by flying up into the air to a point perpendicular to the floor, hovering there for a moment, and then dropping heavily back onto its pedal.  The guitarist, who’d introduced himself as Johnny No-Cash, played on irregardless.  He was a serious guitarist, you could tell this by the way he kept his eyes closed throughout each song (although that may have been the only way he could get through without breaking down)  To be fair, he wasn’t that bad: I suppose I’ve heard worse somewhere, but I can’t really remember.  He played mostly recognisable songs but with lots of little twiddly bits that the original composers would surely have written in to the final drafts if they’d thought about it. 
Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the situation where you know it would be so, so wrong to laugh out loud?
I have: often. This was worse. 
I really couldn’t decide whether they took themselves to be serious musicians.  Perhaps they did.  Perhaps this was just a stopping-off place on their road to stardom, it had just  stretched out a bit longer than they’d probably thought it would when they were fresh-faced teenagers, anxious to make their mark on the musical map.
So I tried not to laugh, really I did. I couldn’t look at Wendy, although I knew she was desperate to catch my eye; she told me later that for a moment she thought I was on the verge of crying, as my eyes were full of tears.  I held on as long as I could.  I mean over and beyond the call, I almost strangled myself in my attempts to keep rising hysteria under control, but I just couldn’t go on. 
As Vera and Johnny No-cash began a duet of ‘The White Cliffs of Dover’ my resolve cracked; I went; big time. 
I laughed until I could barely breathe. 
My back ached, my throat hurt and all my carefully applied eye-make-up washed away in the torrents of tears which flowed down my cheeks.  
We had been joined at the table by a couple of late-comers.  The chap was a bit po-faced and serious looking, the wife looked like she could do with a good laugh too.  She got it. And so, surprisingly, did he. A lesson in not judging a book, etc.  Across the room from us, to the left of the performance area, sat another po-faced man.  On one of this po-faced man’s frequent trips to the bar, during which he had no choice but to pass in front of the band, Vera caught his eye.  It was the  chance she’d obviously been waiting for.  She sang her little heart out at him, opening her arms, ready to receive his congratulatory embrace, but it wasn’t to be.  Poor Vera.  Her face fell as he sidled past her and out the door, but she hardly dropped a note; not that we’d have been able to tell.   As the evening wore on,  the po-faced man (not the one at our table, the other one) began to get caught up in all the magic.  He sang along with Vera.  Vera noticed, crossed to his table and stuck the mic in front of him; he mumbled a few words which may very well have been the correct ones for the song Vera was supposed to be singing, but we’ll never know.  He took a coughing fit and she had to retreat.  He then proceeded to act out managerial comments and instructions to the band.  He mimed winding them up with a key;  he exaggeratingly conducted them with all the aplomb of James Last on ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’.  We truly didn’t know where to look for the best entertainment.  The po-faced man sitting across from us did though.  He watched the other po-faced man’s antics until he himself was crying with laughter, while his wife tried unsuccessfully to stop him.  In the end she subscribed to the “can’t beat ’em” brigade and laughed along with Wendy and I.
It has to be said: a good time was had by all, at least it was up until 11pm, when the organist announced it was getting late: well, she probably had to be up at dawn to play vespers or something.
So we ended the night, waving cheap plastic St George’s flags, placed there by the optimistic management in anticipation of England’s glorious victory in the World cup (shnur shnur) while the band played,  and we all stood up,  joined hands and sang along to ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’: a finer rendition was never heard, it would have brought tears to the eyes; if they weren’t already there from laughter.
It was astonishing.  Really.  Astonishing. You had to be there.  I am so,  so very glad that I was!
To be continued…

Next time:  What did the coach driver overhear which caused him to take a wrong turning?

Posted by: storytellerbard | June 4, 2010

Lies, damned lies and statistics

We tell stories every day of our lives;  how we tell the story is often determined by who we are telling the story to.  Think of the range of people in one’s life – parents, spouse, children, friends, lovers, in-laws, doctors – the list goes on and on. As we tell these people our story, we add or subtract, exaggerate or play down, tolerate or condemn, depending on the identity of the person to whom we are telling our tale.
Using the follow scenario pick two people to whom you would relate the incident and write down what you imagine you would say. This is an exercise you can do alone, but it works better in a group situation.
 In a ‘live’ writing workshop I would ask you, at the end of the exercise, to read out your work, but not to say who the characters are: we would all try to guess the relationship between you and the person to whom you are relating the event, by simple analysis of language (and don’t worry, it’s easy!) I guess you could use this with a group or with writing buddies: I’ll elaborate on writing buddies in my next post! Try spending just 5-10 minutes on each person.

You have just stepped away from a cash machine on the busy High Street, having withdrawn £50; a person asks you the time, then knocks you to the ground and grabs your bag/wallet/purse before running away.
Now, pretend you are telling the account of this event to two of the five  people listed here:

  • your mother or father
  • your best friend
  • your girlfriend/ wife/ boyfriend/ husband
  • a journalist
  • a police officer
Think about the language you would use with each person; for instance you might use swear words in your description to a friend, but not when talking to your mother!
©Lynette Shaw McKone 2010
Posted by: storytellerbard | May 21, 2010

Roswell, here?

Area 51a is in my back yard
I often converse with visitors to my garden
We swap recipes and gossip
we chat about the weather
and the space/time continuum
and how hard it’s getting to find a quiet spot to land
I make coffee and roll cigarettes to share
And in return
They promise not to tell anyone I exist 
© Lynette Shaw McKone
Posted by: storytellerbard | May 21, 2010

Location in Poetry

I had hiccups this evening.  I can’t remember the last time I had hiccups; it was years ago.
Not that having the hicupps has anything whatsoever to do with anything else: I just thought I’d mention it.
I’ve posted another writing workshop this evening, it’s about choosing locations in which to set your story, but it could equally be about setting a poem.  We don’t usually see location as a primary factor in poetry but it’s one of the important ‘unconcious’ things in poems.  
We probably  all know about ‘The Lake Poets’: William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Robert Southey, although only Wordsworth actually lived in the Lake District (which is actually where I live too: it’s awsome!) 
The collective term of ‘Lake Poets’ was first mooted by Francis Jeffery, editor and critic, in the ‘Edinburgh Review’ 1807.  He  didn’t have much time for the Lake poets and wrote disparagingly about them, preferring the writings of Keats, particularly ‘Endymion’, which was trashed elsewhere; no accounting for taste I suppose. 
I would hazard a guess that Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud’ is the most famous poem in the history of poetry, I would also hazard a guess that almost everybody who has read the poem has a image in their mind of the setting of the poem: ‘Beside the lake, beneath the trees, Fluttering and dancing in the breeze…Along the margin of the bay…The waves beside them danced…’  How else could this be envisaged but as a typical English lake?  The setting of the poem.
Anyway, location. It’s good to know where your poem is set, even if you don’t share that knowledge with your readers.  That way you  know where you are going with a poem, it helps to set a concrete image in your head, which gives your writing a touch of authenticity.
Now, this may seem at odds with my Immediacy revolution, but it’s not really. 
When I say that raw writing needs to be words straight from your head, I’m not suggesting that you don’t ever do any mental preperation.  You can think about your words as much as you like, in fact, if you are like me you’ll be thinking about words most of the time.
I’ve found some more Immediacy poetry, from a workshop I attended about 8 or 9 years ago, run by my very good friend, Thom the World Poet. I’ll post it on the poetry page, please let me know what your reaction to it is, it’s called: Roswell, here?
Posted by: storytellerbard | May 20, 2010

Location, location, location

Setting the scenes for your story is as important as knowing who your characters are.  You would hardly expect to have a believable story about a polar bear set in the Sahara desert.
Once you have decided on the main character (the protagonist)  of your story,  you need to give careful consideration to where the action takes place, and unless your story is a fantasy, you need to make your setting believable; in fact even if your story is a fantasy it still needs to be believable!
You can have a fictional setting, made up of different components of places you know, or you can have a factual setting, for instance, Aberdeen, Scotland.  The main problem with using factual settings is that, unless you have actually been to the place, how do you know what it’s like? It is common knowledge that Aberdeen is also known as The granite city , but what does that actually mean? (In case you are wondering, it’s because the city buildings are mainly constructed of granite, a very hard, usually grey, stone; the kind they make Curling stones from)
It is always a good idea, as I have said before and often, to write about what you know.  That way, your stories will have the ring of truth about them. 
You can put money on the fact that if you get it wrong, someone, somewhere will take great pleasure in pointing out that, actually, the railway station is Kirkby Brough is  not next to the Flying Pig public house, thank you very much.
If you decide to use a fictional setting then plan that setting, draw a rough map of the place, mark in the locations you are likely to use in your story; where is the dental surgery in relation to the bookies, the surgical appliance shop in relation to the barbers shop? Essentially, make up a little guide book to guide you through the little places in your world.
There have been very few successful stories which have been written without a cast-iron geographical  setting, real or imagined. 
One that comes to mind is ‘One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest’, which is set in a psychiatric hospital that could, more or less, be anywhere.  Most of us ‘less gifted’ writers will rely on using location to give our stories an element of believability.
Once you have decided on your location you will need to stick to it, make sure it is consistent throughout the story, this is where your map and guide book will be invaluable.
Another tip is to refer to pictures or photographs , using your sight as well as your imagination, picture postcards can be a useful tool here.  It is no good describing to your reader that the protagonist is looking at the wild, churning sea through the sitting room window when later you have him watching ambulances coming and going from the local hospital, unless the hospital is actually on the beach: not really believable, eh?
Of course the problem with these tools is that you can’t experience smell or noise or ‘atmosphere’ which may be a bit of a drawback.
You may be surprised to find that you seem to be spending a lot more time planning your story than writing it, this is often how it works.  What you will find, I’m sure, is that your writing will improve no end with the consistent use of carefully thought out plans.
Have a go at writing a descriptive scene about a man cycling to work: describe the route he takes, the sights he sees, the smells and the sounds as he travels through from one side of a busy city to the other, use pictures from magazines or from the interent to make your location plan. (Or you could have a go at using the Googlemaps  service which allows to you take a virtual journey through real places.)
Posted by: storytellerbard | May 18, 2010

Notes on ‘Missed Chances’

I wrote this poem in 1990, in a series of layby’s between  Grantshouse on the A1 and Glasgow Docks.  I was driving a wagon to deliver a wood chipping machine for forwarding to somewhere in the Highlands.  My cousin and Auntie were talking about going to India and asked me to go with them, but I couldn’t afford it.  I was pondering this when the first two lines popped into my head.  I pulled into the next layby and wrote them down, then set off again.  As soon as I pulled back into the traffic, the next pair of lines arrived and I had to stop at the next layby to write them down.  I knew that I had to get the lines down asap; I am famous for my terrible short-term memory and would have totally forgotten the words by the time I returned home. I had to stop at every opportunity to write the lines  as they popped into my head. It was very tiresome but this was just after I’d discovered I could write some passable poetry and I think it probably all went to my head.   I have published the much-edited and refined version of this poem, which takes away the repetitive line beginings and replaces them with words more fitting to the subject of each line.   I may put the polished version up if anyone’s interested!

Posted by: storytellerbard | May 18, 2010

An early Immediacy poem…

(take a look at the Immediacy Revolution page for notes on this poem)
Missed Chances
I could have gone to India, but I didn’t have the money,
I could have been an Beekeeper, I don’t care much for honey
I could have been an Astronaut, but there’s no men on the moon,
I could have been a Singer, but I couldn’t hold a tune.
I could have been a Farmer, but it’s cold out on the land,
I could have been a Miner, but I don’t want dirty hands.
I could have been a Hippie, but my flower was all wilted,
I could have been a Bride, but with my luck, I’d be jilted.
I could have been a Dancer, but I’m not light on my feet,
I could have been a Butcher, but I can’t bear to handle meat.
I could have been a Carpenter, but then I lost the nails,
I could have been a Sailor, but there’s no wind in my sails.
I could have been a driver, but I couldn’t pass my test,
I could have been an Insomniac, but I really need my rest.
I could have been a Diver, but I don’t know how to swim,
I could have been an Acrobat, but I’m not too good at Gym.
I could have been a Croupier, but it wasn’t on the cards,
I could have been a Train Driver, but they only wanted guards.
I could have been a Dentist, but I was down in the mouth,
I could have been an Explorer, but I don’t know North from South.
I could have been a Baker, my cakes always burn,
I could have been a Teacher, but I’m far too old to learn.
I could have been a Record Producer, but I haven’t got the hype,
I could have been a Secretary, but I don’t know how to type.
I could have been an Electrician, but it wasn’t in my power,
I could have been a Gardener, but my seeds just wouldn’t flower.
I could have been a Watchmaker, but I never had the time,
So I’ll stick to being a Poet, because I’m not too bad at rhyme!
Posted by: storytellerbard | May 18, 2010

A ton of stuff

I’m amazed and delighted by the responses to my last posting.  I do know my Immediacy fetish isn’t a new idea, but I think it’s an idea which has chosen it’s time to reappear.  I have always had respect for words; I believe that words know what they want to do, how they want to be arranged on the page.  People have occassionally scoffed at this, and that is their perogative, but I know that when I pick up a pen and the words begin to flow I often have no idea where they are going to lead me.  I’ve had some pretty amazing  journeys over the past 20 years or so, some of which I’ve shared and some of which I’ve walked alone.  I only recently thought about why I have kept a lot of stuff to myself, and have concluded that  it is because I was worried that my work would be viewed as ‘unfinished’.     I have read all the books, attended all the workshops, been on all the courses and on every single one I’ve been told that editing is king.  Everything must be edited and re-drafted and re-drafted again until it is sterile enough for human consumption. Well, where I come from there is a saying: you’ll eat a ton of muck before you die.  So, read a ton of unedited, raw writing and you’ll probably live to tell the tale ( cliché is frowned upon too!)  I’ve found some more raw writing from amongst my early poetry so I’ m going to post those on the Poetry pages; please feel free to comment, critisise or otherwise speak about them.  I truly, truly value ALL comments (doesn’t mean I’ll always take any notice though!) but I will read, analyze and probably enjoy your feedback. So, send me stuff: comments, your own writing, especially if it’s raw, I’ll savour every sentence and stanza.
Posted by: storytellerbard | May 15, 2010

Nets, unfurled

The men were watching
breath held waiting
the nets unfurled
the fish below
Haul away
the winch was turning
fish like coins
into the hold slipping
The men were happy wages earned
home to wife and child they turned
More destruction
another chapter
Whales and Dolphins
doesn’t matter
‘incidental kills’
shouldn’t be there
they eat our fish
not theirs
So throw them back
make sure they’re dead
they’ve got no rights
they steal our bread
They don’t contribute to our world
just get in the way of nets unfurled

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