11 days

11 days until I'm off to Stockholm and Eurovision!!!

I've been feeling unnecessarily stressed about packing. Now that I've checked the weather (Stockholm 5 - 16°C, Reykjavik 4 - 9°C, London 8 - 17°C and Berlin 11 - 20°C), ordered a camera and started throwing things into my new suitcase, I'm feeling much, much better.

This weekend, I also submitted my previously mentioned piece to The Writers Bloc and started working with a writer to edit his piece for VoiceworksSuch a privilege to be part of EdComm.

Submissions are open for issue #105 'Nerve'. We'd love to see your work if you're under 25 :)

We pay very generously if your work (fiction, nonfiction, poetry, visual art, comics) is published and ALL submissions, published or not, receive feedback. Also, I co-wrote the blurb with Tim!

#105: 'Nerve' (Spring 2016)

You’ve lost it. Tell me what it looked like. Shaken or stirred? Sashimi-raw or well-tempered, like steel? Don't worry, we'll find it again.

I can feel it getting on me. Cut it out. Pinch it, hit it, strike it. Now touch it. The whole system starts to shake and shudder. Steady. Try picturing the audience in their underwear, it’ll help. 

Someone blocks your view. She has it. Probably a Gryffindor. Could she spare you some? You call her Nellie in a voice that sounds like my grandma.

It’s a test. My eyes lock on yours. Do you feel my synapses firing, crackling, fizzing like fireworks? Neurotransmitters, receptors tumble from a textbook. If you’re a bundle, I’m a wreck. We run outside into the freezing night but find it all shot to pieces. That was our last one.

Signalling. Signalling. Signalling. Do I dare ask you to dance? Your mouth opens and I yank it wider still, peering inside for the ending we lost long, long ago.

Finally, a few things I'd like to share:

1. Eat This Poem on one secret to finding more time to write

2. 'Even Artichokes Have Doubts' by Marina Keegan who died tragically five days after graduating from Yale. Highly recommend posthumous collection The Opposite of Loneliness.
Even if it's just for two or three years. That's a lot of years! And these aren't just years. This is twenty-three and twenty-four and twenty-five.
An essay about young people working two, three years in a career they're not passionate about, for the sake of gaining 'real-life skills'... when deep down they'd rather be doing something else.

3. Charlotte Wood's Stella Prize acceptance speech (in full here):
...to create art is itself an act of enlargement, of enrichment and affirmation. To write well is to light that candle in the darkness, offering solace, illumination – and maybe even the possibility of transformation – not just for the writer but for the reader, and for our society itself.
4. Courtney Barnett on 'Depreston' for Song Exploder, 'a podcast where musicians take apart their songs, and piece by piece, tell the story of how they were made'. As I said, bloody brilliant.


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