Monday 20 April 2020

Working from home

About 25 years ago, with paternal leave looming, I set myself up to work from home, remotely logging in using a modem that shared the line with the phone. If the phone was used while I was connected, I got logged out.

That was pre-Web. Now many more facilities are available without having to use command lines and Terminal windows. A browser's all you need. Video links have added a new dimension - I've used whatsapp, MS Teams and Zoom in the last week alone. Now that files and whiteboards can be shared, online seminars are easier.

But really, I've only dabbled with home-working up to now. I'm beginning to experience the problems that people who work full-time from home complain about - finding a place to work, separating work from family life, isolation, etc. I still can't bring myself to use Facebook and Twitter for small talk, though I wouldn't rule it out.

The writing groups I'm involved with can't meet physically. We tried to organise a Zoom session but there weren't enough takers so we're exchanging files by e-mail. As coordinator I'm trying to collate the comments to the anonymised texts, which is interesting. Ten poets are bound to disagree on a piece. However, several of them might decide that the same lines require comment.

Friday 10 April 2020

The movie of the book

These movies of poems in "Moving Parts" and elsewhere hark back to 2005 when I first owned a digital camera. File sizes and speeds were still worth worrying about then, and I used only free software, so the results don't compare at all well with many more recent YouTube offerings. The audio is especially bad, so I suggest you buy the booklet

For comparison, see Tony William's far classier "Video-poem of The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street"

Or Matthew Stewart's - Tasting Notes or Nine Arches Press on Youtube.

Thursday 2 April 2020

Time for some ego-boosting

I've had a wave of rejections. Time to remind myself that there's hope yet.

Literary firsts

First competition win

First time I was offered a book contract

First entry in British Library catalogue

My first book launch

First time I wrote a blurb

First time I saw a book of mine in a bookshop

Review extracts

  • "A very satisfying collection"
  • "A fine intelligent collection"
  • "remarkable for their freight of experience, assured grasp of line, and a poetic sensibility as confident as it is unusual"
  • "unmistakeable authority of experience"
  • "precision and tactile immediacy"
  • "a wonderful ear"
  • "an intense and rewarding read"
  • "he writes exceptionally well about children"
  • "What’s most winning, for me, is his really human touch"
  • "The strength of the personae in the pamphlet is the thing that attracts attention"
  • "The language is deceptively plain but is deftly spiced with originality"
  • "skilled metre is matched by a deep understanding of the measured world"