Where did that blog go? Things have been looking a bit quiet on Harping On, as I’ve been busy with the OU’s new MA in Creative Writing. Writing about writing has therefore taken a back seat. Along with that has come a little bit of a desire to do less in the way of social media – it’s good to create a bit of space sometimes.
In the meantime, the German version of my story ‘Ships that Pass’ has been published in the anthology ‘Vierertreffen’, which means a Meeting of Four. I haven’t met the other three authors in real life, but perhaps I will some day. Two of us are from Scotland, two of us are from Ireland – hello to Brian McNeill, Rita Kelly and Micheál Ó Conghaile – and many thanks to Karin Braun and Gabriele Haefs for compiling this volume of four ‘long short stories’.
I’m half way through the first year of the MA course, where I’m studying Poetry as my primary genre and Fiction as my secondary. This is the opposite way round from what I originally intended – I just thought it would be more interesting to develop the poetry side, as I felt I had a lot to learn about doing it better. So far, the course material has been stimulating and people are contributing some interesting stuff in the online tutor group. I’ve been challenged, pushed in a few new directions and received some home truths about improving my focus. The downside is that it is all online – you don’t meet the tutor or participants, and there is an awful lot of screen work and clicking, which has given me some RSI problems … another reason for being a bit quiet on the blog.
In the pursuit of more poetry-sharing with real people in the real world, I’ll be co-leading a poetry workshop with local poet Geraldine Green on 25th February. This workshop is one in Geraldine’s ‘Write on the Farm’ series which I’ve been attending for a year or two. When someone discovered I had a harp they wanted me to bring it to the party, and this workshop is the result! We’ll be looking at the origins of the instrument, talking about lyric poetry and writing in response to harp music. Time in the outdoors is always a part of Geraldine’s workshop, as is some quiet writing time in the afternoon. It is already fully booked!