Archive for Awst, 2010

         Regretfully I have been remiss in my blogging of late as I’ve been quite busy and also not so well (the bout of extra-special fatigue the other week turned out to be a pretty fierce virus whose effects I am still fighting!) In the interim, however, I have been a little more proactive in the creative writing and preparation for thesis stakes.

         I recently received an email from the Limestone University Literary Review, a new student-led literature magazine, regretfully informing me that the two poems I had submitted were not to be included in the inaugural edition…I was both crushed and relieved at the same time; I had been trying to prepare 5 poems to submit to a competition being run by a well known, international, literature magazine, which we shall call here ‘Teithwyr’; 5 poems counted as one entry so I figured I may as well have my full set of rolls with the dice.

         I had a couple of reasonably good poems including one I wrote in Euston Station Square whilst in London for the Jean Rhys conference. One of the poems rejected had already been picked up by a friend of mine who has taken over as editor on an online literature magazine: Voices, so had already been found ‘a good home’ and so I recycled the other poem and added it to the collection of 5 and sent it off. Apart from one other poem, which I translated from a Welsh poem I had written, these 5 poems are the first ones I have ever written in the English language (well, unless you count a handful I wrote when I was in primary school!)

         It is strange that, whilst my written English is technically of a higher standard than my Welsh, in terms of grammar etc, I don’t seem to be able to ‘muse’ as well as I can in Welsh. So whilst I am confident of the structure and correctness of the language used for the poems, I’m not so sure about the actual content; it’s as though in English I have a veneer of correctness which blocks and stifles my creative flow – so that when I write it lacks passion and emotion, whilst the opposite is true of my writing in Welsh. It is almost as though I am a different person in each language.

         A cup-half-full approach to my situation might lead one to surmise that I have the potential for a fantastic literature career, with a foot in two literature scenes; however a cup-half-empty perspective sees the potential for falling between two stools and failing to make any impression in either scene. Ho hum, I’m sure there’s a great poem/ short story in all this somewhere – or else perhaps a unique writing process of writing first in Welsh, then translating to English…quite tedious but then I do seem to recall mention of Jean Rhys being advised by Ford Maddox Ford to do precisely this in order to check whether a piece of writing worked or not…perhaps I need to revisit Carole Angier’s biography to check this fact…

         I also had an email this week from one of the short story competitions I entered which gave the name of the winning author and also around 20 authors whose stories were considered to be of a high standard…my name was not amongst those commended! Never mind, the prize for this competition was a free place on a writer’s course in October, which would have been a bit inconvenient anyway…

         On the matter of re-starting my thesis and academic career generally – I have begun reading Sociological theory books in preparation for my theory chapter and also, potentially, jobs in Sociology, should I find myself nearing the end of my contract and not having secured a new contract at Sandstone Uni…however my concentration is a little limited by the virus so I’m not sure how much good this will do me…I’m off now to try and cook a lasagne for tea…and try not to burn the food or myself in the process!

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