New article: ‘Capturing Essence’ [Lapidus International]

black and white butterfly on red flower

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I mentioned in my previous post being knee-deep in some projects that I could not yet share. I am pleased to announce that one has come to fruition, and you can now read ‘Capturing Essence: From Haiku to Healing’ in the Summer Edition of the Lapidus International journal.

You can find out more about Lapidus International and their mission on their website.

The Summer Edition of the journal is available from Amazon.

Advertisements

Coming into Community: She Howls Open Mic

Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of being an audience member for the second She Howls online open mic night for female authors.

Even if only as an audience member, being part of groups such as these is an integral part of me returning to my craft.

Bearing witness to the strength and power in these women’s words underlined the importance of being able to speak things into submission. Guest poet Jhilmil Breckenridge said it best when she asserted ‘Writing can set you free.’

I’ve seen it in my practice, and more recently railed against it – as beautiful as the process can be, there is no denying the ache that comes with it.

To be fully human is to be vulnerable…and to use vulnerability well is a gift, which every one of those who read on Thursday night had in spades.

I am already eagerly anticipating the next event in September, within which I hope to be able to share in the magic of others’ words, and perhaps add some of my own.

For further information, please visit Dal Kular’s website.

Longing and Belonging workshop with Penny Shutt

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a workshop facilitated by Dr. Penny Shutt at Pinetum Gardens, Cornwall.

In May, I became a member of Lapidus International, an organisation for people with an interest in writing for wellbeing. This was the first of their events that I was able to attend..and what a wonderful way to begin. Continue reading

On Brokenness and Unintentional Breaks

Dear friends,

I took a couple of days off from the challenge because nothing was flowing. I didn’t want to force anything if I weren’t truly invested in it. That said, I am back. This piece just flowed out.

Speaking of Brokenness

To be human is to be broken
And break we must
Before we witness our true nature
Divine beings in diverse Earth suits

It is our duty to seek the others
Who think they are broken
And sit with them
To draw out the Truth

In our brokenness
We are one step closer
In our wholeness,
Who we really are

There is no single atom
Which is not truly Divine.

Becoming

Although I am loath to discuss spirituality extensively here, I am finding that the poems which I am writing have a particular bent at the moment. My second April poem-a-day follows.

Becoming

I surrender to this becoming
All that I was, I still shall be
This, and much more.

Growth, a shedding of old identities
The person I used to be, the stories that were currency
I hold them close, but they chain me no longer.

Just as much as we are created beings
We create ourselves anew
With every moment, with every choice
Every time we say ‘I won’t let this define me.’

So it is – pain will not be who I am
I bow to its important work
Yet resist allowing it to claim me
For once, I am certain

I will be more.

For The Love of Short Form Writing

As writers, we face two main challenges within our craft. Firstly, finding inspiration: where does the next great story idea come from? If you are anything like me, I spend an awful lot of time wondering when the well will dry up, versus actively feeding it. I’ve become better at increasing the supply of creative ideas, so that fear isn’t quite as strong.

A third challenge is the belief that writing should be a joyous activity. The delight of being a writer is that we get to play again as adults. Sometimes, of course, it is difficult to find the time to do so. There are endless tensions between the things that we ought to be producing, and those things we want to produce.

Working on projects for other people has been a challenge that I have had to overcome. I am not referring to my MA project in this, which has been and still is a delight. I just wish I had more time to dedicate to it whilst persevering with another project. It was during this time that I remembered tanka, the other form of Japanese poetry. Rather than haiku, which demands three lines of 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables respectively, the tanka adds an extra two lines of seven syllables. Much as I love haiku, the tanka is another beautiful way of creating a vignette. Within five lines, you can create a complete sketch.

Amidst the remains
I realized who I was
Simply not myself
Adrift, at sea, suffering
Lost in my own deep sorrow

by Casey Bottono
(Originally published in Lyrical Passion Poetry ezine)

For the time-crunched writer, short-form writing represents a kind of play that has been forgotten, or buried under the responsibilities of adulthood. Whether you’re writing stories or poems, such writing is a good way to keep the machine oiled so that when you finally return to the projects that ignite that spark, the magic can flow.
Writing is, after all, a form of magic. There is something about the written word which isn’t specific, but it is nonetheless a lure towards balance. The inability to find time or inspiration to write creates an imbalance within us which culminates in an intense fear of the blank page. Though we know it, though we know it intimately, and we know that we will fill it, the terror remains. Short-form writing is a way to disrupt that terror before it begins.
Short-form writing is both a beginning and a continuation. If you’ve never picked up a pen or tapped at a keyboard before for creative purposes, short form writing provides a useful jumping off point. For the experienced author, it is a kind of writerly First Aid kit, something to which we can return when necessary to replenish the well.
If you are struggling with a project or with motivation or some other aspect of the craft, I urge you to indulge in some form of short form writing. It greases the wheels, and might just get you going again.

Latest review of Stones in the Road

My inbox has been full of surprises over the last couple of days. In March I submitted a Review Request to The Online Book Club so that they could take a look over Stones in the Road  and potentially help me reach a new audience. 

I wasn’t sure how long this would take, especially seeing as I could not provide any traditional purchase outlets. I informed the owner of the site about this, and he assured me that I would be fine. I duly submitted my book information without purchase links as he suggested. It wasn’t long before a reviewer expressed an interest, and today the review was posted on the website. 

3/4* – not too shabby, in my opinion. 

If you’re interested, you can check out the review here

Remember that you can still purchase Stones in the Road from the Publications link above. Just £1.50 a copy, with all proceeds going to METAvivor. If you’ve read the book and enjoyed it, you can also add it to your Goodreads library. 

Thank you for your support.