As well as writing to earn a nibbly crust, I’m also a publisher and I’m chuffed to the core to tell you about the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize that I’ve just launched with my wonderfully creative husband, Simon West.
As I type (at 1am on Tuesday 1st July – go to bed woman) it is all of an hour old!
It’ll be a very convivial and giggly couple of hours, during which I’d like to help people realise that they can use uplifting poetry to turn personal darkness into light.
I did it myself and without thinking about much other than writing them, I ended up creating a great pile of little ditties. They eventually transformed into a paperback called Poetry of Divorce; no prizes for guessing the life event that inspired it!
I was the assistant editor for the book and to be honest, it was the first play I’d ever been involved with. I’ve never trodden the boards (I think that’s what they say) and whilst I can stand up in front of any sized crowd to talk on the hoof about any given subject, I couldn’t remember scripted lines unless they were tattooed on my hands!
I discovered that the layout for a play is quite stiffly formulated and as a writer, it was incredibly interesting exploring the different ways this simple medium goes about portraying a story. It’s all dialogue of course, with a few stage directions thrown in, but unless you have a narrator who can fill in the gaps with a bit more flounce, the guts of the play are pure conversation.
I read her manuscript a few months back and was so moved by the words and positive energy in it, then was absolutely delighted to pen the foreword for it; quite the most revealing piece of writing I’d ever done about myself.
My involvement didn’t stop there, I edited it too and I comfortably confess ‘this’ side of the fence that I got through a box of tissues doing so.