Tag Archives: poet

Whatever Works For Your Writing – Do It!

Sometimes you do your best writing in bed. Give yourself permission to do this.

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When I was writing for Fair City I used to lie in bed in the mornings running a scene over and over in my head until it was perfect, and then get up and write it down. My partner at the time used to ask when I was getting up, and laughed when I said I was thinking. I wondered if I was kidding myself until I got speaking to another writer on the series who said she did the exact same thing.

I remembered all this this morning when I was having a lie in. During this lie in I wrote a blog, a course outline, some tweets, this post and the answer to a question that’s been bothering me for a long time. Now that’s what I call a lie in.

Whatever works for you – do it!

PS During my lie in I also got this in a dream – God does not always come in lightning strikes but in a series of small kisses. You can replace God with the Muse, Inspiration, writing angel, whatever – just grab those kisses when they come.

 

 

 

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Heartfelt Writing Weekend

I’m running a Heartfelt Writing Weekend Workshop on 23rd and 24th January. This weekend will focus on how to write in a way that connects with other people, reaching into the deepest level of their being. This heartfelt writing has the power to change people’s lives. We will explore practical writing techniques from this deeper perspective.

We will also look at tools to break through your self doubt and blocks, so you can get writing and stay writing.

Beautiful words and an understanding of craft are not enough – the substance under the words is what matters.

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Over the weekend we’ll look at how to:

– be a heartfelt witness to life, so you’re overflowing with ideas that you are passionate about.

– create characters who leap off the page with their fire, passion and humanity.

– focus on the essential essence of every story – making your character go on a heartfelt, inner emotional journey of change.

– capture a living thing. How to shape, edit and polish without making the final work lifeless.

– stay wild and free during the writing process, finding the courage to say what you need to say and therefore the freedom to inspire people to change.

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For those who don’t know me, I’m a poet with two published collections and an award winning screenwriter and playwright. I won the Claddagh Film Script Award, the BBC Writersroom Undercover competition and I’ve had two plays and a short film produced. I was a writer for two years on RTE’s flagship drama, Fair City, and the award winning teen drama Seacht. I also spent eight years working as a BBC script editor, five years as a freelance journalist and I have a Masters in Creative Writing.

I wrote my first poem at the age of eight but stopped writing when a teacher praised my poem but said I could never have written something so good and it must have been copied. The humiliation and criticism stopped me writing for the next fifteen years. Self doubt and fear of ridicule can block all writers, often for years, and I’m passionate about helping writers get their work into the world and not waste precious time.

Whether you’re writing a novel, screenplay, poetry, graphic novel or play, this weekend will help you approach your work in a fresh and deeper way.

The workshop will take place in the beautiful and calming environment at The White Feather, 7 North Street, Belfast, BT1 1NH. Free tea and coffee provided.

Booking is essential as places are limited to ten.

Dates: Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th January.

Times: 11am-5pm

Cost; £120. £30 deposit secures your place.

Email me at info@deirdrecartmill.com if you’d like to book a place or find out more.

If you can’t make the workshop but are interested in my one to one mentoring programme, drop me an email and we can arrange to have a chat about it or jump on a Skype call.

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Corners Xpedition In Puglia

I had an absolutely fantastic time on the Corners Xpedition in Puglia, Italy. We got lots of inspiration for our project Bridging The Silence. Next stop is a base camp in the Basque Country in April to put our ideas into practice.B4VSyiuCYAImDTK.jpg large cacao eating bookserenagroup puglia

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The End of a Great Year

Layout 1It’s lovely to be able to look back on the year and go that was a great one. The publication of my second collection The Return of the Buffalo was a real highlight. I was lucky to do some great interviews about the book, including this one on Culture Northern Ireland. The relaunch and enhanced web presence of my publisher Lagan Press means you can view interviews and see me reading my poetry on You Tube.

D Cartmill MuralTaking part in the Corners Expedition to the Basque Country with 25 international artists was an inspirational and life changing experience. My residency in the beautiful environs of An Creagan will stay with me for a long time. I was also lucky to be able to do many poetry readings, including in some unusual venues like the Arts Council’s MacNeice House and a funeral home!

004My short film Two Little Boys was featured in the Belfast Film Festival. I was also commissioned for Terra Nova’s new theatre project Arrivals and I’m looking forward to the first reading of my play on 9th January.

My creative writing teaching has allowed me to meet many wonderful people. This year I’ve worked with the Belfast Book Festival, Artscare, the BBC, the WEA, Poetry in Motion, NI Libraries, Monaghan Libraries, Small Steps, Consensus and many schools.

Here’s to a great new year and everything it may bring.

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Interview on The Return of the Buffalo

Below is the introduction to my interview with Culture Northern Ireland on my new poetry Collection The Return of the Buffalo. The book will be launched on Tuesday 24th September at 7pm in the First Presbyterian Church in Rosemary Street, Belfast. Everyone welcome.

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The Return of the Buffalo is the second collection of poems by Deirdre Cartmill, a heartfelt, funny and at times harrowing book that finds the Moy-born poet examine a bracingly wide and diverse number of subjects.

The collection has a maturity to it – a sense of artistic confidence. It reads like the work of a poet who is pausing to reflect on how far they have come, how the present tallys with their childhood hopes, and the prospects that lie ahead.

There is a candour and playfulness to much of The Return of the Buffalo, a bittersweet sense of the vagaries of life, of chances missed, of the sudden tragedies, and the unexpected joys, that swoop in and give hope from nowhere…”

You can read the full interview here.

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Book Launch – The Return of the Buffalo

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I’d love to see you at the launch of my new poetry collection The Return of the Buffalo on Tuesday 24th September at 7pm in the First Presbyterian Church in Rosemary Street, Belfast. Everyone welcome. Maria McManus and Myra Vennard are also launching their new books on the night. Check out the invite above. You can read more about the book in my interview with Culture Northern Ireland.

Here’s what it says on the back cover:

Whether dealing with grief at the loss of a father, a devastating personal tragedy or the vicissitudes of married love, Deirdre Cartmill’s The Return of the Buffalo attempts to make sense of an often harsh and seemingly meaningless world.

Central to the collection is a poem regarding a visit to Alcatraz in San Francisco – the site of a Native American occupation in the 1960s. Struck by parallels to her own experiences, Cartmill finds hope and consolation in this meditation on the Native American myth that the birth of a white buffalo calf and the revival of the buffalo population will herald a new age.

Other poems in the collection echo and deepen this desire to begin again.

While refusing to shy away from painful realities, The Return of the Buffalo is ultimately about the possibility of redemption.

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September 17, 2013 · 1:20 pm

Reading – When The Nerves Hit!

I really enjoyed last night’s reading at the Belfast Festival and I received some lovely feedback from the audience – despite my nerves! My legs were shaking so badly I was sure everyone could see them. I had a flashback to my confirmation when I had to do a reading in the chapel and my legs were shaking so violently I thought I might collapse. My mind started to wander off into thoughts like this is terrible, I must look stupid, how can I stop this, maybe I shouldn’t have read this poem. But I knew all that self talk and self criticism was making me lose concentration and making things worse. Letting your mind split like that during a performance is like putting a crack in a mirror – it will eventually break. So I told myself the performance post mortem could wait until after the reading and put my inner voice on pause until then, and I focussed on the job in hand – reading the poems. It works for me. I hope it works for you too.

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