Sometimes you do your best writing in bed. Give yourself permission to do this.
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.
Bridging the Silence is an audio walk and installation which will premiere on Lagan Weir Bridge, Belfast from 20th-24th October from 11am to 3pm each day, as part of the Ulster Bank Belfast International Arts Festival.
The project is part of Corners and is a collaboration between myself, Croatian multimedia and sound artist Hrvoslava Brkušić and Basque visual artist and performer Beatriz Churruca.
The project is a symbolic representation of the emotional journey survivors move through as they pass from the storm inside to peace.
The project also invites people to see their story reflected in other people’s stories.
This project was born from our desire to confront unspeakable truths, make the invisible visible, give a voice to those who have no voice, speak the truths they can’t speak and transform powerlessness into power.
The audio walk blends a fictional story with real testimonies from survivors of political violence, sexual and domestic abuse, and those dealing with transgender issues.
As part of this project we will be working with a group of local survivors, facilitating workshops on spoken word performance poetry, which will give the group the tools and skills to tell their own stories.
Thanks to Corners and Iker Tolosa who is the producer on this project and part of Donostia/San Sebastian 2016 Foundation. It has also been supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.
Watch out for several other Corners projects which are being showcased across Belfast during the festival.
I’m looking forward to taking up residency in Down County Museum from 3rd – 5th June, working with schools on poems about the famine.
This is part of the build up to the 150th anniversary commemoration of the famine. Some of the poems will be read at a special event in Newry in the autumn.
I’m running a Creative Writing Masterclass at Rockport Arts Centre on Saturday 9th May and a Poetry Hothouse on Saturday 16th May.
In the Creative Writing Masterclass we’ll look at how to structure any story, create vibrant characters with a deep inner life and discuss some good writing practice to enliven any story. The day will involve a mix of writing exercises, ideas, inspiration and feedback. It is suitable for all levels of experience.
The Poetry Hothouse will explore what makes a good poem, how you put emotional depth into your poetry and how you create vivid imagery. I will use inspiration, tips, guided writing exercises and feedback to get you writing. This day will increase your skills and confidence, whether you’re a beginner or are already writing.
Bring a notepad, pen, packed lunch and your imagination. The room overlooks the sea and there’ll be a chance for a sea walk over lunchtime.
Both courses run from 10.30am-3.30pm. The cost is £30. Booking is essential and places must be booked through Rockport Arts Centre – via paypal at RockportArtsCentre.com, tel 028 9042 8372 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m leading a poetry workshop in the Ulster Hall on International Women’s Day on 8th March from 2.30pm-4.30pm. It’s aimed at anyone who’s always wanted to write a poem but didn’t know how to start. In this fun and easy going session, you’ll use the five senses to write a poem as a group and you’ll go home with a tried and tested technique for writing your own poem. Admission is free.
I’ll also be reading some of my poetry as part of the lunchtime session from 1-2pm, alongside another female poet and some musicians. It’s part of a day long event at the Ulster Hall.