An unexpected start to the year, with a brand new p/t day job… closely followed by a welcome acceptance for the next poetry collection, The Complete Electric Artisan, which I’d submitted during July last year. This will be published by Shoestring Press, hopefully in the Spring – although you never know with small-press schedules. I’m hoping to announce any readings on Twitter when the time comes; in the past I’ve had fantastic launch venues like Lowdham Book Festival and Leicester’s Shindig, or the States of Independence Press Fair which is normally held at DMU in March. So here I am battling through the early weeks of a new job, plus making the final adjustments to what will be my fourth for Shoestring, and a fifth collection overall.
Not only that…. in late 2016 I applied for an Arvon grant so I can have a go at musical theatre writing. I missed the course in November, and not being able to do it without a grant, I applied again and – hooray – was awarded one! So I’ll be heading for that old mill-owner’s house in Heptonstall instead of going on my summer hols. I know the area anyway because I’m from West Yorkshire; those folded valleys with long chimneys sticking up above the trees are part of my landscape. But I’m hoping the unique Arvon atmosphere helps me to write some song texts then I can devise a touring show in the future.
I suppose this entry illustrates one thing above all – no matter how much rejection you might have experienced in the past, sometimes the door opens and you can go roaring in. You have to prepare the ground in advance and not give up. It’s the only way. And, when you get a sudden upswing of interest for no apparent reason, you won’t go headless-chicken with the sheer enormity of it all, and what it really means to your deepest self.