September Update

Wow, so this year is cracking on by. I’ve been kind of quiet on here with regards to poetry. It’s strange because I don’t feel like my productivity has slumped in any way but writing one new poem in 7 weeks is kinda slack. Especially when I was churning out three or four a month last year.

Despite the facts not lying, I still feel creatively satisfied.

In the last month or so I’ve released my first ever poetry reading.

This was for Rough Mouth, which using the wholly arbitrary and inaccurate “most hits”, I adjudged to be one of my more popular poems.
It was shot in one take. It makes me cringe to watch my big stupid lips and weirdly aggressive looking eyes but I think that, for a first try, it’s actually not hideous. I will look to be doing more of these over the coming months and then perhaps try a bit of spoken word or visit some local groups.

I also acted in my friend’s short comedy film.

Will is a great comedy writer and puts a huge amount of work into directing and editing his pieces. Working with him is awesome, as long as we stay on topic and keep clear of games consoles.

Finally, on the subject of poetry. I may be ponderously slow at the moment but I genuinely believe that the half dozen or so poems I have lined up for Hell Yeah; Part Three, particularly Thrones and Sent, I Meant, are my best developed and most involved verse so far.

Hell Yeah; Part Three
http://bit.ly/1uzYNPr

Hope you’re all good guys!

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June Update

I self published two books in the last year, two collections of poetry. Swannui and Cygnus was a huge learning experience in terms of what it takes to produce a book. Advertising was difficult and actually getting local businesses to sell or even put a poster in their window was both embarrassing and frustrating.

My business model of selling the book for £4, £3 of which would go to myself and £1 would go to the store, seemed reasonable to me. I didn’t ask for stores to buy up stock. With my model they earn a few quid and look good by promoting local endeavors. Despite this I was told quite a few times that “poetry doesn’t sell” and that “we need the space”, which apparently meant that a 210mm x 148mm book would crowd the place out. The town council office even told me that they wouldn’t put up my small poster as they don’t advertise businesses, despite the massive garish poster advertising a carnival 20 miles away. The staff seemed to take issue when I pointed out the irony of this.

In spite of this I managed to get my press release into a couple of local papers (of the 6 I messaged, 2 used the article and 4 entirely ignored my email). It was all a little disheartening but I sold 30% of my stock and took the whole thing as a learning experience. It was my first book and many of the hurdles I had overcame would serve me well when releasing a further one.

With that in mind, at the end of last year I released my second collection; Be All; End All. This time, I only ordered half the quantity of Swannui and Cygnus. I promoted it across my Facebook, Twitter and on here. I went around with posters to every local book shop I could think of. Across five towns I only managed to convince the public libraries of each to stock it (the library of my hometown, Beccles, even returned the books to me).

Other interesting comments I had this time round included

“Frankly, it won’t sell at all so I’d rather not”

“The trustees don’t want any clutter”

and

“Is it about Norwich, are the poems about the area?” to which I replied that, as a resident of the area, there is no doubt that the location has influenced me. Apparently that wasn’t enough. So for Hell Yeah; Part Three I will produce an alternate version with every third word replaced by “Norfolk” “Suffolk” “Norwich” or “Waveney”.

I appreciate  thatthis can all sound a little despondent. I guess it is. Staying positive can be tough sometimes.

January Update: Book Release and more

In July 2013 I released a collection of my poetry. Entitled “Swannui and Cygnus”, a play on words which only I got/found amusing, the book was a compilation of all the poems that I had written up to that point. There were early stream of consciousness experiments I had written in Sixth Form, heavily formulaic works from my University days and even some that I had written in the month and week before the release. The poems spanned a good 8 or so years. They were varied both thematically and stylistically but I was happy with the book and I knew that the content needed to be released in physical form.
Since July I have written a further 23 poems. They will be released early February as “Be All, End All”. The book is longer, more focused, more mature and more consistent. I shall attempt to distribute in the local towns of Halesworth and Bungay as well as Beccles but shop owners can be reticent to stock independent releases.
The four part epic poem “The Merfoxiad” will not feature in “Be All, End All” but will instead be released on it’s own later in the year.

Finally, you may have noticed that I now have a second blog: http://www.mazesend.co.uk

“Maze’s End is a weekly club event for collectible card gamers, war gamers, board gamers…all gamers!
Come along and play Magic The Gathering, Cardfight Vanguard, Yu-Gi Oh, Pokemon, Warhammer 40,000 or bring along any board game for multiplayer fun.
Our experienced and friendly staff can offer beginner’s tutoring for Magic The Gathering, or help with deckbuilding tips.
In our relaxed atmosphere you can join like-minded gamers and meet new people.
Whether a novice player or a tournament pro, we aim to provide something for everyone.”

I’m a Magic The Gathering enthusiast and I will be using that site to promote my gaming club in Beccles, Suffolk and to write regular articles about Magic and gaming in general.

December Update

Good evening everyone.
Just a quick update to apologise for the lack of posts lately. At this time of year it can be difficult to find the time to just sit and write. I guess i’m quite content in life at the moment too and satisfaction is the death of desire.

Swannui and Cygnus (for sale in bookshops in Beccles) featured 23 poems, a compendium spanning several years. There were poems which I had written aged 16, sat in class in sixth form, procrastinating in an English lesson. There were poems i had written just weeks or even days before (Meander was written as i was formatting the PDF). A 9 year selection of poetry can show an evolution but also can seem muddied and inconsistent.

I’ve now written 21 poems towards my second book. My second collection will feature 25 poems, all written since the release of Swannui and Cygnus earlier this year. It will be considerably longer, deeper and perhaps less conventional than my earlier work; often Swannui and Cygnus poems bore the mark of the eager university student seeking his tutor’s approval. I shall try to release the second book early next year, for myself if for noone else. I need to write parts 2 and 3 of The Merfoxiad and a couple more.

I’m sure i’ll write a long background post about The Merfoxiad soon enough but for now check out parts 1 and 4 under the New Poems tab of this site.

That’s all for now, thanks for reading. I mean that, really thank you for reading any of my work. It is great that you took the time. Far too many apathetic people.

How are you guys all doing?

September Update

So, a quick summary of the latest developments

http://amzn.to/1fJ2hEM

Swannui and Cygnus is still cheap on Kindle, like really cheap. 77p in the UK. You can buy it in Beccles Library, Beccles Books and Studio 21a.

http://bit.ly/17N9bWO

The Power Of Fiction is a post about the reactions to the first part of my novel, Seraca.

http://bit.ly/158ggTf

Seraca Part 2, this is the second part to the novel. I’m not sure i’ll post much more of the novel, or at least not in a linear sequence.

http://bit.ly/15gpmQg

And All That’s Staged Is The World is one of my favourite recent poems. It’s not featured in Swannui and Cygnus and represents a second phase in my writing.

Oh and I bought a 1988 Porsche 944 Lux FH, which I’ll probably write about very soon.

Rave reviews for Swannui and Cygnus

Just over a month has passed since the release of my debut book Swannui and Cygnus. Here is a selection of reviews

“Oooh he’s very talented” – my mum’s mate, to my mum

“Its a bit deep for me, i didn’t really understand but its very good” – my mum’s workmate

“Quality little reference to Fistful of Colours in there” – my brother

and finally this ringing endorsement:

My dad’s colleague: “It’s very deep and wordy”

Dad “Ah, well it’s nice you bought it”

Colleague “Oh, no i just had a flick through in the shop”

The Guardian was unavailable to comment.

Swannui and Cygnus: August Update

Front preview

Just a quick update on the progress of my debut book. Early sales have been promising and consistent. I’m pleased to announce two new stockists. Three weeks after release there are now three brick and mortar stockists, Kindle store and mail order. Both Beccles Public Library and independent craft store Number 21a have joined the superb Beccles Books. So pick up your copy now.

Stockists:
Beccles Books
Number 21a
Beccles Public Library

Kindle (just 77p):
http://amzn.to/147Mqxf

Bigcartel:
http://bit.ly/18YU41r