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Asking Nicely – Edinburgh Fringe pick – X 4!

2 Aug

P1090429Last year my parents came up to see me perform at the Edinburgh Fringe. The Fringe has been a big part of my life for years, but they hadn’t yet been to see the mythical gathering that I rabbit on about all the time.

My folks quickly learned that handing out flyers or being bombarded with flyers is a large part of the Festival experience, and decided they wanted to try being the paper-shover rather than the paper-shovee. I was reluctant ’cause no one enjoys flyering, but they insisted so I gave them a small stack of flyers each, and carried on trying to get strangers to take a piece of paper with my face on it.

my mom says I'm coolA couple of minutes later I heard my mother’s voice over the hubbub of the Royal Mile, as she offered out the flyers:

“Come see my talented daughter?”

“You should see this show – my daughter’s in it.”

“My talented daughter.”

As sweet as that was, the fact that my mom is proud of me is not* a reason for anyone else in the world to come see my show. However, this year I am apparently a top pick of Edinburgh Fringe poetry shows according to:

The Skinny Magazine 

Three Weeks

The Morning Star

For Book’s Sake

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Edinburgh: nearly there (poster/flyer preview)

3 Aug

 

This is the front

This is the front

The last few months have been ridiculously stressful. All the cool things I’ve been dreaming of and working towards for years have cleverly decided to culminate around the same three weeks. In addition I’ve also had some major life spanners, and I think I’ve found the analogy: it feels like you’ve just sat down to some mega-gourmet six-course meal: everything is intricate and gorgeous and smells great. Then someone turns up behind you with a gun and says “you’ve got fifteen minutes to eat the lot.”

This is the back

This is the back

Every individual dish is amazing but you’re not able to enjoy it. All you feel is stress and fear and sizing up the next dish while you’re already feeling painfully full.

I hope, at some point in the future, I will be able to remember that the soup was flavoured in complex, subtle ways I’ve never tasted before & the dessert was laid out like a work of art, and HOLY SHIT I TOOK MY OWN SHOW TO THE EDINBURGH FRINGE & PUBLISHED A PAMPHLET but right now Continue reading

Poetry Tag with Marisa

27 Jul

So Marisa is doing a poetry tag Q&A thing, and asked me a few questions about what I write/why I write it, etc. The results are here:

What am I working on?

My Edinburgh Fringe show Asking Nicely. It’s all about permission: how, why, when and where we ask for permission – with a feminist/sociological slant. It all started with one poem I wrote two years ago called Permission listing small acts of badass in women. I wrote it because I was trying to explain to a (straight, male) friend of mine how differently women held themselves in lesbian bars: their posture seemed prouder and more confident. The best way I would explain it was “it’s like they’re not asking for permission anymore.” He asked me “are women usually asking for permission?” and I realised yes, we absolutely are. I wrote a poem about confident women not asking permission to be themselves

Then when I first performed the poem it was just after Margaret Thatcher had died. The MC, just looking for a link to the next poet who had a load of material about how horrible Margaret Thatcher was, said “What about that Thatcher, aye? She didn’t ask for permission.” I was really, really pissed off to hear my nice poem about confident women being compared to Margaret Thatcher Continue reading

Recipe: Chia Seed Porridge

20 Jul

I did another post for Anna’s Eat Food. Be Joyful blog:

Eat Food. Be Joyful.

This is our second recipe from the excellently culinary Hannah Chutzpah. She has this to say:

Chia Seeds.

Lately I have discovered chia seeds. Previously I’d only ever heard of them in the context of people mocking Gwenyth Paltrow, but I watched the documentary ‘Hungry for Change’ recently and decided to try out some new stuff from the healthfood store.

Chia seeds look like slightly shinier, paler poppy seeds, but they have a lot of pectin so they go really gloopy and you can make something a lot like porridge with about 2 tablespoons of them. They’re supposed to do all kinds of magical things like give you energy, stabilise blood sugar and help you remove bile salts from your system. I’m no nutritionist, but they seem perfectly edible and I did start feeling a bit perkier when I started eating them.

Usually I’ve tried nuking them with milk like…

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Indiegogo: 45 hours left (thank you!)

19 Jul

Hey folks, just a short and sweet post to say there’s 45 hours left on my Indiegogo to publish a poetry pamphlet and fund my taking my show Asking Nicely up to the Edinburgh Fringe.

You guys rock! I’m already over my asking (nicely) total! You have made a nervous, broke poet with big dreams very, very happy!

I’m talking to my wonderful small press publisher Allographic and since I now have more funds to play with than I dared hope for – the poetry pamphlet is gonna be pretty beefed-up. Shiny full-colour cover, bigger print run, etc. The funding also means I can pay for my accommodation at the Edinburgh Fringe. This is all thanks to YOU GUYS. So thank you so, so much.
Butterfly4_favourite
At this point I want to give a sneak preview. My collection will be called Alchemy, Treasure and Butterfly Wings (after a line in this poem) and I think this image will be the cover.

With a little number crunching I am astounded to see that people have donated an average of £14.25. I am so, so touched and so grateful. However, the ‘entry point’ donation remains £4 for a copy of the pamphlet and there’s still a little time to order one.

Also, if you run any poetry events you might want to take up the £20 funding option and get a 20 minute set. Three promoters have taken this option up already and I’m doing my first of these gigs at Lipped Ink tonight at the Poetry Cafe, Covent Garden.

Thank you everyone. Over and out. xx

Recipe: Courgette Salad

12 Jul

My awesome friend Anna has just started a food blog, and I’ve just created a recipe:

Eat Food. Be Joyful.

Ladies and gentlemen, our first recipe! It is a recipe for courgette salad, courtesy of the utterly fabulous Hannah Chutzpah, of whom more later.

Ingredients

  • 2 courgettes.
  • 1 apple.
  • 3 sticks of celery.
  • maybe a 1 inch chunk of ginger.
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.

Method

So, Anna raved about raw courgettes, cut up really fine with a vegetable slicer. I’ve seen the same done with cucumber, so I gave this a go. It was a first attempt based on what was in the fridge at the time. The courgette was marinated (for maybe 10 minutes) in soy sauce with finely-chopped ginger. Then I chucked in a chopped up apple, 3 sticks of celery chopped up, and feta to sprinkle. Substitute sunflower seeds if you want it vegan. It turned out awesome – I went back for seconds.

a bowl of courgette salad with the ingredients on a board Om nom nom! Hannah’s courgette salad making set-up.

About Hannah

Hannah Chutzpah…

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George R R Martin is Not Your Bitch

12 Jul

I’ve just read this brilliant post from Neil Gaiman about audience entitlement (“why is George R R Martin doing anything else rather than writing his next book for me?”) and I could not agree more. (Read from the bold bit on down.)

One thing I heard loud and clear when I was studying creative writing at UEA (only the BA) was that more life makes for better, more complex writing. Life is the time when you experience and learn things which you will then want to write about, and that it’s also the time when your brain starts to untangle threads, notice patterns, and work out what’s worthy of harvesting and analysing.

This is why a lot of juvenilia suffers from melodrama overload Continue reading