Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Hmmm, where's the darn piccie?

Image referred to in the most recent posting seems to have dropped through its own perforations ... let's see if I can catch it and post it here as per original intention ...

Ah, here it is above ...

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Past Decembers - an image

Once on a winter solstice ...

Naming the blog - first up - Daldinia

Okie dokie, I've had a think about naming the oh-what-an-ugly-word Blog. I've decided there's absolutely no way I'm going to come up with a name that I'm going to like continuously, for ever and ever ...

So in the spirit of self-awareness I see the only resolution to be choosing a name For Now (this is not the name by the way, it's a personality trait ...) and then changing it whenever I feel like it. It's my blog after all.

I've decided name one will be Daldinia.
It has a certain ring to it.
Literally as it happens, because daldinia is a type of fungus (yes, I did say fungus), whose full name is 'daldinia concentrica' or it could be concentricus, but I don't think that's important really.
Daldinia concentrica is more commonly known as King Arthur's Rings
Cos the fungus is black like burned cakes.
Actually I'm thinking I may have mentioned the daldinia earlier in this blog, no matter, re-incarnation does have that 're' quality about it, as in 'returning', or 'reverting' or in any case 'taking summat from the past'
That's alright then.

Reincarnation decision one - the fi benson blog will forthwith be known as Daldinia.

That feels better.

Time for another photo I think, let's have a browse ...

Full moon

'tis a full moon tonight, Wednesday 2nd December.

Actually, I'm reliably informed by my lunar diary that it was actually full moon at 7 27 this morning.
And it's been out celebrating all day.
Which is why it's flat out and steaming on the ground like in this here photograph (see below) ...

I dunno, you can't even trust the moon to behave itself these days, tsk tsk


There's an interesting subject! But only if you're interested in it I suppose, like most things, like everything probably. And vast - the subject of reincarnation that is. So, without a rambling introduction - too late, I know - just thought I'd return and reincarnate me blog ...

I hope it's missed me.
I've certainly missed the blog
This is clearly a goddamn lie, because if I'd missed it that much I'd have given it some interaction since the last post (cue for a few bugle strains? Perhaps not) in July.

But I have been terrifically busy ...
Oh, here come the excuses I hear Blog say
Dear, dear, I can't be referring to me blog as Blog, very boring, and let's face it not particularly 'pleasing' as a word, is it, blog. Not like say 'Wednesday' or 'juxtaposition' or something equally as attractive!

No, blog won't do.
And since it's re-incarnation day, a new name for the rebirth would be a good idea.
I'll be back when I've had a think.
See you in July.
Only joking


Thursday, 16 July 2009

Garden Cafe & Gallery

I seem to have been remiss, and not included the Garden Cafe in my links, so am addressing that now.

Me -
I meet friends there for long chats and refreshments

I go there monthly to enjoy and take part in the Words' Cabarets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month, 7.30 pm (starting up again in September 09)

I currently have some items being exhibited in the Celtic Year Exhibition that's being held until the 2nd August as part of the Open Studios' month-long extravaganza

I am inspired to write, by its range of settings and by the weird and wonderful things that comprise its contents

Many other things.

You -
should go there at least once, although I can't imagine once you've been there that you won't want to go back.

Part of the magic of the place is its apparently random opening hours (I'm sure Paul, owner and host, will assure us that it's not random, that it is in fact us visiting that's random, but still ...)
If you want to check the door's open, ring Paul on 01594 860075
The website address is in my links


The Secret Life of Bees, by Sue Monk Kidd

Just finished reading it.

Stunning, absolutely stunning!

If you're trying to shake off guilt-about-mistakes-made, or have someone who's made mistakes 'on you', you absolutely must read this tale.

Oh, and if you're a woman, read this tale.

And if you like beautiful imagery, read this tale.

And if you like a mystery, read this tale.

Just read this tale.


Mischief of a different sort ...


In the seeking out of the nonsense poems that I've just now posted, I came across another poem that I'd forgotten about. I've 'tinkered' with it. It seems most apt for the upcoming Full Moon.


The Mischief Moon

If the day's in wrack and ruin
without reason, without rhyme,
if you think you must've killed someone
in a previous lifetime,
if you're wondering when it could have been
that you broke the looking glass,
if you're searching hill and dale for lucky black cats,
then there's every chance that I'm around
so nothing good is happening soon
for I'll have brought my jug of jokes to town,
I'm the Mischief Moon

If you've lost the cards, the tickets, the keys
that you had only yesterday,
if everybody's arguing with everything you say,
if the power's going crazy
and not one machine will work,
if your confidantes are snubbing you or wearing silly smirks,
if you're locked up, locked in, locked out
and no-one can hear you shout,
if you've spun out of control at the mini-roundabout,
there is every chance that I'm near-by
and indulging in a mood that I call custard-pie
so you can bet on your banana skin
nothing good is happening soon
for I've brought my jug of jokes to town
I'm the Mischief Moon.

You might as well resign yourself
That bottles and jars will drop from shelves
and curtains will fall, and tools will snap,
and clothes will tear, and you'll step in crap,
and the car won't work and the dog'll be sick
and the flickering channel-flicker will completely fail to flick
and the curry will burn and the gin'll be gone
and it'll stay that way until I alone
have tired of this season's tricks
and gone to create a superior mix.

But don't you worry, I'll be back soon
and I'll be higher and mightier
for I'm the Mischief Moon.

More nonsense

As per previous posting re a bit of nonsense, here's another of the absurdist poetry



The giraffe is a tall fish
that flies from tree to tree
and bush to bush
and shrub to shrub
seeking kidney pies to eat.

This is no mean feat.

The buzzard is a beetle
with a turtle on its back
and as it crawls along a path
its scales grow out and in and out
and sometimes turn to black.

This depends upon the track.

The woman is a tiny bird
who swims through salty seas
and rocky hills and windy plains
to look for fun and frolic
that she'll pass on to her mate.

This allegedly is her fate.

The reader is a strange cheese
who doesn't sleep a lot,
who can smell a rat from outer space,
can spot a joke in an elephant's face
and knows nonsense when she sees it

not mistaking it for wit.

A spot of nonsense ...


Being in the mood for a bit of nonsense yesterday morning, I dug out some absurdist poems that I wrote some years ago for the writers' group I belonged to (5 women, the Wishing Wellies' group, so-named because we met in a house in Clearwell village and we did a lot of wishing that one day our work would get published …)

I found the poems, quite liked them all over again (though I've since subbed them to my online professional writers' group who have exacting standards and have already started to offer critical comments ... so think of these below as The Draft For Now :-) .

Anyways, one of the poems was (is) … a version of the children's rhyme 'there was an old woman who lived in a shoe …'

While I was working on my version, I thought of how female elders keep cropping up in the free-write exercises I do intermittently with the afore-mentioned online group, and I thought of two other lovely rhymes about old women that I'd like to 'versionalise' – the one where she's tossed up in a basket and carries a broom (one of my all time favourites, I sang it to my children, now I've remembered about it I'll sing it to my grand-daughter) … and the one where she swallowed a fly, a spider, a bird, etc

I'm so loving all of these that I've decided to write a triptych … three old woman poem versions … that I'm calling the Crone Collective

I'm planning to contribute the Crone Collective to the Celtic Year Project I'm involved in, catalysed by Samhain in November – 'traditionally a time to honour our ancestors' and 'linked with courage and protection' and when 'hags' (old stems of mullein soaked in wax) are used as torches …

I'm also planning on performing these as performance-poetry slots in the Words & Music Cabarets that are held locally monthly, starting again in September.

Well, that's the background tale.

Now for the first of the poems:


The Crone Collective

There was an old woman who lived in a …

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
and had so many children that she didn't know what to do

so she let them do it instead.

There was an old woman who danced in a slipper
and breakfasted daily on herring and kippers

which gave her good skin but unfortunate breath.


There was an old woman who slept in a sandal
and wore tiny skirts that caused huge scandals

as often as she liked


There was an old woman who caroused in a boot
and spent all her Saturdays playing the flute

which annoyed the man in the trainer next door


There was an old woman who cooked in a wellie
and made several fortunes from parmesan jelly

and treacle-fried potatoes


There was an old woman who lounged in a clog
and owned fifty rabbits, ten cats and six dogs,

which were all called Spot


There was an old woman who dozed in a dap
and dreamed all day of marmalade baps

and pink tartan caps
and black satin wraps
and old treasure maps
and who knows perhaps
she's still in that dap


let's give them all a clap!

Words & Ideas, at Coleford Festival of Words


during the Coleford Festival of Words that recently took place in the market town nearest to the village where I live , one of the events was called 'Words & Ideas' and involved myself, Sally, Liz (all of the Celtic Year project that I'm involved in) and Lori Strong Wisdom, a visual artist from just over the Welsh border.

We four were presenting a 'show and tell' about the multi-art form or artist-collaborative activities that we've been enjoying recently.

The concept of the event was that everyone should 'have a go' at creative expression, in whatever form they wished to ... to just play!

In the audience was Bridget. I met Bridget when she came to a Writing Fairy Tales workshop that I delivered at Beechenhurst Loft in the Forest, this was about three years ago, so it was lovely for me to see her again.And then even more lovely, a few days after the Festival to receive through the post a letter and accompanying poem from Bridget.

I've copied the letter and poem below - after asking Bridget's permission to do so.
She refers to the event as 'Words and Images' which methinks is a better title, maybe we'll retitle the event for next year's Festival :-)Bridget doesn't have internet access, but I'll pass on to her any comments that you might want to make after reading the poem.

Dear Fi

It was good to see you at the Festival. I found your 'Words and Images' an oasis calm in the middle of a hectic week. How wonderful adults can allow themselves to do something for pure enjoyment and admit it!

I threw a few words together to help me remember the evening and enclose a copy so you will know someone listened to what you had to say!

I still can't believe you put that in your pocket!

Kind regards

{You'll have to read the poem to know what I put in my pocket …}


Do you remember play?
Carefree, unfettered joy,
Mind and body
Free to wander the
Path of imagination.
Young child's 'friend'
Known only to the believer
Invisible to those
Trapped by convention,
Rules and regulations.

Some break free.
One tore pages
From a favourite book
Then placed them
On banana sheets.
Gave words life,
Colour and movement,
Her reward – FUN –
To a loved one
A precious gift.

An artist put aside her work
Painted for pleasure
Immortalising a dream.
Orchard rich with bloom
Bathed in moonlight.
These blossoms will not fade
Or be forgotten.
Her birch trees too
Remain erect, unscathed
Nature's everlasting cathedral pillars.

Another, given
Unexpected time and space
Chose to play with words,
Some her own,
Others lent by friends.
She stirred them round
Sought bits that fit,
Helped them to join together
Releasing poetry
She had not expected.

Another, opening her eyes in dark places
Found Nature's magic in
Fungi, black and apple-shaped
Which she carried in a pocket.
To her delight
It drew mysterious circles overnight.
When spent she placed it in
The garden to revive.
This was not its element
It belonged in dark, damp places
Yet it was here she found her
Light at the end of a tunnel.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Okay, just a little more Gossiping

Gossiping is bad (apparently), the Gossipers are good, here's some more of em
A couple looking a little coy if you ask me



The Gossipers

Here's another photo, a bit more seemly ...

Except this un comes across as a bit lonesome.

Let's have a more cosy image ... see next post



Sculpturals & the CY Project


Last post (as it were), I forgot completely the reason why I popped in to post ... 'twas as below

As I've mentioned in an earlier posting, us contributors on th Celtic Year Project have devised autobiographical details using the Celtic calendar as catalyst for specific information about our good selves.

In one of the autobiog sequences I mention favourite places. These include the site of the 20-odd piece sculpture 'Conversation Piece'. This is its formal name, locally we all refer to it as The Gossipers. Maybe everyone who visits it refers to it as the Gossipers and only the artist calls it by its chosen name, I don't know.

Anyways, the Gossipers are located on the shore of a little beach in South Shields in the north-east of England, and I love them.

I popped in to post a photo of them ...

There they are
Hope you like them
Actually I've just realised that one of them looks like (s)he's wet her/himself. I might look out another photo
Off to search

The Celtic Year Project


I've been involved with the Celtic Year Project (www.celticyear.org) for several months. I did mean to get involved with it from its very start back in Samhain 2008 but I was distracted with other writing projects so was a tardy starter.

Howsoever, since my Imbolc contribution 'Between the lines - Words in a February Pond' I've been more and more enthusiastic until the point where I'm currently quite obsessed.

I've created three pieces of writing that I wouldn't have created without the stimulation of this project - the February pond poem, 'Yezriel', and 'Gedesa'. They all took a turn for the mythological. Have a looksie on the Celtic Year site to see them in context with their Celtic calendar moments and the work of the other artists who are contributing to the project.

Beyond those individual pieces though, something far more developmental and exciting is happening.

Sally Stafford who is mistressing the Celtic Year project has arranged for us to hold an exhibition of our works down at one of my most favourite places the Garden Cafe & Gallery, bottom of Lydbrook. See the website link that I'll be adding soon for fuller details, but folks the place is gorgeous, just gorgeous, in the kind of quirky and unique way that I love, love, love.

Enough of the gushing. Be assured the place is fab.

So, me and Sally met down there for coffee -and-nettle-tea (not together o'course) and a chat about the exhibition, and Paul the owner says 'you have seen up the back of the house haven't you?'
So he leads us up the garden path (this has a happy ending) behind the house, and up the hill, and shows us the most wonderful ... piece of old railtrack ... but so much more to our perception. We're calling it the tunnel atm, because of the way the sides of the track curve around, like wings really.
But me and Sally were both so immediately inspired by it that we decided to collaborate on a piece of work in response.

Cutting a long story short (I never ever do this) (but I'm going to because I have to go to Monmouth in a bit) the collaborative process, with its accompanying creative alchemy, is proving to be compelling. And much lovely work is developing from the initial inspiration of that lovely tunnel site.

We are showing-and-telling about this process as part of an event called Words & Ideas which is to be held on 1st July at the Kavern Bar, Coleford as part of the Coleford Festival of Words. So if anyone's about ... pop in.


Wednesday, 10 June 2009



this is another of the random word freewrites I've written with my online writing group, Wac.

As I've mentioned earlier, a member of the group (we take turns) chooses a word at random from a handy book, and posts it for members, if they so desire, to freewrite for 10 minutes on first impression of the word.

Sometimes, like the word below, there's a need for a definition.

My freewrite for the word's below the random word.

It kinda tickled me.


Nahuatl(adj. Of or relating to any of a group of American Indian peoples of southern Mexico and Central America, or their language.)

Freewrite ...

We were thinking of going to Mexico to do our open water dives for the PADI scuba diving certificate, but then there was swine flu fever, and the guy at the Brecon pool training centre says anyway that pound for pound you can't beat the Red Sea.

I'll bet Moses would have a thing or two to say about that. Now I think of it, I wonder what he did say, I can't remember, but I'm bound to have read the story in the bible several times, you can't go to 3 Catholic schools without having read Moses really.

I wonder where I can get hold of a copy of The Apostles by Elgar, I'll look in town when I go through on Thursday.

American Indians, Native Americans, the Sacred Path and Medicine Wheels.

Once upon a time there was a wheel spinning down the road, all on its own. A medicine woman flew after it. Not ran very quickly, quickly, actually flew. She'd have flown faster if it wasn't for the totem animals that were clinging on to her. She hadn't actually meant to evoke them, especially not altogether. Who would? 9 wild animals materialising all at once, just at the moment when the wheel made its break for freedom, causing the carriage to ground to a halt and throwing her and the totemics up up up into the air!

She knew that wheel was going to be trouble from the first time she hitched it to the cart, it just always wanted to go its own way. Teamwork! That was what made a cart get from one place to another, teamwork, all 4 wheels working for the common cause, goddamit.

It was right about now that she was wishing her totems were creatures like the dragonfly and the spider and the ant. Sure, one of hers was the Hummingbird, which was kinda small enough not to be a bother, but come on, a Hummingbird! Zinging to and fro in front of her face so she couldn't see where the hell she was going. A blind flying medicine woman wasn't the done thing round these parts at all, no, not at all.

Especially since she was so low to the ground, what with the other 8 animals not able to go far from her own body and being a bit shocked at the rude awakening they'd all experienced. It would have been fine if she'd been able to rest down on the Bear, or the Moose, or the Elk, and let them carry her and the animal burden basket, but she'd tried and they just wouldn't co-ordinate, and after a couple of roly-poly down the roadie experiences where they'd all bundled together in one ball, she'd dragged them all off the road and back into the sky again. And the noise they were all making! It was ridiculous! The Wolf was howling, the Horse was neighing, the Mountain Lion was roaring, and to be honest she could well do without the Whale singing her damn head off at the moment. It wasn't helpful at all, no, not at all.

Neither was the Coyote's infuriating laugh, she was going to have to do something about that damn laugh, just as soon as she caught up with the wheel …

Raindrops on roses ...

Okay, not exactly, but ...

just recently I've written biography details related to four main themes of the Celtic Year, including Beltain and its nod to a personal sense of place. So I was pondering on my favourite things, place wise, and my love of site-specific work ... so here's an extract from the biography ...


I enjoy site-specific work and since working for the Sculpture Trust as a PA for their Projects Manager and then as Community & Outreach Officer, working alongside site-specific visual and multi-media artists was a great inspiration.

I'm interested in the imprints in and around old buildings. I'd like one day to explore further the history of the 18th century cottage where I've lived for over 20 years.

From my garden I have an open view of a wooded valley which always refreshes me. Living in an ancient forest means that I have lots of choice for My Favourite Trees, a collection which I add to constantly

We grow our own vegetables, have mature fruit trees, and my particular favourites are the stunningly attractive and fabulous scented herb beds (I have 23 varieties - of herbs, not beds - the same as had P L Travers who wrote the Mary Poppins' books …)

Special places that I visit often include …

The Forest of Dean 'itself', so many personal tracks and paths
Dean Heritage Museum
Tintern Abbey
Garden Café, Lydbrook
Ross on Wye – especially the areas around Palace Pound, St Mary's Church (especially when they're doing bell practice on Tuesday evenings), the Phoenix Theatre
Riverbanks by the Kerne Bridge, Goodrich; at Ross on Wye; & Symonds Yat
Wye Valley from the Bigsweir Bridge to Tintern
Monmouth – from the Bridges, past the Monnow Bridge, to the Blake Theatre, to the avenue leading to Church Street
My childhood beaches on the north-sea coasts of Sunderland and South Shields, from the Roker Marina, Cat 'n Dog Stairs, Seaburn, Whitburn Bents and cliff top
The coastlands between Whitburn and Shields, the Marsden Grotto, Frenchman's Cove
The Boardwalk Hotel and conservatory alongside the harbour on one side and the sculptural Gossipers on the other
The Winter Gardens in Mowbray Park

College Green in Bristol, the canals and wharfs, St George's Tower and surrounding park

Gloucester Cathedral and Gloucester Docks area;
the Playsets room at the top of the Music and Drama library overlooking St Mary's churchyard;

The Everyman Theatre in Cheltenham

Bridges and staircases and railway stations, especially old ones like Kemble and Stroud

The monumental Larkin Angel in Sunderland Cemetery
Fetternear graveyard in Aberdeen
Sculpture Trail

Saturday, 6 June 2009

Cinderford Town Trail & RIO


torrential rain and a strong fresh breeze has encouraged me to stay indoors awhile and do a little blogging.

I want to tell you about the heritage trail leaflet for Cinderford in the Forest of Dean. This leaflet has just been created by the year 5s of Littledean Primary School in a project that was arranged by the Real Ideas Organisation (RIO) and enlisted the creative support of myself, Ffinlo Kilner, and Sally Gibson, and the energies and enthusiasms Sarah Jane Bonser.

For more information on the Trail, go to www.cinderfordsplash.org/town-trail ... or if that doesn't work, google (or whatever is your search engine of choice) 'Cinderford Trail' and follow links ...

The pupils were supported by:

myself, with their creative writing, creating the text of the leaflet;

Ffinlo, with initial research about Cinderford's heritage, design of web input, graphics and images within the leaflet, design of the leaflet itself;

Sally, with providing access to the Artspace venue, and organising a research day for us all - that involved a talk and access to archive material and old books at Cinderford library; a tour and talk at the Palace cinema; a talk and access to old photographs and cuttings by a chap who worked at the old Mercury newspaper office for over 50 years;

Sarah Jane, in her role as one of the school's senior Teaching Assistants - helping to keep focus on the tasks in hand - and with the successful efforts of herself and her daughter to find the weather-worn grave of Forest poet, Catherine Drew.

The whole project had first to be approved by the head teacher, and was initiated by Debbie Cook from RIO. More about RIO below, and I'm including their website in my Links list.

We are all tremendously proud of the finished result, the trail leaflet - but the type of process that this sort of project enables is a wonderful, wonderful thing.

I have 'put my oar in', last year some time, about the value of creative collaborative projects to the development of young people's life and essential skills to a select committee researching creativity in schools. I can't emphasise too strongly the massive gains to be had in getting a couple of creative practitioners together with a bunch of school pupils under the umbrella of a previously-researched community project and driving the process through to a finished result - and usually a darn good launch event with the local press and fruit juice and healthy biscuits and such!

Massive gains to the pupils, but I'm talking about myself too (I know, selfish, selfish).

I always gain inspiration and creative stimulation from working with these projects. Not least is the thought-provoking and entertainment value of, say, a baker's dozen of 10 year olds in one space, given free rein to their ideas and opinions.

But other stuff too, that can't be predicted at the start.

Like, for example, I hadn't previously been to the just-gorgeous old Victorain church and graveyard of St Johns.
I hadn't stood on the terrace of the Baptist Chapel and looked over the forest landscape from that view.
I'd barely heard of Catherine Drew, an 'ordinary' housewife who happened to write poetry about the Forest.
I'd never read the 1965 scrap book created by the WI that is housed in Cinderford library.
I'd never heard about the alleged-witches of the area.
I hadn't realised the Triangle now had a mini-auditorium with Forest dialect carved into the sides of the seating!

And one of the times that I really, really loved was the discussion about dialect that the year 5s, me and Sarah Jane had!
I speak with a north-east dialect, even though I've been out of the north-east for over 20 years (lived out, that is, they don't keep me out per se, I go up there all the time :-) ... and I am passionate about the cultural value in retaining dialect. It was lovely to be chatting dialect with these Forest children and their forester TA!


As per their website wording, RIO are a 'social enterprise creating and providing programmes, products and services that help young people around the world realise their potential'.

This is a huge ambition!

But all of my experience with RIO shows me that they're achieving it in their local projects with schools (probably in lots of other projects too, but I only have experience of the schools' ones :-))

And I'm happy to be involved with a further RIO project in the county, this time with Longlevens Primary School.

I wonder what treasures are in store for me this time!
I'll let you know after the project.


Saturday, 25 April 2009

RWords #2 and #1

While I'm on the subject of random-word freewrite responses, here's April's first 2 ...

{Rest assured, I'm not turning this into a RandomWordBlog, it's only for April while I've been the chooser :-)}



Outdoor café

She was always confusing Minmutia with Rissia. They were both market towns, they were both exactly 9 miles away from where she lived, and they were both dominated by a long high street. So yes, that was understandable. But they were really very different as to the sort of independent shops that they contained.

What was so similar, she supposed, were the terrace cafes that had sprung up in both towns recently. Probably since the smoking ban inside public places, she thought.


Once upon a time there was a terrace café overlooking a small harbour. The terrace was cut into the Cliffside, not as high as the Minnack theatre in Cornwall, not as low as the Marsden Grotto in Tyne and Wear, sort of middle-heightish.

You gained access to the harbour café from two directions, from inside the cafe itself or from the beach up a flight of narrow stone steps.

The steps were old, old, old. And had started to crumble a little on their sea-ward side.

Susannah had been a fisherwoman for sixty years, but was retired now and living in a beach hut at the end of the beaches where the harbour café overlooked.

Every day for ten years, she had climbed the narrow stone steps up to the terrace and had ordered bacon and black pudding baps and a pot of earl grey tea for her brunch.

One day, half way up she stopped at one of the steps that was crumbling. What was that buried inside the stone, starting now to peek out from where it had been buried, maybe for hundreds of years? Something green and shiny.

Susannah leant down and picked away at the stone.


Blue notes

They were everywhere. In all shapes and sizes, from post-it notes to pages ripped from various exercise and jotting books to the massive mural on the west-facing wall. On all media, because they were carved into the bookshelves, painted on the lampshades of two standing lamps, dyed into a blue shirt nailed to one of the wooden panels that lined most of the room.

A thousand shades of blue, either in the ink or paint that was used to write with, or on the papers themselves.

The floor was carpeted with them. No wonder she'd had trouble pushing the door open.

Delize was still standing in the entrance to Victoria's library. The light in the room shifted, the day growing older outside of the open curtains catching her attention. She didn't know how long she'd been standing there, first shocked by the sight of the room, then not wanting to go inside, start seeing more and more of the words written on the notes, fearing all of the unknown that was just about to happen, not wanting to disturb for ever the state of this room … the state that Victoria had left it in … looking to be the last communication between Victoria and the rest of her world …

A fluttering in one corner of the room startled Delize out of her suspended state. A blue butterfly flew around the library, alighting here, alighting there, almost casually.

It was enough to break the spell on Delize. She took off her shoes and stepped into the room, into her dangerous adventure.

Film editing

I spent a delicious couple of hours yesterday editing a 15-minute-when-I-started piece of footage that I took in July 07, wandering around the Forest of Dean Sculpture Trail.

The Sculpture Trail arrived in the forest in the summer of 86, as did I. I walked parts of the trail for a while before I realised what it was, quite magical. It has continued to be magical for me, and the only week that goes by without my walking on some part of it is a week when I'm away from the Forest. I love it.

Anyways, a couple of summers ago I started collecting footage for personal archives and for Some Future Use. And now I've started playing with it (both the footage and the Use).

So, I've titled & split, hidden and narrated, added a bit of original live music with the aid of my guitar-strumming girlfriend. And now it's in complete chaos. I look forward to returning to it with-a-plan



Random words

Hi blog-readers

I seem to have a bad-case of the hyphens, so you'll have to forgive me. I'm sure it's a temporary condition and will soon pass-over. Try to ignore it if you can, I'm not sure whether it's contagious ...

Anyways, this morning I've just posted the double-word random-word #4 for April, on my writers' group site, for any member who wishes to pick it up and freewrite with it for 10 minutes.

This morning's random-word is below, and my freewriting response is belower ...


Scattered light

Resonates, light waves washing over a shore of darkness.
I am back to the sea and purple moonlight falls like a veil over the water.
The salt waves chopping the veil into pieces, slitting it into two and three slivers, only to be reunited with each other and sealed back, seamlessly, as if they'd never drifted apart.

Resonates, with Marge de Piercey's collection of poems, Available Light, and her I am salt as the salt marsh, ripe as mature brie, and her Eat Fruit, and the other observations that I loved to read when I found her book.

Resonates with the Young Connections play about the pharoah's wife and concubines sealed in the pyramid when the pharaoh died, and the army of soldiers that were also entombed, and the still-has-me-spellbound mix of cannabalism and fragile paper birds that the women created while indulging in their cannibalistic acts.

There was once an old farming woman who found herself sat on a neat little lawn beside a neat little house on an estate down a neat little country lane.
Come in, they said, you're going to catch a chill.
She wouldn't of course, because the view inside would impose itself on her, and out here she had a much better panorama spread out in front of her, in front of her mind's eye, that is.
Eventually, they all retired for the night, as did everyone in the houses around, until she was alone on the lawn, the only person awake for miles.
The night-sky was intermittently clear then dull, for there was a breeze blowing before it a largely unenthusiastic smattering of clouds.
When the night-sky cleared, it left spaces for the stars to shine through.
The scattered light shone down on the old farming woman.
Get up, get up.
The scattered light shone down on the path that the old farming woman trod, away from the neat little lawn beside the neat little house, across the hills and far away, to find herself a small-holding to hold once again.

Friday, 24 April 2009

The Shooters

Hi Chris,

thanks for your reply.

How come no Shooting People for you now? I'm thinking that if it proved as successful as it was in effecting your Ten Dead Men movie, you'd be keen to keep the membership.

This is not a marketing promo for the Shooters btw, I'm just a nosy lass LOL!

Will you re-incarnate any of your early scripts (or characters or settings etc from them) or are they very definitely for you left-as-part-of-the-apprenticeship?


Saturday, 18 April 2009

Greetings, Chris Regan

Hi Chris,

I see you're following my blog.

I've visited your Midnight Writer site, like the concept.

Congratulations on the release of your film.

I'm just about to start pitching my full-feature screenplay 'Vorland' - 'when fairy tales grow up, they turn into tales like this'

A slice of gothic horror, modern fairy tale told in the classic dark-and-dangerous style.

How long have you been writing film-scripts?
Vorland is my first full feature.

Do you belong to shooting-people (the film-makers as opposed to 'hands up')?


Scenic Route

Okie dokie.

Clearly not quite awake this morning when I started playing with the blogs.

Please could I now direct you to http://thecelticyear.blogspot.com where you'll find 2 postings - one about me returning from Monmouth, the other about a random-wording process in which I occasionally indulge ...

I managed to post both to the Celtic Year rather than here.

Darn, and double darn


Friday, 17 April 2009

Born of the Butterfly


long time no postie (blog-relatively).

This is due to

i) my determination to focus on and finish specific writing-taskings without distracting myself with either class A- or class B-distractions {see example list below} and

ii) my lack of commitment to i) above

So, current class A-distractions include -

skimmy-dipping into ... Falconer by Alice Thompson because she wrote Pharos which I read recently and loved it's about a haunted lighthouse, & Pleasures & Regrets by Proust translated from the French when the title of the book was Les Plaisirs et Les Jours so I wanted to know how come what should literally be 'Pleasures and Days' was suddenly supposed to be filled with regrets, & The Essential Gore Vidal because I was attracted by its cover (I am attracted by covers) and was next-level attracted by the titles in the contents list (I am attracted by titles) which included Early Fiction, et The Ladies in the Library; Theater Writings; Inventions; Religion; Essays; because I really wanted to see what inventions were in comparison to everything else in the book {I still haven't worked that out yet, I'll post when I have}

These are class-A distractions because something in them or about them might conceivably be useful or valuable to my literary aspirations some time in the who knows future.

Current class-B distractions include -

aimless wanderings up and down Monmouth High Street, because to do this makes me feel like I'm taking some sort of coffee break

It is useful, I may add, that such aimless wanderings can look from the outside as though they're purposeful, because I just happen to be a really fast and strident walker preternaturally. This has been most helpful in less creative jobs than 'writer' let me tell you :-)

Class-B distractions are those distractions where the only purpose or value attached to them could be 'leaving myself open to random chance and co-incidence'.

I am quite addicted to the class-B actually.

Still, I am managing to focus on some proper projects. I'll tell you about them when I come back from Monmouth.


Saturday, 28 March 2009

New story ...

This is the start of a new story that I'm about to write based around some photos I took a little while ago.

Once upon an April dream ...

... the girl wandered down the hillside towards the light.

Friday, 27 March 2009


On this fair and fresh Friday morning (I know, too much alliteration) I'm playing with my blogs. Especially this one, newly hatched.

Below is a poem that I wrote about an hour ago. It might have been inspired by what I had for breakfast, with toast, but it wasn't. It's inspired by the time of year.

Feel free to comment me! Specially if you like the poem ...



She knew it was inevitable.
The fluids had dried up a decade ago.

She was just putting off that moment a little while longer.

She wasn't sure why.
Not so that the world would be more ready for her,
because that would never happen,
not even if she waited another thousand years

to add to the fifteen that she'd already spent inside the egg.

She unfolded her arms from where they were wrapped around
her scaline body,

shook her several wings, 3 at a time,

slowly, slowly, slowly stretched out a hand

and started to scratch at the shell with her nails.

You'll find this poem, more of my work and that of other writers, artists, all sorts of creatives at the following address:


And now to play about with what I want to post next ...




I am ... among other things :-) ... a freelance writer, storyteller, and workshop leader.

Welcome to my blog.