"What do you write?"
A question I'm asked more times than I can count! If you'd asked me that question a few months ago, I would have said 'novels' and I still would today. However, I'm now adding a few other bits and pieces to my bag of writing tricks.
Thanks in no small part to my recent move to Worcester, I'm now branching out into poetry, flash fiction, and the fast-paced world of performing.
Yes, you read that right... performing.
I had the pleasure of attending the Worcestershire Litfest & Fringe Festival in June, an event which gave poets and writers at different stages along their writing journey the chance to show their skills. It wasn't long before I was inspired to rekindle my own relationship with poetry.
The last time I wrote a poem was waaaay back in 2013, at a pretty tough time in my life. Since then, they just sat in a folder on my laptop... Until Litfest reawakened my curiosity. Watching the poets (including two Worcestershire Poet Laureates no less!) grace the stage got me thinking. Maybe I should try my hand at poetry again.
At the same time, I discovered flash fiction; super-short stories of around 300 words or so. Again, short story writing was something I always shied away from - I love the art crafting stories over 70 000+ words and going on a journey with the characters. That all changed at Litfest.
Before I knew it, I was returning to my 2013 poems and giving them a bit of a makeover. My first ever flash fiction story quickly followed - in some ways, it's a mini version of Heartbound! I was so excited and inspired, I decided to take an even braver step and perform my new work at an open-mic spoken word night in the heart of Worcester.
July 13th 2017. A date that I won't forget in a hurry - the date of my debut performance and an experience that left me feeling so overwhelmed and overjoyed!
I had booked a three-minute slot at Worcester SpeakEasy, a monthly event celebrating the writing community of Worcester. Not only did my work receive some of the most amazing feedback I've ever had, but I felt welcomed into a supportive community... a 'family'.
Of course, I was completely terrified as I made the short walk up to the performance space and my hands may have been shaking as they held the two sheets of A4 paper, but no sooner had the audience fallen silent and I said the title of my first piece - 'My Guardian Angels' - then I knew that I was in the right place.
Following my debut appearance, I'm now excited to keep on this exciting new journey. I've already made a plan for a collection of eight short stories and hope to add a few more poems as well.
I'd like to say a huge "thank you" to the organizers of Litfest for putting on such a brilliant event, and SpeakEasy for giving me the chance to break out of my shell and perform.
Worcester appears to be opening up all kinds of doors at the moment, and I hope this is just the beginning.