For anyone needing a moment of writing zen, here’s a bit of nature to get you in the mood.
Having recently discovered Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter books, I’ve been ignoring the world in airport departure lounges in favour of battling demons and teen angst. I’m a massive fan of YA books and I think they’re one of the best ways for any fiction writer to think about the importance of a strong plot as well as a strong story. Due to travelling up and down the country to see friends & family for early autumn weddings, I’ve also been thinking a lot this week about finding quiet moments to write, think and read.
For anyone else trying to channel a moment of calm to focus on their writing, here’s a recording of a babbling brook taken in the grounds of The Hurst during a recent writing retreat. Perhaps imbued with the memory of John Osbourne tramping around with his dog, or simply the clarity that time in nature brings, stick it on a loop and block out everyday life while you lose yourself in writing (or reading) a book.
*It’s a low quality recording taken on an iPhone so if you’re listening in a loud environment, stick a pair of headphones on.
Following on from my December post about visiting a female tailor’s studio in Hackney Wick, I’m delighted to announce that the Bespoke(n) project website is now live. You can read about the other writers & creatives involved in the project and follow our progress on the shared blog.
There’s also a small but VERY IMPORTANT crowdfunding campaign running from now until early February, through which you can pre-order a limited edition handmade artists books of the writing for £50, or a month’s worth of writing prompts (starting on Feb 14th, making it a perfect Valentine gift for yourself or your creative loved ones) for a mere £20. Strapped for cash after Christmas? £5 will get you a creative writing prompt printed on a pattern piece. If you’re unable to donate yourself but able to pass on word of the campaign to other interested parties, we’d appreciate it muchly.
Writing and tailoring have a surprising amount in common, from drafting patterns/stories to weaving metaphorical and actual threads. So i’m very excited to be one of the writers on Helen Limon’s Bespoke(n) project, and that over the next few months I’ll have the opportunity to discuss and respond to the process of tailoring clothing for women.
Working with an artisinal women’s tailoring studio in Hackney Wick, Gold Coat, a group of writers from across the UK will be producing an artist’s book-worth of writing. The project is funded by the Arts Council, but Helen will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in a few weeks to raise money to cover some extra dissemination possibilities.
Today, some of the Southern-based writers writers met up for (tasty) lunch and (productive/creative/introductory) chat at Stour Space, followed by a tour of Gold Coat’s studio. Here’s a selection of snaps from the studio, complete with cat and perforation tools. I’ll save the stories of blood, saliva, pigs and pyjamas for another time: