Thursday, October 04, 2007

Omitting to celebrate National Poetry Day is against the poetic Hippocratic oath of Frome, so Monday saw the Library Writers' Group musing and poesying on this year's theme of dreams. Some great pieces emerged, several of which were read in the evening at a small but very pleasant event with a dozen poets - Rose Flint among them - presenting their words at the Poetry Dream Cafe. I especially enjoyed the interval poem created by the entire audience from songs with the word 'dream' in. We got 26 - 'Nights in white satin' and 'The night has a thousand eyes' allowed, but 'Yellow is the colour of my true love's hair' a tad too far-flung.

I've been immersed in reflections on family relationships recently, partly in response to the C4 programme 'Bringing Up Baby' which takes viewers to the fortress of horrors which is the Truby King rearing method of child-rearing. TK was a (male) vet who noticed that calves removed from their mothers gave up wanting or expecting any contact, essentially. Special features of his method are fresh air (all day alone in the garden) solitude (all night alone in a separate room) and no cuddles or eye contact. Claire Verity, the (childless) expert, scoffs at the idea of holding a baby close. 'You're not a kangaroo' she points out acidly. My fascination is not academic: I was 'a Truby King' baby according to my mother, proud of her potty-training. 'Babies who feel abandoned can't learn to trust relationships' is the point arising repeatedly in studio discussions. I'm reminded of all this listening to Colin Firth talking about his new film 'Voyage round my father'. "With every good story, wherever it's set, you feel it's your story." His childhood, he says, left him feeling an outsider, but he's never regretted it - "you see everything with two pairs of eyes" - as the first requisite to be an actor is being confused and seeking attention. Maybe that's true of all creativity. It's a better route than deploring the unalterable past, anyway. I was going to post a pic of sour-faced Ms Verity here but decided Mr Firth in his classic wet-shirt moment is more attractive.

The monthly Fromesebury Group met this week: Debs has delivered her Ultimate Help Manual for supply teachers, and Debby Holt's new book 'The Trouble With Marriage' - "another astute study in relationships" predicts The Bookseller - is out early next year. "There's nothing like humour to encourage a proper perspective" says Debby in her article on why she writes romantic comedies.

Another good-humoured meeting: Words @ Frome Festival convened for snacks, drinks, and consideration of the matter in hand: viz What the bloody 'ell's going on? as Rosie as chair succinctly put it. No-one knows. Festival founder Martin Bax has resigned, and the future of Frome Festival without an artistic director hangs in the balance. With 5 new members on the literary team we decide to continue whatever the outcome, and ideas for 2008 events come flooding in - a mix of old favourites and new ideas. Can we fix it? Yes we can!

Chronicles of Wasted Time corner: I've just found a great facebook group: Procrastinating Writers -"A hang out for all writers who are finding Facebook the perfect place for procrastination. Share your procrastinating tips, online games, pointless applications here."
Well done Kate Harrison for providing that necessary service for idling scribes. I've already trashed a happy hour posting pix of Cyprus & intend to loll here often.

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