February 22, 2012 by Tracey S. Rosenberg
It’s been a fairly busy month, for a variety of reasons.
My mentorship from my New Writers Award is coming to an end, alas, but it’s been an incredibly fruitful nine months. A few poems still need work, so I’ve been scrambling to revise them in order to have one last shot at my mentor’s expert commentary before our final meeting next week.
And as a result of all this, I do actually have something that is recognisable as a first collection. Soon it will be back to the submission-and-rejection merry-go-round! (Although, this being the world of poetry, it will not be a terribly frenetic merry-go-round. Leisurely, one might say.) I’ve had to decide whether to push for a full collection or try to bring out a pamphlet (Amer.: chapbook) first. Frankly, I might be able to try for both, as quite a few poems didn’t make it into the collection. Which reminds me, I have a half-completed blog entry about assembling a poetry collection, and I’ll try to complete it soon.
Meanwhile, although I’ve never performed in a slam before, I was quite inspired by attending the finals of last year’s BBC slam (held in Edinburgh during the festival season), and have been writing a few things suitable for that kind of event. And lo, in March I am participating in two of them! The first, safer one is an International Women’s Day slam. I don’t think the second one (tbc) is unsafe, but it’s going to be wilder, I suspect. Anyway, I am still on the fence about memorising poems but I really feel I ought to, if only to connect with the audience rather than the paper in my hand.
Things are fairly slow on the novel front, though I’m talking at a book group next month (always gratifying), and when I looked at the annual review for the Edinburgh International Book Festival I was pleased to find a photograph of The Girl in the Bunker as it sat on the New Releases shelf in the main bookshop. (That’s my publisher, Cargo, discussed in the nearby paragraph.) I knew the photo existed – and in fact I’d begged Chris Scott to have a look for the novel when he was snapping pix before opening day, and he did indeed find it – but it was lovely to meet it again in an official capacity. (The caption of ‘The girl on the shelf’ is not only a riff on the title, but because my entry in his Author Portraits series is known as The Girl on the Staircase.)
And I’ve completed half a draft of a middle grade novel. I can’t seem to get back into my Independent Scotland Distopia novel, in spite of the rash of news articles about the 2014 referendum, so I may have to ditch it. But there’s always something else to write.