Tomorrow, as some of you may have noticed, is October. Because of unavoidable personal circumstances, none of the fiction that I wanted to enter for a major contest got done at the end of this month. It’s still sitting there now, taunting me with its unfinishedness. In this case, like it or not, reality beat aspiration.
We’ll deal with my demons, the anger that resulted plus what happens next on Wednesday. There’ll be an extra bonus post on Thursday too, to coincide with National Poetry Day (see above) which is in its 25th year. I’ve used this as a crowbar to insert myself back into the business of content too… so you get a general theme for October.
Because of my husband’s continued hospitalisation, and the pressures that has created, I’m not ready as yet to restart what was scheduled content. Instead (as as I’m doing a lot of travelling across my county at present) we’ll be taking photographs and using 31 single-word prompts as a means of generating poetry for the month of October.
This is inspired by the concept of Inktober (and it’s many derivations), which many of my artist friends will be taking part in starting tomorrow. That means finding 31 words that will challenge and inspire me to think not only about the subject matter, but how I find my own way through belief and understanding in an increasingly complex world.
You’ll see Thursday 3rd’s word is Truth, which is the theme for National Poetry Day.
I’m looking forward to flexing my creative muscles for this project, with the first few days worth of output already in the scheduling queue. You’ll see the posts on Instagram and my Twitter feed (both @Internetofwords) at 9am and 5pm GMT respectively. This will also give me some much needed time to get back up to speed with my ‘normal content’ which I hope to restart late in October.
I look forward to hearing your feedback and thoughts.
The hardest part of this week’s Project goals is now completed. The beginning of #EndOfTheFear had a rough idea of locations, vague grasp of titles: there are now fragments of poems to insert onto spaces. I can create a working document where everything lives and can be referred to. There’s also the vaguest ideas of how we do the web side of things (and space in which to place it) which means next up it’s the photography element of proceedings to consider.
A couple of places already have pictures taken, selection of images to choose from. Next week, there’s a plan in place on my wall where we’ll be putting together geographically-close locations, getting to them early each day to take pictures. The plan is to have completed photos by lunchtime (travelling to places with a liquid breakfast after the School run) and then write poetry inspired by both places and pictures.
Writing the poems is happening in pieces every day. There’s already a tenable narrative thread front and centre, feelings to explore and expand upon, with proof that working in the locations gives a real sense of what matters and feels right at this point. I’ve taken a break today to write some poems for the Mental Health Foundation’s ‘Body Image’ week starting on the 12th, which was a lovely change of pace.
All that needs to happen now is an awful lot of legwork.
I’ve recently replaced my ancient Fruit Phone. Some of you would do a like for like exchange, but I’ve picked the Chinese upgrade that isn’t here for apps or looks, but comes with three Leica camera lenses. Photography is a love affair that began in my teens and shows no sign of diminishing. My obsession, as has been the case for decades, are the images with details often only I seem to find attractive.
Now, of course, there’s comprehension as to why patterns such as these are so pleasing (and often reassuring, I’ll be honest.) There is a decent spread of subject matter in my work however: places, people, and only the occasional obsession into details. You’ll see my Instagram work linked on the front page, and nearly all of my artwork utilises my own work alongside stock photography. For the more curious, there’s a Flickr page with the complete history in pictures.
I will admit to an obsession with looking up: late nights, early mornings, and the reminder that another day will take away the pain of before and help build strength going forward. It is also the intractable reminder of our place in the Universe, memo to be grateful for everything that is presented and not waste any time in enjoying the moment. This is the bit that’s still a struggle, but in the glorious brightness of the sunny days, everything is considerably easier.
There’ll be a lot more photography in the future, and as days begin to get longer in a few weeks you can bet that will involve being outside with the camera…
Music is an undisputed influence in my life. Imagery comes a close second. TV and Film get talked about a lot around these parts, and honestly there’s lists for both you can go stare at if all that matters is a rundown. What moves me most, every day, is the beauty of simplicity. Imagery is everywhere: most of us are too busy or have heads in mobile devices to see what exists around us.
Being outside with a camera is often the happiest I will ever be.
I’ve seen patterns in stuff all my life other people seem to miss. Of course, only recently have I discovered this is another benefit of an autistic brain, and has allowed some really interesting paths to be pursued. If you are truly curious in how I see, then a quick look at my Flickr page might be an idea if it is indeed possible to quickly scan just over 2000 photos.
Now comes the opportunity to start doing more with imagery.
The early experiments have been hit and miss, but there’s definite possibility within the framework. It needs thought and planning that’s been absent for the last few months due to work on contest and submission work, but will start again in earnest during 2019. Ideas are at the planning stage, at least one connected with a poetry sequence provisionally titled FIVE / SEVEN / FIVE.
Instagram is undoubtedly a way forward too, but how to best use it remains to be seen. It’s a slow burn to grab interest, and to do that with poetry will require something quite special indeed. It won’t just be images, but the right words and a clever way of delivering them. I’m already thinking about the means and methods though. It’s a great way to unwind on treadmills and during exercise.
There is so much potential for future projects, and with all the pictures self-taken, there no worry about copyright or issues over ownership. In that regard, the possibilities for projects going forward becomes very exciting indeed…
Having pinned up my plans for October, it is time to go into a little more detail.
The idea is simple: tell a story using haiku, pictures and with a musical background. It is a love story, because of the running joke that this is all I’m really good at. The #Soundtracking2018 Playlist will be the music that daily accompanies each haiku and picture selection. I’m still debating how to pull the #Narrating2018 selection into this, but there’s an idea… and so next week will be when all the disparate threads are stitched together. It helps that there’s almost 2000 pictures in my Flickr account to use as a basis, but that’s only half the plan.
October is when there will be new pictures too.
I’ve missed setting a challenge for myself that involves more outdoor work. That’s what this is about, pushing comfort boundaries and putting my various skills to better use. Once I have the final details sorted, it will be time to pick suitable ‘locations’ for my pictures, and the format they’ll take. To mix things up a bit there’ll be composites like the graphic above, separate photos and haiku, and… well, I learnt a lot of good lessons from last year. Plenty of audio and visual media can be utilised for storytelling.
I’m genuinely excited for October. There’s also other stuff to do, plus a couple of deadlines which need consideration, but there’s enough everything can all be fitted in.
Time to crack on with organisation
I don’t do nearly enough with the pictures I take. That’s all about to change starting this week (well, after this submission is done anyway) because honestly, with the tools I have at my disposal? We can do so much better than this, which is very little.
I look up as a reminder that the vastness beyond this little blue speck should be the leveller for everybody. That means a lot of skies in my photo folders, which in term serve as potent inspiration to all of my work. Most of this however is stops on a much longer, more involving journey. It’s mucking about with the things I enjoy and love, in the hope that eventually the right combination of metaphor and poetry occur and someone else is inspired. That means quite a lot of chaff with the wheat. However, only by repetition does the process improve. I can’t expect to learn a Symphony in a week, and this isn’t a Reality TV challenge.
From these little experiments with words and pictures, important stuff springs forth. It is the means by which information can be passed and digested with far greater ease. You’re far more likely to be seen pictorially than through a normal Social media post. I can stick poetry out to the masses in far more interesting ways. Not just poetry either… there’ll be a series of these next month on the resurrected Instagram account.
I have great plans for my own work. Maybe I’ll even find ways to make money out of them. WHO KNOWS.