Solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the sun seems to stands still. That is, the seasonal movement of the sun's path as seen from Earth comes to a stop before reversing direction. This lasts for three days. A lot can happen in three days.
Image copyright June Palmer 21st December 2014 (Stone, Staffordshire)
So nice to be asked to read for the third time, I am hoping the weather is kinder than at the last reading when we had a massive storm and flooding! I will be reading my six minute story "Winter Solstice" sometime between 7.00pm and 8.30pm at Hanley Library on 6th December. The event is free and usually well-attended so really looking forward to it.
Great to be in that London again, especially for a Masterclass (or maybe Mistressclass) with Michele Roberts at The Word Factory, held in Waterstones fabulous bookshop in Piccadilly Circus. It was the coldest day of the year so far in London I reckon, not that we saw much of the daylight and sunshine. No matter, I loved the subject of the writer Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (born Jan. 28, 1873, died Aug. 3, 1954) known later as just Colette. I confess to knowing little about the French writer and had read nothing. Some homework rectified the latter omission but after Michele’s class I want to know more and read more. Michele has challenged the class to write a piece about intense female friendship and I’m up for that!
It was a very intense day in the company of Alison Hitchcock, Cathy Galvin, Debbie Taylor and my friend and fellow-writer Debbi Voisey. Brilliant advice from Debbie in getting your novel out there, and a finale of Indie press editors who will say that you don’t HAVE to have an agent to get published.
A big thank you to everyone who made us welcome and inspired us. After a 5am wake-up call I was knackered on the train home but sharing a bottle of bubbly with my friend and chatting about our work soon brought me to life again.
They may not be in 100% perfect condition, but when a house-clearance donation came into the Cats Protection charity shop where I work as a volunteer I fell in love with these two pieces of pottery, which when turned over, turned out to be Wedgwood and Spode! I loved the jug which I've added to my little collection, and the plate had a wonderful "Green Man" foliate feel to it. I paid a decent price for them of course, which helps the cats and kittens in the Stafford and district area. I'm sure Danny Callaghan from Ceramic City Stories pararchive.com/groups/stoke-group/ would be delighted with my "turnover tale"
Good news! My poem “The 101 Stone - Hanley” will be exhibited in the Shire Hall Gallery, Stafford, next spring as a way of promoting interest in poetry in the county. It should certainly do that. My poem was inspired by watching the queue for the bus into Hanley, as seen from the window of the Swan pub in Stone. There are other poems that will be included but most were in the anthology The Poetry of Staffordshire, which was edited by Emma Purshouse and Simon Fletcher. It seems like a very good cause. I will be invited to the launch event in spring next year.
The 2016 Poetry on Loan competition was on the theme of "Now and Then". I entered the maximum of three poems with as broad an interpretation as possible, and although I was not the winner (those honours went to Adult class - No action required, by Bert Molsom and Junior class - I suppose you don't remember, by Polina Diakov) I did make the long list with my poem "Once in a blue moon" and the short list of 10 with another "Venus Falling". The ten short-listed poems will be POL's front page poems over the coming months.