Wednesday, October 6, 2010


I seem to have spent an immoderate amount of time getting together three poems to send off to a poetry magazine that has already rejected me twice and will probably do the same again. Why do I do this? There is absolutely no money in it, no fame to speak of and, actually, if I were chasing fame I can think of much better ways of going about it. But it is an unusual writer who, having written, does not want to put their work out, to let it make its way in the world. Almost like having a child and then keeping it shut away. Well perhaps not quite that, but one does not want to simply bury one's talents in the ground. Jesus would understand.

One of my stories has been long/shortlisted by Bridport, meaning that it is in the top hundred - not a winner but a kind of thumbs up. So that's good. But not, if I'm honest, quite good enough, and it is a story I wrote some years back, a conventionally-narrated tale - nothing wrong with that, but I write differently now - more, um, experimentally. Well I can turn my hand to one or the other, but would like more of a clear Sign that pointed me in the direction I should go, especially with time's winged chariot prodding at the base of my spine.

Speaking of which, my back is better and I managed to do two out of three of the things I was down for at the village Lit Fest, both being good and well-attended. But osteopathy is still needed (yes yes, I am having it) and doesn't come cheap, nor will the private Pilates sessions I plan to book for myself to try and prevent this kind of thing happening again. Yesterday, on the back of extraordinary claims made for its magical properties, and on the basis that at nearly £30 a jar it simply has to be doing you good, I invested in a jar of Manuka Honey for Mr. Signs as he has come back from a work trip to Romania with another virusy thing.

Carrying on in the same vein, for which no apologies (sometimes it's just How Things Are), Signs Cottage is in a filthy state. By anyone's standards, it is the devil of a place to keep clean on account of its shape, the narrow, steep stairs and the unmade road from which blow quantities of fine dust. But, but - and this is really heroic - I decided yesterday that in spite of all evidence to the contrary, life is actually not too short to stuff a mushroom, and I made this - vegetarian cuisine of the highest order, took me ages but that's only because it was the first time.

Something more reflective anon, perhaps.


Cusp said...

Well we're in similar states then because my back has been bad this week and I too went to Osteopath yesterday. I blame you actually...must have caught the 'back-virus' from coming over here :O)

House is not v. tidy or clean because STILL painting and decorating and still have uncovered floors in extension so concrete dust gets everywhere.

At least you are ALSO being creative and thumbs up for the long shortlisting. (I expect it's work Poesie helped you with). I'm not being creative at all...spending time, when I can, with brush or roller in hand

Pilates ? I shall expect high kicks by Xmas and send you fishnets in which to perform at the village Panto. Go on slap that thigh :O)

Manuka ? Good but also try Floradix

Take care (*)

Reading the Signs said...

Cusp, well you probably did catch the back thing from me - see, I like to think that reading this blog is dangerous but - er - in a rockanroll kind of a way, not in a catching bad back way. It's crap though, isn't it, the back thing. I was a bad back virgin before this.

Ah don't worry, I'm not being terribly creative, just putting out things I did before. Poesie is, of course, a constant source of inspiration. She does bang on about nuts and bananas a lot, but she is so good-looking and cheerful one doesn't mind.

High kicks! Listen, I'll be celebrating if I can move my eyeballs, let alone kick. I must have told you about my last attempt at Pilates - had to creep out after five minutes.

The word verification is devil - can you four-ex-ing believe it?

trousers said...

There may be subtle Signs in this post as to which way your writing ought to go.


There'll be no clues as to when or how such a subtle Sign may present itself.

Anyway, good to hear about the thumbs up, and that your back's getting better.

Mim said...

Good luck placing your work. Obsessive me--yet I often succeed in not getting too hung up with publication woes.

Back/spine problems seem universal for humans. Here's hoping the pain has lessened.

Tell me more about osteopath, please.

Reading the Signs said...

Trousers, I am listening! And will be sure to read the writing on the wall :)

Mim, not sure what to tell you about osteopath. I see a fairly conventional kind, not cranial nor bone-cruncher, just moves things around - and seems to have helped. I'm not supposed to sit down for too long without getting up to move around.

Cusp said...

Cranial can often be gentler (at point of treatment) yet more effective.

Montag said...

Let's start our own Poetry Magazine.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the poems. Personally I never got beyond those horrid Adrian-Mole-inspired teenage horrors.

It's a rare person who can write a decent poem. I am not one of them.

Reading the Signs said...

dear Montag, it's a nice idea. But truth to tell, I'm horribly lazy when it comes to admin. And I've just had some nice news.

Zhisou, Adrian Mole will always have a place in my heart. He went on to write a cook book, didn't he? Called Offally Good, if I'm not mistaken. Perhaps not poetry, but moving in the right direction.