Cease The Day

Photo by Michał Bielejewski on Unsplash

You know the failure to prepare is to prepare to fail saying? Well, I prepared my socks off to read my poem online at an event. I rehearsed it, recorded it and pinned up print-outs in large font, in case I forgot the words. Half-way through reading out my poem, the doorbell in my house rang. It’s an extra-loud doorbell so I can hear it when I’m in my office. I remembered what my old drama teachers said. I acknowledged the interruption, then simply carried on. Apparently it was someone asking if we wanted double glazing. We already have double glazing in this rented house. Ah well.

Today has been a good week for my writing, quite possibly the most productive week I’ve ever had. I could really do this writing gig full time (if I had a private income).

  • I agreed edits and signed a contract for one of my short stories to be published in a lit mag later on in the month.
  • I read the critical feedback, then amended and submitted a story for publication in an anthology in September.
  • I wrote the beginning of a short story for a class I’m taking online, and then read it out in class.
  • I read my poem out in a zoom. Hopefully, it’ll make it into their anthology.
  • I submitted a bio, photograph and recording of myself reading out a poem for an event and anthology in Glasgow in November. That’s a big one. Internationally big.
  • Oh, and this was released……

The People’s Poem. Written and performed by residents of Leicester, which incidentally, was the most locked-down city in Britain. Inspired by The Leicester News’, ‘We’ve Missed You’ campaign.

Yup. That’s me folks. The one at the beginning with the moonface. Honestly, this project was so much fun to do. I loved every minute!


So, I was thinking about taking a short break from this blog for a bit. I will still maintain the diary of what I’ve been up to aka Neverthless She Persisted. I’d like to see this hiatus as a natural summer holiday pause or end of season one.

You can find me on Twitter @nicolawitters (Sometimes I remember what a man once said to me. “Is Witters your maiden name?” He clearly didn’t know me or how long I can babble on for !)

Thank you for all of your support so far. xx


My new boots.

I’m delighted that HAIKU SALUT, one of my favourite electronic bands has a new album coming out.

The Hill, The Light, The Ghost is out at the end of August. Here’s their new video to tide you over while you’re waiting, during these lazy, languid, long summer days, or washout, humid, hayfever-ish, thundery ones.*

*delete as applicable

As You Were

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Photo by Daniel Jensen on Unsplash

Hi,

I’m taking a break over the summer, from Twitter and WordPress, to concentrate on getting my short-story collection finished.

Nx

P.S. Thank you so much for your support for my writing. It means a lot.

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Photo by Jakub Kriz on Unsplash

84. After Pride, Comes The Fall

I summer well. I know Welsh beaches and being a tourist in cities when all the locals have left. Stuck behind hedge-trimming tractors, I spy next month’s festivals evolving. From peas until apples, my life will adapt to farming time; I’ll become European.

My place in my family changes each year. Maybe one day I will be the matriarch.

I don’t want to interrupt the early-afternoon lull, but no-one heard the car door, or my suitcase skateboard wheels grinding. A dozen pairs of wellington boots of all sizes lined up to welcome me home. I step into the cool of the kitchen and gently pile up almost everything I own into the corner of the room. Even the water tastes different here. I wander, glass in hand, barefoot on stone, then oak, avoiding the squeaky board. I’m grounded now. The orange cat rubs its body against my bare calf and saunters out into the day. Such is a life of simple privilege.

Silence is a luxury and I drink it in. Clocks tick slower in the countryside. I lean over to kiss my aunt on her cheek and she stirs.

A different time, but at the same moment, traffic dribbled to nothing. A shimmering beast snaked closer, louder. Flanked by mounted police, the bare-chested Millwall crowd chanted with one voice, allowing itself to be gently guided towards the stadium gates. They belonged together. Accepted into the pride. A bit like me last month in London in the parade. I looked out for you. Then and now.

I hear dogs or children clomping down the stairs, and am smothered with their love saved up all year. After the “which one are you again?” and “haven’t you grown!”, my niece, Rosie, slips her hand in mine to show me her bedroom. Our bedroom. I’m on the bottom bunk for the next six weeks. She’s emptied a drawer for me and made some room on her dressing table. There’s a calendar on the back of the door with the days crossed off until today, which has a glittery pink star around the date.

My mother’s suitcase is at the foot of the bed. I won’t open it for over a week, until we go swimming. Everything I ever need is in this house. I take out my copy of ‘The Little Stranger’ and decide to read it again before the film release. A train ticket, that cost almost as much as a weekend in Denmark, falls out, losing its place. I remember that train journey. You saying you needed me. Now. I lived a whole life in those three hours. No signal. Voicemail full. I lost my place too that weekend.

I slip on a bangle I thought I’d forgotten, spray my wrists with a half-bottle of perfume, and push the suitcase back under the bed.