Feedback Loop

It’s been a strange few weeks since my appearance at the the national poetry day. I’ve had quite a few people recognise me and talk to me about the event, and asking how it went. Some people have even given me some very encouraging feedback on the pieces I performed. This has helped me no end; it lets me know where I’m going wrong and where I’m hitting the mark, so to speak.

The advertising for the event has also helped people to find my website and to see my ramblings on here. Yet again, I’ve had some very positive and helpful feedback about the blog, with a number of people actually taking the time out of their day to read my thoughts and to tell me that I’ve really helped them. I’m very grateful for this.

I must also say this – please don’t be surprised if, when you speak to me, I seem a little off or quiet. I’m not used to people talking to me about my scribbles or my ramblings in all honesty. Like many people, I suffer from Imposter Syndrome with regard to my poetry. So I can find it a little overwhelming, and to top it off, I’m also an extremely shy and nervous person too.

Please don’t let this stop you contacting or speaking to me about it, though. I am very grateful for all of your love, support & feedback – so thank you.

Stay Safe X

Daisy’s On Fire!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Daisy Burton, she’s the guest poet from my last book Scribblology and the author of the new novel Sensible.

As you can see it’s getting some great reviews. I’ve read it and can agree with them – it’s a fantastic read. I’d like to shout out for my partner in rhymes and her amazing new project. If you’re interested in reading it, the link is below.

Stay Safe X

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Sensible-Daisy-Burton/dp/1717239447

Mental Health Awareness

As I’m sure some of you who know me will agree, I’m a very outspoken advocate of mental health.

As such, I’ve decided to share a little scribble with you as it’s World Mental Health Day. This is from my upcoming anthology, Alexithymia, so please enjoy and let’s try and raise awareness of mental health issues.

Stop

Please stop for a minute.

Yes, I’m talking to you.

Don’t do what it is that,

You’re planning to do.

Let these words reach you

While I have your attention.

I won’t try to say that I know

The things you’re going through.

Just know that this pain

You’re feeling right now?

I’ve been there – reaching

For the solution in whatever

Form it might take – cold steel,

Booze or pills. So, even though

I don’t know you, we have, at this

Point, something in common.

I was twenty-seven the first time

I felt I was out of options. Taking

The ultimate step that day

When I tried to put myself away.

I felt like I was screaming inside.

Remember, I’ve been where you

Are. I’ve walked that mile in those

Shoes; I want you to know this:

You are stronger than you realise.

This is a fight you can win, even

If your doubts drown everything

Out, hold on a little longer. Stay.

Let me talk to you. Let my words

Through, even if you don’t

Think you can do it. I’ll share

This pain; be a voice of reason.

You have better times ahead

Believe me, try to see, I beg of

you. Don’t take your life. Instead,

Take my hand – we’ll do this together.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

Stay Safe X

The Small Cogs

This weekend has been a very hectic one. After the hectic and somewhat heady high of Thursday evening’s poetry slam, it was back to the normal routine of my daily life.

This weekend was a little different from my usual weekly routine though because the owners of the company I work for were away on a little vacation over the weekend. So, alongside a few extra hours, which I’m always happy to do, I was left in charge of running the pub and locking up. No pressure then.

The weekend went fairly smoothly, with the occasional blip, like changing a real ale barrel when the bar is busy, only to find a second barrel had gone just after the first one. These things are sent to try us, I guess. The weekend drew to a quieter close than normal as no live music or pizzas were done on the Sunday evening. This was a nice thing, because due to an admin error, I was the only front of house staff on during Sunday. This meant that instead of my usual split shift, when I get to eat, shower and spend some quality time with Mrs Bob, I was on from open til close. Not that I minded, as it’s what I’m paid to do and chef was nice enough to put me some food through just before he went home, so I could sit at a table next to the bar and eat. When it came time to clear and restock the bar, I was ready to go home and looking forward to a couple of days off. On the Monday, yesterday, I had nothing to do but buy a comic book and see where the beautiful yet unseasonably warm autumnal day took me. Today, however, I have a very long and nerve wracking lodge meeting, but that’s another story for another day.

This week at work is going to be a really busy one, with a table of 40-ish for two of the evenings night, but it keeps me busy. One misaligned cog no matter how small can stop the biggest of machines causing it to fail. I know that, like this weekend, no matter how busy it gets, if you have a great team working alongside you, instead of for themselves, things will run like clockwork.

After this weekend I’m more appreciative than ever of my downtime and those moments spent with my loved ones (and Doggers the cat) even if it’s just sitting doing our own thing alongside each other or watching some trashy TV show while crashed out in bed with Mrs Bob. They are the truly lovely times.

Stay Safe X

Choke Slam?

Well I’ve finally done it, I took part in my first ever poetry slam. I had spoken to the owner of my local comic book store about my scribbles and the idea of an event on #NationalPoetryDay was born.

The week before the event I must confess I was really not feeling my usual self. I wasn’t sleeping properly and began to get very nervous about the whole thing, more so than the last event I spoke at. This might have been because there were some very talented poets on the bill, and I felt I would be the kid at the grown-up table. This is probably down to suffering from Imposters Syndrome. Anyway, after a talk with Mrs Bob and my cousin, I decided that all I could do was prepare myself. This meant that the week of the event, I would go and see my stylist Marc Nichols – I would say barber, but I have no hair! I see him to get my beard trimmed and sculpted, and we usually have a gossip about comic books and computer games. I then took a detour to a clothes store for a nice new box fresh tshirt so that I’d look and feel good on the night

Then came the fun part of working out a set list, so to speak, then rehearse it and time it, so I knew what I was doing and how long it would take. I was really struggling to fill a 20-minute slot and began to feel stressed, until the store owner emailed and explained the format. We would have four minutes to perform each piece and we would lose a point for every minute we went over. This was just what I needed as it played to my strengths big time. I was now feeling so much better about it that I forgot all my nerves and everything else….. well, until the day of the event. I was really very nervous on the day and felt physically ill, but I knew I couldn’t back out and had to push forward. I did the only thing I could to relax – play video games and watch superhero TV shows until late on, then relax with a Masonic podcast while having a bubble bath. Might sound odd, but trust me, it works.

Then I got my beard oiled, my outfit ready and made sure I looked ready to play. We hit the road while listening to one of Detroit’s most prolific verbal illustrators/poets, Marshal Mathers III (Eminem) and I was then totally chilled out.

The event itself was really enjoyable. I was a little stressed at the point of standing up and reading my work in front of such verbally skilled peeps, and I didn’t sell myself or my book very well. My eyes even leaked at one of my own poems, but all in all I managed to do it and I’m taking that as a win for me.

I wouldn’t be able to do this event or any other if it wasn’t for Mrs Bob and her skills as my partner in crime and Scribblology. She is my everything. She’s also now known as the “Aspie Whisperer” so before I sign off I’d like to take this opportunity to thank her for all the love and support she provides me.

So that’s my first major milestone down and here’s to many more.

Stay Safe X