Category Archives: Uncategorized

Trichophagia

 

I munch on the strands,

flicking the fibres between gapped

tooth. Tasting conditioner and breath

 

embedded in each split end, my mind

flips back to curling chubby fingers

around mum’s blonde braid.

 

Whether up or down, she always kept

a few flicks by her cheek, softening

her jawline, making her look like an angel.

 

In hamster cheeks I store hair in clumps,

wound like wool, knitting over tongue

and uvula. Hacking through forests

 

of auburn curls I build a nest deep

down in my stomach. There, I will curl

up in the warmth of my mother.

 

 

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A Break…Now Back Into It

Wow. It’s been a long time since I viewed this site, never mind write anything on it.

Here’s the update on me.

So I finished University and came out with a 1st Class Honours Degree in Creative Writing and English Language. I don’t know how I managed that but I was (am) super proud. I even managed to secure a job working for an Arts and Events team in local and national newspapers. The only problem with that was working 40 hours a week in front of a computer with two kids waiting at home. It left me little time for the ‘good’ writing. The ‘fun’ writing!

So, I left there after 6 months (shortest job ever) to work in care as a support worker. I’ve been doing this for the last two years and I have never been happier. It’s the best job in the world.

The plan was to pick up with my writing again, but I didn’t. I sat my large posterior in front of the TV each night watching Supernatural, The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Once Upon A Time and other getaway shows. When I wasn’t stuck in a vegetative state in front of the TV, I was lost in my books of course. The need to read overtaking my desire to write. Such is life.

But these past few weeks the urge is coming back. I haven’t been totally out of it. I’ve still attended the odd open mic night and I am now the Chair of York Writers. So I’m not completely out of the loop. But I’m weaving my way back into that circle as we speak.

I have written a few bits here and there so I’ll flick through them and see what I’m willing to show you. They’re mainly work in progress at the moment, but watch this space…I’m coming home!


Dissertation Disaster?

I guess you could say it’s all gone to pot a little. Work on my dissertation is moving along ever so slowly and I really should be picking up the pace. I went from wrestling with a creative non-fiction book to turning it into a historical novel. What a switch!

 

It’s not that I don’t want to write the non-fiction book, and I like to think that I will actually write it. It’s just the deadline for my dissertation is in May and I need to get words on paper. It seems writing fiction comes more naturally to me. This could be down to the fact I read so little non-fiction and maybe I should change this if I am going to write a non-fiction book.

 

Can ya guess what it is yet?

Can ya guess what it is yet?

These are a few of the books I am submerging myself in at the moment which may give you a clue as to what I am writing about. I like to keep the mystery a little so I won’t divulge my idea completely but I am sure some of my readers might be able to guess (or if you know me, you probably know the subject area anyway).

 

 

So as well as writing this dissertation I am also getting involved in other creative projects too. I have recently been appointed the Secretary for York Writers which is a local writing group who meet up once/twice a month and share their work, enjoy listening to guest speakers and sometimes engage in workshops. I have also just co-edited the poetry for Indigo Rising UK and that was fun. I enjoyed reading such a mix of poetry, a lot of which was excellent. Issue three will be released very soon so I will keep you posted.

 

So all in all it’s been a busy start to the year. I haven’t written half as much as I would have liked but I plan to make sure I set aside time in the week to get things down on paper or to work on this novel. The kids can fend for themselves…right?


T’is the season to be sparkly

I feel I can officially say it now…

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

I am surrounded by fairy lights and sparkle as that is my kind of Christmas.

Some enjoy the traditional festive décor with greenery and red ribbons hanging round the mantelpiece. A slight shimmer of gold might give a soft glow next to an advent candle. There may even be dried circles of orange hung from the tree alongside simple white lights and pinecones.

Others prefer a more uniform Christmas with a colour theme that ties in nicely with the existing décor of the room. In the corner of the room stands a white tree, white to fully show off the colour displays; silver and blue, or silver and pink, or gold and red, or maybe gold and silver (no harm in a bit of bling at Christmas).

Me? Give me full on colour! I want red, green, pink, purple, silver, blue, orange. Yes, if it’s in the rainbow and beyond then put it in my room.

I will be honest, I do tend to sway towards the cooler end of the colour spectrum with purple, blue and pink taking pride of place but I’ll chuck a bit of anything in to make the living room festive and fun for the kids.

I like things to be bright at Christmas and I think it’s because I find my creativity tends to come forth more at this time of year. The lights have to shine with the intensity of this tree I saw at Centerparcs earlier this year.

Sparkly tree!!

Though in a single colour it really sparked off my excitement for Christmas and finally having the time away from Uni to write what I want to write.

I don’t tend to write ‘happy’ at Christmas though, despite my bubbling burst of excitement at this time of year. It’s almost like I need to balance out my extreme happiness with a little of that shadow that lurks in the deepest corners of our minds.

Lines like;

On calm days she’d stay inside as the river

slid by, mourning the torrents of rain

yet to clag the banks in clods of mud.

and;

I never flinched

at your words, or fist. The quilt

mountained around us as silk

 

both taken from new poems I have written recently reflect the happiness I am feeling inside simply due to the fact that they are of a sombre tone.

How do you reflect your emotions through your writing? Do you write the opposite of what you feel or do you prefer to feel that emotion at the time and get it down on paper? Maybe it’s a bit of both?

Why not pop by the comment box and share? I’d love to hear your views.


Researching Non-Fiction

As some of you may know I am studying Creative Writing and English Language at University and as I have now started my 3rd year I am tackling the scariest thing known to all undergraduates…The Dissertation!

After debating whether or not to write a collection of poetry I was encouraged by a number of tutors to follow an idea I came up with in my 2nd year. I agreed and am now looking at writing a book (not the entire book for my dissertation of course) about the conception and history of the vibrator.

My plan is to write a book proposal for my dissertation so that I will have something to send to a publisher once I have finished.

I have never written non-fiction before, other than a few music/event reviews and this is the scariest thing I have faced yet. I will have to learn how to research my subject area, how to sort the interesting bits from the dull and how to construct the book itself; the voice, style and angle.

At the moment I am at the extensive reading phase of the research. All my books look like beautiful orange and pink butterflies with all the mini post-its I have adorned the pages with. It does make me feel like I have got a lot of work done. But in truth, I haven’t as yet. I need to write. Get things down on paper. Find a narrative angle and find a voice for the book. This makes me scared to try to put anything down on paper…which is silly.

I know that this is what I must do though, to start the process off properly and to get the creative chaos flowing.

If any of you are non-fiction writers or avid readers of non-fiction then I would love to hear what you think about the writing process, or what you like best about reading non-fiction? Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.


If you like me…please ‘like’ me!

I have recently set up a facebook page to keep folks up to date with events I am reading at and other note-worthy spoken word events in the Yorkshire area.

If you are on facebook and would like up-to-date information about stuff that’s going on then please ‘like’ my page.

https://www.facebook.com/vicki.bartram.5?ref=tn_tnmn#!/VickiBartramWriter

Vicki Bartram – Writer

Awww I’d be ever so grateful, so I would!

🙂


Airing It For The First Time

I have been writing some new poems lately for my ‘poem a day’ project which isn’t exactly working out as a poem a day but it still makes me stop and write something more than I was doing before.

I have written some terrible stuff, don’t we all! (please, tell me you all do too…) but I have also been able to edit together some interesting and even audience-worthy work. I will be reading out a new poem at a book launch tomorrow night (details at the end of this post) and I have to say I am rather nervous about it.

I have been re-reading the same stuff for quite a while now; poems that I have been told are good by the audience, or poems that have been published and so (I feel) hold some kind of credibility. It has been quite a while since I have shared something completely new.

I have had a friend look through it, give me some feedback and I have edited and tweaked until I felt I was fairly happy with it. Truth is I am never really happy with most of my work. It seems it can always be edited just a little further. I have been practicing reading the poem out loud to ensure I don’t stumble, that the flow and rhythm roll easily from my tongue.

I was told to think of it as a good chance to find out how the poem feels, how people react to it, and whether it works or not. I was advised to think of it as a good thing. But I am so worried that my best work is behind me. Have I peaked too soon? This could be the poem that flops and ruins me!

I don’t know why I am so nervous. Do other writers get this? How do you feel about airing new work (poetry or prose)? Is it exciting or do you fear you’ll be looked upon as a fool?

Would be nice to hear how you guys cope.

 

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Pressed By Unseen Feet

 

If any readers are in the Yorkshire area tomorrow then I strongly recommend stopping by the Pressed By Unseen Feet (published by Stairwell Booksbook launch. Many great local writers will be performing their spook-filled work including Steve Nash, Helen Sant, Tim Ellis, Andy Humphrey, Rose Drew, Alan Gillot and myself. There will also be a few open mic slots available (limited so please comment on the facebook page if you are interested). Details can be found on the facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/VickiBartramWriter#!/events/395269667209662/

 

Hotel Dun Vin

The Mount

York

YO24 1AX

Doors open at 7pm

£6 entry (includes a copy of the book)

 

Hope to see you there!