So, it's been a record week for me in terms of publications, with two poems and a flash story published in different places online, which, between them, cover kissing, climbing and aubergines. (see below). It's a wonderful, miraculous thing, being chosen by an editor and put between (virtual or actual) covers. And being able to share the links online is also joyous, especially when friends and strangers choose to get in touch with kind words.
But it's also surreal - all the more so in this turbulent year, and in particular in these few weeks of turmoil and uncertainty here in the UK, which haven't ended yet and may not for a long long time. I often find the disconnect between tragedies around the world and good news in my writing life hard to navigate. (As I thought about this blog post I was going to say "tragedies in the real world", but then again, I am a writer, and my writing is real, it is my real world too.) I feel guilty for celebrating these personal things.
As I was thinking about this, I realised that when I'm in despair, I turn to books, to poems, to short stories, novels, science writing. They help me. And when I read some of the comments people have made about my writing, I think, I am perhaps adding to that well, and they might be useful for one other person. I don't think my writing is some kind of panacea for the world's ills (apart from to me when I write it), but it's what I have to offer. I'm not particularly good at anything else, so this is what I've got. And I love celebrating other people's publications, so am trying to persuade myself that it's okay to every now and then be the one that other people are celebrating!
So, with delight, a little ambivalence, enormous gratitude to the editors of The Pickled Body, the Wales Arts Review, and Anthony Wilson (whose Lifesaving Poems blog is such an inspiration to me, I can't quite believe I am now one of them) - and with encouragement to go and read everything else they publish, here are the links to my 3 new works:
Kiss The First in The Pickled Body (final poem)
Fire and Granite in Wales Arts Review
By Any Other Name, one of Anthony Wilson's Lifesaving Poems