Facing Friday – I’m Fricking Thirty

Hello team, and welcome to my 30’s! Expect me to get wise AF from now on. Pretty sure that’s how that works.

I read

Nothing! Sorry gang. I did three last week though, be fair.

I saw

As part of a wonderful Birthday Treat Weekend, Paul took me to see Richard Herring’s new show Happy Now? Richard Herring was the first comedian I really got into back at uni, and it was lovely to see how much we’ve both changed in the eleven (!!!!!) years I’ve been seeing him. This was my favourite of his shows – the funniest and easiest to enjoy. It was less cleverly structured than previous shows, with more focus on amusing the audience than producing a “good” comedy show. As Herring says in the show, he cares less about what the audience thinks, which has somehow made him funnier. I think there may be something I can learn from this. This article about the same, by long-time favourite Hannah Gale, thing caught my eye this week as well – http://hannahgale.co.uk/2016/03/08/care-less-do-more/ Like all humans, I am often paralysed by self doubt and the idea that I’d too weird or boring or generally not good enough. But fuck it! Creating something is better than creating nothing. You do your best, you hope people like it, but whether they do or not, you move on and make something else. This can join other birthday resolutions I have so far failed to keep, such as “meditate every week” and “start going swimming”.

Another part of the Birthday Treat Weekend was a trip to see the Matilda musical. Aaaaaaaaaaaah!!!! Oh my god it was AMAZING. So funny and appealing and well staged. Very biting, especially for something aimed at children, but then, that was why Roald Dahl was so good, wasn’t it? They’ve changed the plot quite a bit, altering the Miss Honey sub plot a lot. I’m notrmally very precious about these things but actually two interweaving plots rather than one linear one do work better on stage, they’re right. I used to go to musicals with my Mum all the time – as a tween they were my big passion. I must go again. I live so close to London now! I must remember this, and think of what 16 year old Lucy would have to say about my use of my situation. I haven’t been to Camden for like 3 years, which would HORRIFY her.

I also went to my local Hammer and Tongue, this month featuring excellent Johnny Fluffypunk. He said in his set that poets say what we as a society can’t, and that is their role. This really stayed with me. I should be a bit more cheeky on stage I think – my persona as it stands is a little too sweet, and that’s not what I’m for. I’m a poet, not a cupcake. Let’s act like one.

I wrote

I have massively got my mojo back vis a vis writing, and especially poetry, over the last two weeks. I’ve written a scratch version of what will be my next poetry show (and, actually, novel), which is about tragedy. It feels so great to be creating again, working with new stories and dealing with content that feels fresh and exciting.

I still need to rework Heroine and sling it back at the feet of the literary agents of Britain. I’m just having a short break to do the show, but it’s all systems go on this as soon as the 24th is out of the way, and I hope to have another round of submissions out by the end of April.

Part of this aforementioned mojo-getting-back involved starting up my regular writing meetings with Tina Sederholm, my longtime partner in poetry crime. On Wednesday we performed little unfinished scratch versions of our show together. And it was GREAT. We have been doing this for years (oh god. Five years???), and I also have a slightly more occasional email feedback/collaborator, George. The value of having someone who knows your work, and you, well, and can give you some perspective on the strengths and weaknesses of a bigger work and your career in general, is massive. Finding a writing buddy who gets you would be my biggest tip for writing excellence, alongside “read lots of books”, “write something you would like to read” and “go to the library and get on with it”.

Bum in seat hours – 8

I did

The crowning event of the Birthday Treat Weekend was dinner at Hawksmoor, Seven Dials. OH MY BLOODY GOD. This was like a steak-based spiritual experience. AMAZING steak. Just wonderful. Also, delicious cocktails, and it’s really fun in there – like being in a speakeasy. I’m already plotting my next excuse to go there.

I made a little makeup bag for my mum, for Mother’s Day. I got carried away by the success of my wedding bunting and decided I am basically a seamstress now. Incorrect! It is very shonkily constructed, but she seemed to like it. Even if you are in your 30’s, you are still allowed to make your mum crap homemade gifts.

I went to London to have the Birthday Treat Weekend. I feel my opinion shifting on London. When I first moved to Oxfordshire, I would take any opportunity to go and ponce around London in bars, and take the last coach home in the middle of the night. Yolo, right? But recently I’ve been viewing it as a mafor chore, to be done sighingly and only because I really want to see someone. But actually… It’s really not that far away, is it? Two hours on the coach, tops. And there’s some really cool stuff in there, and it’s a capital, isn’t it? So, more saying yes to London. More saying yes to everything this year, I think.

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