Sunday, November 05, 2006

hard work

In the last few weeks I've realised just how hard it is to keep a blog regular and up to date. Indeed it's been easier to keep my podcast going, and it's just occured to me that the podcast is so much more focused - I turn on the microphone and I have a clear goal; to read one poem. This blog on the other hand is freestyle and because I'm a broody kind of fellow (yes, to the tune of 'stubborn kind of fellow') it's hard for me to sit and write - I do so much in my head and when my head is heavy with thoughts, worries, responsibilities etc. etc. it's hard for me to put anything out in a blog. Emotionally, I haven't been on even keel for a long time. Juggling all the things I have to do to keep afloat as a writer I go through highs and lows like a newborn through diapers. Black History Month UK TM has just come to an end and given my life back to me, but here's a diary of occurences:

HIGH: The Barbican hosts a book launch for a poetry imprint I started a year ago ( AMAZON UK Link | AMAZON US Link)
LOW: BUT Printer goes out of business and I'm not sure if we'll have books on the launch night: I lose FIVE days of writing to sort this out and eventually we get the books - the launch was fine but, man I will NEVER get those five days back!

LOW: Tash Aw and I are distressed by the stories we have received for the anthology we're editing together - good stories are too similar; other stories are too bad! It's clear we'll have to put the launch date back.
HIGH: We send a distress message out and get a few more stories - we think we're OK... fingers crossed

HIGH: I get some Arts Council Funding to work on my second novel; it's meant to kick in in late October so I can stop doing gigs and concentrate on writing
LOW: I'm still waiting for the money :) - it will come, I know, but I'm still on gig street - my next is at the Folkestone Literature Festival on November 16; if you live in Kent, do come and check us out... oh, and buy some books - I've got to eat!

HIGH: One of my best friends, a pilot, is passing through from Switzerland, in the same week my girlfriend gets a great job (I forsee loads of free lunches and dinners!). I'm supposed to be able to see them both...
LOW: Yep, you guessed it... In spite of hours of phone coordination, I see neither :)

LOW: My account reaches the low point of £24.09 balance
LOW: All my bills arrive on November 1
LOW: Paying my rent takes my current account into the red; I have savings but people owe me money for gigs - it's the principle; I'm NOT transferring money from my savings!

HIGH: I manage to conduct 4 (FOUR) editorial meetings with my writers in one week - that's a record even for me!
LOW: I didn't get to see my girlfriend again! Not a good time to mess around, now she's all MINTED and I'm an ARTIST!

HIGH: I get e-mails from St Petersburg, Vancouver and Dayton. People are actually listening to my podcast!! Here's all the links to new outlets: | | My Odeo Channel |
HIGH: I finally send some short stories off to the New Yorker and The Paris Review, with another ready to go to the London Magazine and one coming up for Wasafiri - I don't know what will come of them, but I haven't made a submission in close to two years so it's a huge deal for me.

LOW: It's cold as hell. Winter is my least productive period in the UK 'cos I just can't talk myself out of bed... Hmmm...

So there you have it. A little summary of the Life of I. It's not all work and doom though. I have found some great video podcasts of cartoons and since cartoons have been an obsession since I was three years old, I've had some good times... I also got nostalgic about the Ghanaian football team who will be playing Australia at Loftus Road on November 15 and (seeing as we've had problems mainly with strikers) spent some time checking out one of our great stikers online:

Tony Yeboah spent most of his playing career in Germany and averaged better than a goal every other game. I found some cool vids of a couple of his games on what I now call Goo Tube. Nothing from the better part of his career at Frankfurt though. Here's my lil summary:

Tony Yeboah:
62 appearances – 33 goals for Leeds
123 appearances – 68 goals for Frankfurt – Incredible goal for Leeds – Hat Trick against Monaco

What I'm listening to? Luther Vandross' new best of... I love Luther like my own brother!
I'm reading Wallace Stevens (Poetry) and about to get into Fatou Diome (Fiction) translated from French by a friend I made at a translation conference - in case you missed it, I write in Ga as well, that's why I was there - in Cambridge; Roz Schwartz.

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