June newsletter

Lumpy custard, Light Night and launching books

Hi everyone

I hope you’re all safe and well.

You know those, I can’t believe I did that moments? Not the Friends, Ross and Rachel, I can’t believe you did that prom video thing. The disasters. When you’re doing something, normally quickly, then realisation that you’ve made a terrible mistake slaps you in the face but you can do nothing but watch helplessly as the consequences unravel before your eyes?

For my sister, that moment was in a bowl of lumpy custard. Not knowing how to remove the lumps from her homemade crème anglaise, she decided to sieve them out. Over the sink. Without anything underneath the sieve.

Cue all of the lovely custard disappearing down the plughole and my sister being left holding a sieve full of custard lumps. Delicious.

And of course we’ve all done silly things. Because of Gavin and Stacey I became convinced that there wasn’t a route you could take into Wales without paying.

Then there was the time I was protecting a door to door salesman from the dogs and locked myself out, having to walk over the local hairdressers in my holey socks to call my Mum - a lovely memory of life before mobile phones.

These moments can be a great tool for writers though. Louise Rennison was particularly known for doing this, as is Marian Keyes.

So don’t be surprised if you see lumpy custard pop up in my writing some day, or a relaxing walk in the rain with wet socks caused by missing shoes. While neither of these things are likely to appear in my current WIP, I guess you never know when a character will have an overwhelming desire to make their own custard to distract from their life in dystopia.

Stay safe, use sunscreen and be helpful.

Key Words: Poems from Lockdown

On 3 May we held the online launch for Key Words: Poems from Lockdown. It was so lovely to hear some of the poetry featured in the anthology read out loud by the poets involved. Please do let me know what you think of the book. It’s a really emotional read that captures all of the highs and lows of lockdown life.

You can also hear Frank Kennedy sharing more about the book and the story behind it with Helen Jones on BBC Radio Merseyside (from 49:53).

Short but Sweet: Zoom Edition

It was really nice to see my short play, Ghost Light, brought to life in Liverpool Network Theatre Group’s Short but Sweet: Zoom Edition. The cast and crew did a great job and I’ve had some great feedback on my play and the acting in it.

If you missed it you can watch it here - Ghost Light starts at 1:36.

Snookered

For this year’s Liverpool Light Night, Lantern Writers hosted their selection of short plays, Play Up, featuring Snookered written by Joe Lewis and directed by me.

It was a great evening and a reviewer called our piece “hilarious”. I was really proud of my actors and it was so nice to be involved in a performance again, even if it was in torrential rain!

Sea Invisible

Tomorrow is the first full issue of Sea Invisible, my new fortnightly newsletter exploring life with invisible disability.

Sea Invisible will looking at the ups and downs of life with invisible disability and the impact it has on mental health. I’ll also talk about self-care and managing bad health days.

I’ll include anything interesting I read, watch or listen to about life with invisible disability.

This is something I have been thinking about for a long time, and for ages was too scared to go ahead with it. So I would absolutely love it if you can support my new venture and subscribe to receive the newsletter directly in your inbox every fortnight.

What I’m reading

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo

Things that have caught my eye

Windows on the world: pandemic poems by Simon Armitage, Hollie McNish, Kae Tempest and more This is a fascinating look into some poets’ creatives processes. While I’ve had poetry published, most of the poetry I write is primarily for me, to make sense of the things in my head I can’t work out without a pen in my hand. It’s really interesting to read about other writers using poetry to make sense of the world.

Jerk A Brighton Fringe festival show I reviewed for North West End UK. This is a brilliant piece of online theatre and will especially appeal to anyone who also spent some time studying Psychology.

Greek Mythology Creative Writing Workshop Another one from the Brighton Fringe, I went along to this this morning and it was so interesting and really inspiring. I love writing around mythology and it was particularly nice this morning to breathe some new life into Hestia, one of the Greek goddesses who is often forgotten.

Do keep an eye on North West End UK for more of my reviews of Brighton Fringe Festival shows very soon!

Dragons - Professor Ronald Hutton - Zoom Lecture I’ll be attending this towards the end of June and am really looking forward to it as it should be really interesting as different attitudes towards dragons are explored.

Wildflowers! My back garden is very neglected after years of our house being empty before we bought it, but it does mean we have a beautiful selection of wildflowers which are popping up as the weather gets warmer and loads of happy buzzy bees collecting their pollen. Beautiful.