Where did 2013 go?
I've hardly had the energy to round things up. I was out of action for three months in the summer following a detached retina, briefly seeing my future as a blind man in a house full of books.
I had poems published in Best of Manchester Poets and Sculpted: Poetry of the NW and a story in Unthology 4; as magazines and small presses moved into books from pamphlets and magazines, often of as high (or higher) quality that mainstream imprints. I read a few times throughout the year, for which I'm always grateful of the opportunity, though primarily locally - Manchester, Didsbury even.
Anyway I've been working on a poetry collection, though before I try and get a publisher, I'm probably going to see about getting a few poems in magazines - though its such a crap shoot these days. As for fiction I've a great story that been bubbling away for months, and still needs a last rewrite, and a couple of other's in less finished states. I've been looking at writing long fiction again, though with a full time job and reduced energy levels I'm sure that's always going to be difficult to achieve. I will continue in that general direction, however.
I've continued to enjoy making music, and my 5th album since starting music again in 2007, "Kleptomania" is now available to download, as accomplished as anything I've done.
In truth, its been something of a mixed year; I sometimes feel that I'm just treading water creatively, yet paradoxically, the quality of the work continues to get better, I think, or at least get's different, as I change not so much my approach but my aim. In that sense, Manchester is a great place to remain, as there's something literary on, if not quite every night, certainly every week.
So 2014 is likely to see some upheavals - life wise it feels time for a change, of flat perhaps, and given the continued cutbacks to public service in this country, the likelihood of the job coming under threat again seems quite high. I'll be 47 in March, so need to prioritise life things again.
Looking forward to more engagement with art (in particular), poetry and music during 2014, and with a world cup in Brazil in the summer that should be fun (or stressful!)
My travels eased off a little in 2013, but I still went away eight times, visiting Lisbon, Barcelona, Dublin and Vilnius for the first time, all cities I'd happily return to. With Madrid and Rome in February, I'm looking forward to being one of the few remaining pro-Europeans in England!
I've another week off before going back to the office, so time for a few bits of creativity - even if the main thing will probably be the "fun" of poetry admin (stuffing poems in envelopes to magazines!)
Happy New Year for tomorrow night.
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