I’m still dipping in and out of a lot of course books. But I did better this month for books that I’ve read cover to cover:
The Screaming Staircase: Lockwood &co. #1 by Jonathan Stroud (First Time Read)
Rivers of Ink by Paul M. M. Cooper (First Time Read/ARC)
The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Hellig (First Time Read/ARC)
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (Reread)
It’s been a while since I read this series of essays by Glyn Maxwell. I first read it whilst I was writing my PhD Proposal and it felt very different to read it again near to the end of the my first year. There wasn’t as much pressure the second time around and I feel like I absorbed much more!
So, March ended up being kinda hectic for me – but in a mostly good way. I started the month with both my birthday and Mothers day on the same Sunday. Unfortunately I also started the month with the whole house getting what we were pretty sure was Swine Flu. My dad did his usual response to viruses and shook it off in a day or so and I surprised everyone by not taking much longer. But my poor mum had it for about three weeks! There seems to have been a lot of illnesses going round this month. Lots of people with colds or flu and quite a few kids with Scarlet Fever. I don’t know if it’s been the weather or what, lets hope we shake it off as we head towards Spring and hopefully more sun!
The third weekend in March (and indeed the Thursday and Friday before it) was taken up by Litfest 2016. I’ve already mentioned it in my weekly wrap up for that week but it was a huge part of the month. As this was the first time we’d shifted the festival to March rather than October, we seemed to have been leading up to it for a very long time and it was great to see it come to fruition. This year we focused on local talent – whether that was people who had been to University here, who live in and around Lancaster or who have strong ties to the area. It was also the first festival since I’ve been on the board, rather than just a volunteer, which made it very special for me. I wasn’t sure that I was going to be able to make the whole festival because of my current health situation, but I was sensible about it and in the end I only missed the Friday evening so that I would be able to manage both of the days at the weekend. I was wiped out for the week after, but it was definitely worth it to see all we’d worked for being put into practice.
On a writing note, I was also involved in one of events during the festival – a showcase of the latest Beautiful Dragon’s Anthology: My Dear Watson – The Very Elements in Poetry. It’s the first time I’d been involved in the Beautiful Dragon’s collective but I really enjoyed the whole process. As we are largely online based – and I ended up missing the Manchester launch – this was the first time I had met many of the poets! Also, it was only the second time I’ve read my poetry in public – the first being at our MA showcase back in December 2014. I surprised myself, I really enjoyed reading. As someone who tends to psyche themselves out of talking in public this surprised me quite a bit. Maybe it’s a bit easier when the words are already edited and typed out! Since then I’ve been asked to participate in a poetry reading by the PhD students at Lancaster Uni on April 27th and I feel a lot more confident about it having participated in this showcase. Now I just need to work out what to read in my 5 minute slot…