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I think that the last post had some kind of magical effect. Indeed! I don’t think it’s rained since. Seriously.

However it has been one looonnng week, and once again all I can do here is come up for air.

1) Poet’s Picnic on Saturday: a good time! writers, children, hot sunshine, and the most fabulous spot by the sea in Whitstable Tea Gardens.  A real pick-me-up.

2) Also on Saturday: a real live ball! This will mean nothing unusual to Brits, but to Americans…well, I’ve always wanted to go to one, and lo, I go. Long black dress, pearls (James Bond theme), stilettos. No R, not his scene, but I gamely sallied forth, and had a great time. I went for the dancing, and did plenty, losing my shoes more than once. Ahem. Also rode on bumper cars, four times. Ahem. Took a fake pistol. Ahem. And enjoyed draping myself over the pretend casino tables. I know, I know. I’m a child. I loved it. 

3) Journeyed up to Norwich School of Art & Design on Sunday night. I’m the new external examiner there for their creative writing BA programme. Given that I used to teach there (and so enjoyed it), it was a real treat to see what everyone and everything is up to. And it’s good stuff: fresh, vibrant, almost raw work sometimes — rarely if ever suffering from the over-writing that students also studying with literature with a vengeance can sometimes produce. There is also the added bonus of text and image work, which I’ve always found fascinating: index cards arranged in months, with an entry on each day. Accessible in order and randomly. Performance poetry with video link and guitar. Art house stuff. Exciting stuff. A pity then that the course has been cancelled. While there I heard that I shall see it out examining-wise: well, I’ll try to do it proud.

I’d like to be more involved with the visual arts. But I’m sorely, sorely lacking in skills and no doubt talent in that department. Alas.

4) Schubert has slain his first creature. After several weeks of (we thought) farcical hunting (I mean, a bright white cat jogging through the undergrowth, long hair flowing in the breeze — come on!), I walked downstairs this morning to frantic calls and a little deceased vole lying right smack in the middle of the doormat. He was delighted with himself, and I’ll admit it, I felt a tiny rush of pride.

5) M plays in yet another concert tomorrow. She has a new 3/4 Italian violin, which makes a much bigger sound. Suddenly her bowing arm has a life of its own. She’s the only first violin tomorrow, backed up by several second violins. She’s also the youngest. Somehow she just seems used to it all….

6) E is learning this. It is the cool of cool.

 

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Night Train 5Just a quick reminder that tonight is the launch of NIGHT TRAIN 5 (an anthology of the best of University of Kent’s student work) in Canterbury, at the Gulbenkian Theatre.

Time: 6.30 pm

Tickets: £8 (£7 concs) INCLUDING a copy of the book, a glass of wine, and very, very fab music by jazz duo Frances Knight and reknown saxophonist Paul Booth.

AND loads of student readings: 16 poems, six short short fictions, two short stories….

It’s good stuff: I’ve read it. Because I’m co-MC-ing along with one of the editors, Andrew McGuinness (a fine fiction writer in his own right, by the by, more later I’m sure).

Be there or be…uh, left standing at the station?

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Now might be a good time to mention that not only does M dance, but son E danced for years, and yes, I do and have done for many more years. Ballet. Not sure why I feel the need to mention this, except that in last 24 hours I’ve encountered three people who either know me through dancing or ‘heard’ that I danced — something in the air maybe: coffee with Karen and Sarah (both dancers); chance meeting with Suzanne (dancer) at the school play last night, and now this morning Wonderful Builder just getting going before the rain started bucketing…. ‘Seems there are many strings to your bow,’ he said (enigmatically). He’d heard it from the wife of the man he plays squash with. Heavens, I say. So I’ll set the record straight: no, not professionally, but yes, for 35 years, some of them pretty seriously.

How’s that blueblog, which links here through “Patricia Debney Mainly Talks Dancing”? Good enough for TV?

I HAVE MOVED

From January 2010, my new blog is Waving and Drowning

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Who am I?


A writer born in Texas, who grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia (yes, like the song), and who's been living in the UK since 1988. I've published two books (see below), and teach creative writing at the University of Kent. I'm married to a composer, and we have two young children. See About for my full profile.