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Day 3 – Paula Small (written on Day 5)

Apologies for the delayed post, but it was national holiday in the U. S.

Worked my day job as usual.

During the workday, I wrote an opening paragraph for a short story. I also updated my calendar/diary with a few trainings, etc.

After work, I ran errands to gather food & such for Thursday, which was Thanksgiving here in the U. S.

Scribbled a bit of a lyric that’s been in my mind for some time. Again wished I knew how to write music, or play an instrument, so that I could record the melody in my head. Spent about 30 minutes looking on-line for potential work, as my job hunt begins next month. Whee!

Other than that, spent about 4 hours watching DVDs and playing on Facebook.

Caught up on a few phone calls, in between the watching and playing. Made a to-do list for the weekend (for the 700th time).

That was it! I’ll post a separate entry for Thursday.

~Paula

Day 5 – Heather

Early start to the day – shower, finish packing, check my paperwork, send a couple of mails, and then Judy and I head to Tuttle club. Have a quick meeting about a new film club and then network, look at canon setting up (plan was to talk cameras but not ready by time I have to head to airport.  Terminal 4 is surprisingly quiet and I check in my bags before settling into Café rouge for an hour.  Lunch and emails to answer.  Then I go through security, grab a coffee and get on the plane.  The plane looks like it’s right out of the 70s and smells of stale smoke.  The plane’s engine sounds sick and my seat is tilting back on one side.  I sleep my way through the cheese, butter and pickle sandwiches I can’t eat and spend the last hour reading the end of the 8 mile script on my iPod.  Milan, the editor of my book, is at the airport to pick me up, new book in hand.  It’s beautiful.  He drives me to Dragana’s house where Dejan is there to greet me. We’re lucky to get there in good time as there had been student protests during the day which had slowed traffic to a stand still.

Dragana came home and Milan went back to his family (his 2 year old twins had to go to bed).  We had supper then went to check out Casa Garcia as I was doing readings there this weekend and Dejan had to flyer and put up posters.  Back home by 1 am – I slept on the bus on the way then to sleep, to sleep.

It ain’t over yet

I’m cheating a bit as my day’s not over, but I don’t want to come back from my evening meeting and turn my computer back on!

So – another day in the office, getting to grips with a really exciting project I’ve wangled HLF funding for – a writing residency/public art project in Belvedere, Bexley. Planned a workshop for year 8s with an environmental planner, over the phone, collated contacts, sent emails, wrote a work plan, etc. etc.

Got distracted by being invited to apply for a residency in Bethlemen. Can’t because I’m not available, had to faff a bit and feel grumpy. Another thing on the to do list – call them and ingratiate myself so they ask me again.

Bit of email and general faffing.

I’ve started keeping a timesheet to try and get a realistic idea of what I spend my time doing. Travel eats up a lot of it it seems :(

Of into town in a minute to interview someone for my Elephant and Castle project. Possibly out drinking afterwards but most likely I’ll come home, have a glass of wine, do a bit of planning for my Monday morning meeting and get stuck into my book.

So, week over. I have written nothing creative :( I have worked 3 evenings out of 5. I’m feeling a bit knackered and frustrated, and to be honest next week’s not looking that much better, though I’m determined to squeeze a couple of hours of writing out of somewhere

Adios

x

Day 4 – early start

Wake up naturally a minute before my alarm goes off at 6.30am. I have an early morning press preview in the West End before work, so I’m anxious to get the day started. Do usual morning pages, tea, fag, ablutions thing and hit the road at about 8. Get to my preview around 8.40. I’d aimed there for 8.30. No matter.

The preview goes well, there’s plenty to see and the very enthusiatsic PR person walks me through the entire collection, while also telling me about exciting developments which I sadly cannot share on the blog yet. Also  talk to the brand proprietor who is also a keen cyclist, so lots to talk about. I had allotted 30 minutes for the preview but I only managed to escape and hour later.

Cycle like the furies to work. Am late. Again. Shit. Still no reprisals from the boss. I feel all sorts of guilty but launch into my tasks for the day. Not really much to do, so it’s mostly a faff of a day. As we reach the end of the year, things are clearly slowing down and although I still have projects to manage it’s treacle slow getting anything done.

Lunchtime is the bacon bagel and I sit in again and look through my goodie bag from the preview and flip through the lookbook. I ran out of tea this morning and there in my goodie bag is a lovely pack of ten organic morning tea bags. Perfect. I take this as a sign of cosmic provision. It’s all good and there will be tea tomorrow.

The rest of the day goes by quickly. I’m still phone-less so I’m relying on emails from friends and making plans the old fashioned way – designated meeting place, designated time – to get me through. I send a few last minute emails to Naomi who I am meeting later at a reading at the Whitechapel gallery. And another friend who I am meeting tomorrow for a trip to the observertory to see the stars.

I leave my desk a little after five and manage to do my daily discipline till a little after six. Then it’s back on my bike and on my way to Whitechapel. I’d almost cancelled this trip as I was knackered and I though the ride to East London and then back to the house would be a mare. But I tend to challenge these notions of what I don’t feel like doing, so I decide to at least make an effort. As it turns out the bike ride is the best thing about the night. The readings do not go well. The audience is dry and uncommunicative and this makes the poets jittery. These are good poets but there is just no connection. One poet doesn’t even bother to intro her peices but burns through her short and evocative poems at the rate of knotts, barely stopping for breath, let alone applause. I find it hard to care and am finding it hard to stay awake.
I leave during the interval.

I decide that if you are going to do a reading you have to at least attempt to carry your audience with you otherwise don’t bother. This is a lesson. I need to practice performance more. With that in mind I decide that I will do some open mics in the near future to try out new work and practice my technique. I’ve also decided that it is well worth the extra effort to memorise a few pieces. There is something about the removal of all extraeneous matter from a performance that makes you inhabit a poem more and give a better performance. I will have to try out this theory. We’ll see.

I get home around 10, fully intending to write my log for the day but I’m hungry and there’s no food in the fridge. I settle on tea and five oreos. These do not fill me up but the hunger pangs subside and it’s too late for a full on cooking session.

Get to my room, switch on my computer and settle down to watch a programme. Remember to check out a a short animated documentary that I found while web surfing at work earlier in the day. It’s called Ryan and is a beautifully conceived piece about creativity, genius, negativity and how they can all impinge on each other. Watch it. It’s gorgeous.

It’s past 12 when I finally finish my web sesh. I make a show of meditating, lying down on my back. I probably only get 5 minutes of real focus then it’s gone. I’m too tired and have another early start in the morning. So I give up and just let myself fall asleep.

day 4

Didn’t get home until 10pm last night, so it’s another morning post about yesterday…

I had a whole day in the office! Much needed, though to be honest I’m still surrounded by bits of paper covered in notes, slightly random lists of things to do, and business cards I really need to do something with (eg. send interested, engaging emails to!!)

I did some good work on my Elephant and Castle project – wrote up some interviews (it takes for ever!!) and set up some other ones.

Chased someone about a project I’m about to start and eventually got hold of her. I find the whole phoning, leaving messages, phoning again seems to eat up a disproportionate amount of time…

I had lunch whilst reading the other blogs on this site – really good to get a snapshot of other people battling the same/similar battle

Sorted out quite a lot of bitty things. Talked to NALD, Arts Council, sent lots of emails trying to progress projects etc.

Then had a meeting about Found Materials – a CLP project I’m involved in. Blog is here if you’re interested. Got home at 10 – talked to partner about work, went to bed thinking about work, woke up thinking about it. Now I’m about to start doing it!!

Day 4 – Jacob

Up at 7am, for a quick work out, followed by prep for the rest of the day. Printed poems from Miriam to be discussed in a later session, double-checked iPhone access to documents I might have needed for one of my meetings. Then out the door. Breakfast, again, on the hop, courtesy of Prêt.

First appointment of the day was a workshop at the Barbican. 2 hours with year 5 students, with the intention of running fun poetry related activities. I was expecting 30, but the school only brought 15. They were a little later than planned – while waiting, I sketched out ideas for a blog post and some plans for transferring one of my web projects from a forum to a blog platform.

After the workshop, I stopped at Prêt again for lunch. Caught up on a bit of mail, caught up on some of the entries on this blog, and made notes for my next meeting. Gotta love having a web enabled smartphone.

The next meeting was with Apples & Snakes at Free Word. Two and a half hours pounding out the finer details of a youth poetry project. After that, an unscheduled meeting yielded a good result – I may be running a quarterly youth poetry event next year…

During the meetings, I got two messages – one to say that the poet that’s supposed to shadow me in tomorrow’s workshop has gone into hospital for an emergency operation. Another to say that the teacher I usually have with me for tomorrow’s workshop also won’t be there. I also realised that T-mobile still hadn’t reactivated my voicemail since my return from Chicago. Called in to sort that out, and found that a previous well-meaning customer services rep had totally nuked my voicemail service when I left the country. And I thought all those missed callers were just being lazy…

Jumped on the train from Farringdon to Waterloo for another two meetings at the Southbank. First, Suzanne – to get a new email account up and running on her Macbook Pro, discuss a move into a shared office with her in 2010, and give her a bit of tech-related advice (mostly software). Second, Miriam (who I’m currently mentoring) – to check in on her current projects vs her goals, talk about ways we can work together through 2010, set her a challenge to submit work to literary journals, and look at the poems she’s submitted for her first pamphlet. Starting a 19.30, I’d put aside an hour and a half for that final meeting, but ended up going on for an extra hour. Got the 22.25 back to Catford, and touched down at home for 23.00.

I’m supposed to finish a poem tonight, but I’m clocking off. I’ll take care of everything else in the morning.

Maker vs Manager

Another break from the logs. Promised I’d post this for Sarah, but I figure many of us would find this interesting:

“When you’re operating on the maker’s schedule, meetings are a disaster. A single meeting can blow a whole afternoon, by breaking it into two pieces each too small to do anything hard in. Plus you have to remember to go to the meeting. That’s no problem for someone on the manager’s schedule. There’s always something coming on the next hour; the only question is what. But when someone on the maker’s schedule has a meeting, they have to think about it.”

http://www.paulgraham.com/makersschedule.html

Day 4 – Samera

Hmmm. Well I have a throat infection. I was told by a doctor, it’s not the usual self-diagnosis pulled from my arse.

I spent today sleeping and feeling emotional. I’ve painted my nails a rather dazzling shade of red. I’m achy.

I watched a few Family Guys and an American Dad. Made a few calls, cancelled a few meetings. And worked on the listings. I was supposed to be interviewing Erik Rico today, but luckily he had to postpone, so he’ll be coming onto my radioshow on Tuesday instead.

Today is my Evolving Words day. I’m the web editor for this project, which has been celebrating Darwin’s contributions for the past year as it’s the 200th anniversary of his birth. It’s been really interesting, check if out: http://www.evolvingwords.org.

I uploaded some new content today and organised for content to be ready for my next session working on the site. Sent a few emails.

I needed to keep it simple today as I’m off to Birmingham tomorrow. I’ll be wearing thermals.

I’m going back to bed now.

Day 4 – Naomi

Just back from a gig at the Whitechapel gallery where I saw the wonderful Helen Mort. I mention this because I realise that, probably like all of us, I want a parallel life to develop my craft in and seeing Helen write and perform with such grace was a real inspiration. It also served as reminder that writing with a light touch can sometimes pack the more powerful punch.

Back to today, still battling the sadness but am getting on with stuff. In fact as I write this I have returned from a chilly cycle back from the Whitechapel and I know that cycling really helps my productivity as well as my moods. In fact earlier today I had a workshop idea on my bicycle (many of my ideas come to me when I am in motion) and called my Word Migrants collaborator Dzifa Benson to tell her all her about it. The woman is up to her ears in deadlines but had the patience to listen to me prattle on and we’ll be talking about it at our next planning meeting.

This is no order at all. Anyway the day started with Morning Pages which I believe Denrele has covered elsewhere. Then some very vague cleaning and after than scrutinising my current finances, not very healthy but at least I am clear where they are.

I played around with the poem I put on the Moments of Chaos and Nostalgia blog yesterday, some editing which I think just tidies it up a bit and got rid of one overblown line. Then some publicity for that which today means get the link on some listings, facebook, myspace and a mailout. I was very chuffed as one of my favourite US poets, Dorianne Laux left a really lovely comment.

Next up was sending the call-out for my Pairs photography project to the Arts Admin list, nothing as yet. Also saw my landlady, who happens to be the Mayor of Islington, and she said that I can photograph her in full Mayoral get-up. My aim with this photography (asides from preparing for a Poet/Photographers collaboration next year) is have a portfolio which will enable me to take low cost, high quality portraits as a source of (extra) income.

Then more admin – I am in dialogue with a school friend who appeared on facebook and finding that naomiwoddis.com is free suggests that I can consolidate all my blogs and will help me do this. This is sounding like a proper grown up website. We are meeting up in January, so this is all pretty exciting.

What else – an email to a friend, poet Alison White as we are going to co-mentor and give each other creative, practical and career support. I know she is pushed for time so mailed her some practical exercises that will help her maintain a daily writing practice which won’t eat in to her already packed day too much. I found it particularly hard to think of the skills and support I could offer her beyond my enthusiastic suggestions.

The day seems to have disappeared through my fingers. Oh yes I also sent the typed up notes of the meeting I had with Kate at the Culpeper Community garden. I had to plough through my colourful notebook but it was helpful working out what I can offer and how it will all work.

Off to bed now and considering taking the Arts Council’s ‘How to apply for funding’ document with me but actually may just make my hot water bottle and read a few poems before curling up.

Day 4 – Heather

Today started with a little lie in as I just couldn’t get up.  I ended up staying up until almost 2 sorting out music.  Now by lie in I don’t mean a true lie in as I was out of the house by 8 am to get to Richmond – another day at PayPal.  Spent the morning talking through some of the stuff I was working on with the guys in San Jose last night and rewrote the end of the article I wrote yesterday (as I was a bit too salesy – and I definitely don’t want that).  A few more questions were answered and then had lunch with a couple of the other contractors in the office.  Wow – another lunch out.  This seems like a habit.  Maybe I go out more than I thought.

After Wagamamas, I stopped by M&S to buy some tights and then back at my desk.  Marketing meeting at 3.  Some interesting items – the Head of Marketing at PayPal UK is really switched on so his presentations and comments are always really insightful. I then met with the new consumer brand manager about using Audioboo for talking about offers and how we need to start being personal with our communications in the social space.  I tested our devises and started constructing an email to all of the company to recruit them into PayPal roving reporters.  Still need to do more work on the design of our audioboo page so won’t finish and send until Monday.  Offered my skills to the new eWIN group (women’s network) and talked through the plans of teaching some weekend communications courses in the West Midlands.  The first official one won’t be until September but have to do a lot of work developing the course beforehand.

Out for drinks and food for the Brand & Campaign management section of the team – I’m included in that as it’s the department most suitable to have me in.  We went to OriginAsia, it was pretty good despite their order mix-ups and the problem with their credit card machine at the end.  Then to the Rock and Rose for more drinks – Strawberry Bellinis for me :)  My friend Judy from Glasgow met us there and at 1 took a cab back to mine. Visited for a little bit, then I packed and went to bed.



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