Monday, 7 January 2008

Isn't this year going fast?

Well it is, isn't it? I had grand plans to write the big blockbuster by the end of March, and it's barely started yet. I was also going to add blogs on a less-than-weekly basis and just got in under the line with this one.
I had questions about the poem: I wrote "Gorillas" last year, and read it at a couple of "Poems and Pints" sessions in Cheshire where it was well received. The idea was to have a simple child-like poem with a reminder that gorillas like many other species are in danger of being wiped out, hence the "gorillas... will be missed" ending which colours the poem somewhat differently to what might have been expected. Hey, it's only a poem! Hey, they're only gorillas! Hmm, well...

I would be interested to hear from other writers how they get on with their work in an organised way (or otherwise). I subscribe to WRITING MAGAZINE - - and some of the comments in their are interesting, but it would be nice to hear directly from others out there. Expert advice is great, but personal support can be a lot more effective.

I'm part of a group of poetry writers at Keele University, led until the end of the year by Cheshire's first Poet Laureate, Harry Owen. He has been quite an inspiration but he is leaving for South Africa soon, so it will be interesting to get a different perspective from the lady who is taking over (sorry; don't know her name yet). All good wishes to Harry and Christine as they head for their new life. Anyone in the vicinity of Keele might like to go along to a poetry session with the first five poets laureate on 22nd January. They call the show "Bunch of Fives" and there have been a lot of positive comments about it already. Check it out on which is the site of Jo Bell, the fifth PL.

Where do ideas come from?
I've got a few ideas of my own, and I would like to hear from anyone else who has suggestions to make. I will be writing about this soon.

Very short poem to end this time:


Alice cries for her lost friends
as they check the straightjacket
as the white rabbit sneaks in.

Pen to paper!

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Writing Year!

This is just a few lines to find out whether I actually exist on this blog.
I'm new to this game.
It would be a shame
if all my thoughts are running around in the ether -
Etherworld - is that a name used by anyone?
Anyway, I don't want to get caught up in the technostuff;
my intention is to write
and hopefully get a response from anyone interested in writing
like me (no, you don't want to "write like me").

What do I do?

I write novels and poetry.

The novels are - so far - for children from the age of about nine upwards.
the poetry is for almost anyone who likes poetry that is (usually) straightforward and understandable (but perhaps not too easy).

And I read. A lot.

Why Fried Blue Diary?

I started a small press called HALF-CUT PRESS to publish my own poetry and that of one or two friends about five years ago. Seems there's a group called HALF-CUT now, and they have a press office, so it's not such a great idea to use the name any longer. FRIED BLUE MANNFREDD PRESS was just a piece of madness that came into my head for no particular reason sometime last year, and I don't think anyone has that as a name (I googled it!), so here it is. Here in print on January 1st 2008.
No, my name isn't Mannfredd, and I'm not Fried Blue, but for now you can call me Mannfredd anyway. If I feel my readers are friendly, I'll tell you my proper name, but not today.

A short poem; not typical of my stuff, because I'm not sure that I do typical:-


Gorillas with bananas
dropping yellow peels,
gorillas falling down
make gorilla squeals.

Gorillas looking sheepish
with people in their nests,
gorillas looking outraged
on teeshirts and vests.

Gorillas having fun
playing at the zoo,
gorillas bringing laughter
from kids, from me,
from you.

Gorillas in the forest,
gorillas in the mist;
gorillas in the forest,

will be missed.

King Cong and Fay Wray:
How romantic - made my day.

There you have it. I haven't written anything that I intended, but at least I HAVE MADE A START.

Signing Off...