Resolutions, resolutions

So many years I have had the Writers’ and Artists’ Handbook poised at new year, thinking, say 2003, is going to be my year…. It wasn’t, though there’s a lot to look back on and edit.
This year I am going to put myself under zero pressure because pressure never got any short story finished. Pressure never researched magazines to send poetry to. Pressure doesn’t make you read your work out loud again after 16 years.
I always seemed to do better as part of a bunch of nice people so that’s what I’m trying to do. I’ve set up a writers’ group in Ripley, my local town, and It was failing but I have resurrected it from the dead for 2015 (with help from Derbyshire CC). I’ve also made friends with other writers and we’re going to write together.
I am not going to join some critiquing group run by a ‘published’ author and rip others’ work to shreds. I’m going to pull out the positives. And although I’d dearly love to do a PhD, my son is too young, and anyway I need to learn how to be a writer outside academia.
And maybe if I do stick to my New Year’s resolution: more yomping, something will happen. After all, I never meant to buy and learn the flute last year….
Happy new year!

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Merry Christmas or whatever you are celebrating

Just a big thank you to everyone who stopped in to have a read of my work this year. After having a little break from creative writing, and definitely from the weekly criticism sessions at university, it means so much that you had a look, liked, shared….
Hope you have a lovely break and maybe get some time to do some writing. I am of course still copywriting (see for more on that one).
Best wishes

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Hoar Frost

It was an icy morning. Cold hung on everything
You gave me tea and toast, but that was all
When I stepped into the cold, you asked if I had a scraper
Then hid round the back of the double-glazed door as I worked to clear the car
Were you watching me leave or checking I’d gone?

(c) Becky Deans 2014

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The Taking – just found this in the book I use for workshops. #amwriting #amediting

The Taking

We knew the soldiers were coming
Hid in our beds, no one to protect us
Goods on the shelf waiting to be stolen

Before, that day, we had lessons
Cursed algebra, embraced Shakespeare
Explored China, played tag outside

Fell out, made up, ate lunch together
Made apple pie, but not custard
Remembered the gender of French nouns

Now we are herded, our worth in flesh
We learn knots we can’t untie
How to stay still and hope they do not come

We wait to be rescued, damsels
In distress, hair out for climbers
Life asleep in the stomach of a wolf

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You crazy cats: inspired by Louis Wain, about the human condition. new edit. #amediting #amwriting

Here’s a poem that I wrote between my BA and my MA, but with a new edit. I had taken the references to the miner’s strike out. I bought the print from an antiques shop on Derby Road, Heanor, when I was a teenager.

You Crazy Cats

For Louis Wain.

The cats, in uniform shades of black,

march to work in single file

carring a paper of ink black news for daily views

and a bowler hat.

Cast in similar size and shape

they zigzag their way through similar streets

that span the circumference of the earth

like a good belt that keeps things up and in.

It is a procession of sorts, they mourn

the passing of our lives.  Some smile, some frown

look up, look down, but none will wear a crown.

And indeed, never spats.


No underground hells shelter them.

Each cat has lost its voice: their last fight

lost eight lives and all mines.

So the cats file past in sombre black

waiting to be turned back.

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Twelve weeks to stop the diggers

Originally posted on beckydeans:

mob21 (2)

Twelve weeks to stop the diggers

We are but Common people.

You can see the furrows in our brows.

We only want to protect what is ours

And has been ours for centuries.

We only want to revel in what we love.

We hate change, of course we hate change

Oh how we hate the passing of the seasons.

It makes us cold.

They try to silence us

But they haven’t cut our tongues.

We threaten revolution

With every breath. We

bang drums. We

can even change our diction.

And when they threaten, we roar.

Poem (c) Rebecca Deans. Top picture (c) Rebecca Deans. Picture below (c) Friends of Codnor Common.


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The poem about my grandma, knitting and Countdown

OK. So I just looked for my poem about my grandma and I have found loads of poetry that no one has ever read. Lots. And I’m not sure any of it is going to see the light of day either, though I will be stealing the ideas. But here it is. I remember this being corrected by a ‘writer’. That confused me. I think it’s just about right as it is now.

Slip Stitch

The wrong generation knits furiously
not thinking with the click, click, click
of the knitting needle, the T.V. to talk to.

Knit one purl one was her future.
She learnt it by rote in rows of disciplined
Latin lessons, poem drills.

She still remembers the ‘Tyger’ and the ‘Daffodils’
burning brighter than last week. She likes
the noise of someone else’s voice

to drown out the sparrows and the car-pass-chants
the perpetual rustle of the seasons, whirling round
her still saved pool. These walls burst easily.

She knows this house by heart, carrying each brick
to the table to be layed, mixing the porridge
cement to sustain this patina of smoke stained age.

She sweeps the dust of a loved one from a sepia print
taken two thousand miles fifty years two shifts away.
Now everything takes a yellow hue in her hands

Paler than paper, clicking by rote, following
the pattern she found in a second hand magazine
with baby blue tears. A jumper to keep her in heat

with bobbles and cables. A veritable city
of slipped stitches and fiddly finger work.

She knits, looks at her programme,
shouts right answers to the finger clicking crowd,

Ribs and sits, sews and wins Countdown.
She’s good at working in time.

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