Mentoring 2

Is it not going to be sunny and warm every time I go to That London? Brrrrr.

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I hate to admit it, but it got sunnier as I travelled southwards and London was definitely warmer than Macclesfield. But so many people!

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With my habitual hour to spare I made a ‘Wellcome detour’ (their terrible pun, not mine) to the Wellcome Collection in Euston Road. The Electricity: The Spark of Life Exhibition is brilliant and well worth a visit. It includes not only fascinating information but also wonderful devices in glass and brass; old light bulbs from the John Ryland’s Library; films of Berlin in the 1920s and a video of a frog in zero gravity. Open till 25 June and free.

The shop is fabulous too. Very tempted by ‘Ada Twist, Scientist’ and ‘Rosie Revere, Engineer’ in the children’s section.

And then it was time to meet Mimi. Friends House café provided us with hospitality again.

I’d sent Mimi a suggested selection of poems for the pamphlet, plus a few new/stuck poems to discuss. We started by looking at the pamphlet poems. I’d been quite flummoxed by the task of selection. In the end I’d taken a sequence of poems which I knew I wanted to include and then thought of the field of words, moods, themes in which the sequence would sit. (The ‘field’ was a term Mimi had used at Arvon in relation to the vocabulary of a poem.)

By and large Mimi liked my selection, which was a great relief. We talked about the ones that didn’t work, and why. Then we went through each poem individually, discussing words/sections/rhythms that might need editing, and also starting to think about sequence. Mimi’s suggestion was to ‘order a pamphlet the way you would order a poem’, not to place oneself above the poems and sequence them according to some idea of ‘theme’.

With the time we had left at the end of the session we looked at the new/stuck poems. I really feel that the mentoring is giving my confidence with both writing and editing. It’s lovely to discuss my writing in detail with someone who writes so well and has read so much! I’m pretty sure we’re going to be able to finalise the selection during the next session. Phew.

Outside, London was London.

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