Wednesday, March 21, 2007


On the way to the beach yesterday I dropped in to see my friend Debs and she let me try out her Garageband software. I'm going to do a podcast/CD of Peeling Onions.
Anyway it was really good fun, the software allows the import of the equivalent of royalty free stock music, and you can add this as a backing track to your narration.

I laid down the 'first layer" of the poem with this lovely piano nocturne playing, set to "ducking", so when your voice level goes up it fades down.

I played it back to Debs and she had tears streaming down her face, so it must have worked! We scrubbed it, but we're making plans to do a proper version with a couple of my other friends, each taking a layer to vary the voices.

Debs was surprised at my "radio voice". I'm always being told I speak too softly at public reading, although I did all the interweaving bits at the First Aid Kit show that I put together for Cancer Research, and no-one complained at my pitch during that performance.
But I used to do radio years ago as an information officer for a Government department. I did local radio and some national stuff on BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 4. I even did live phone ins with punters, which was truly terrifying as I had to answer their assorted questions on welfare benefits. So I must have retained something from that experience. Anyway I'm looking forward to the project.

I've also made contact with Judi Benson, an American who has just done two years as writer in residence with the Health Board in SW Scotland. They've produced a book based on the work she did with patients and staff there, and I'm ordering a copy from the Health Board. And I think the Scotsman are doing a piece on one of the books she helped a patient write, the woman has sadly since died of ovarian cancer, having already lost both her teenage daughters to a rare genetic condition. I can't imagine dealing with that level of loss.

I'm really interested in writing as a means of helping people deal with illness, so Judy's book should be a huge fund of information. I'll post the name and how to get it etc once I have it.

Judy says I should explore the "one word sonnet", it's a poem with one word on fourteen lines, so I'm looking forward to seeing examples of that. She's buying my book, having read it online, and she's recommending it to Dumfries and Galloway for the young women's breast cancer support group. So once again the web has brought me wonderful links and information.

I'm trying to write some more haiku for Spring. These are the ones I like best so far:

three blooming cherries
all in a row

the park's regiment of
daffodils trumpet March

willow wands
work their magic

gale-force winds
colour wash
the open sky

a blackbird drilling
ochre into mossy grass



Blogger f:lux said...

All interesting stuff! As well as therapeutic writing, there has been therapeutic photography - and the photographer I'm mainly thinking of in that sense (possibly because I can't remember any other names off the cuff...) is Jo Spence.

Will you blog your podcast here?

And I love the blackbird haiku - is the ochre its beak?

5:31 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Oh I'll look Jo Spence up, thanks. Yes he ochre is the beak. He's at work now on my postage stamp lawn.

5:41 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

I'm not sure what I'll do with podcast, maybe I'll link it to something on myspace. Got to work all that out.

5:42 pm  
Blogger Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

Link it here! How cool!

10:05 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

Thanks Sam -I hope to do that

10:44 am  
Blogger chiefbiscuit said...

You are very busy, but it must give you a great sense of satisfaction to be so involved. Congratulations on all your successes.
Glad your son's eye is mending.

1:44 pm  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home