Displaying items by tag: rosie garland - Rosie Garland

Thank you to Write-Track for featuring me on their blog!
Here is the text in full, with the link at the end.

On the Write Track - Adventures with writing habits
Keeping going – novelist Rosie Garland on persistence and creative rituals

Three years ago Rosie Garland had pretty much given up all hope of getting her novels published. Her agent wasn't taking her calls, rejections were coming thick and fast, and she'd been diagnosed with cancer. She had spent 12 years writing four and a half novels – perhaps it was time to call it a day? As her second novel is published to great acclaim she shares her experience of keeping going through the tough times.

Overcoming creative self-harm

Rosie had an early taste of fame as a singer in post-punk band the March Violets. Grown up responsibilities soon got in the way and full time work as a teacher pushed her creative projects to the side. She wrote short stories and poetry, and performed her cabaret act Rosie Lugosi, then at the turn of the millennium she got an idea "that was too big to be a poem or short story." Rosie made the decision to work part time to shift the balance of her work and creative life, she landed an agent, and dedicated more of her time to writing novels.

However, after 12 years Rosie had pretty much given up all hope of being published. She said:
"My agent wasn't getting back to me and I felt I had to stop continually putting myself through the self-cruelty of writing and having it rejected. It felt like a bizarre form of creative self-harm."

She needed to protect herself and go to "the places that weren't harming me. That was the poetry and singing and performance. So I made a decision to do that and that was when I entered the Mslexia competition as a last ditch attempt."

Mslexia ran its inaugural competition for unpublished novelists in 2011. Rosie not only bagged the top spot with The Palace of Curiosities, but got a place on the shortlist with another (as yet unpublished) novel. From this came a bidding war between publishers and a six-figure two-book deal with Harper Collins. Her second novel Vixen has just been published to rave reviews.

The apprentice novelist

Rosie believes if success had come earlier she might not be where she is now. "I might have sunk without a trace – become one of those people who has one book." She refers to the years of writing as her apprenticeship, and doesn't resent the time spent refining her writing skills. "The amount of time I have had to work to become a novelist has paid off. I have learnt my craft, I have done my apprenticeship."
She learned from her mistakes, referring to the second novel she wrote as "awful". She said, "it's going to stay under the bed forever. I will keep it as a reminder to never get above myself. The second novel was a process of writing something really badly – I can point to it, as an example of how not to write."

Keeping going: habits and rituals to support creativity

Over the years Rosie developed tactics to support her writing. The first is being open to feedback. She told me:
"I try to give myself as much input as possible. That might be going on a writing course, or Arvon retreat, getting full, frank feedback from tutors, my agent or editors. I don't want to write in a vacuum – 'bring it on' is my mantra! Part of being a writer is always wanting to grow, always wanting to learn, never taking for granted that I am a writer. Because I think the day that happens is a really bad day for me."

Her other support mechanism has been creative rituals. This is vital to someone who admits to being terrified of the blank page and needs a routine each day to get words on the page and the creative juices flowing. Rosie starts the day with three pages of journaling – she says this isn't creative writing but "rubbing the crust out of my eyes" and getting out of the way all the 'what I did yesterday' stuff.

She continues:

"The next thing I do is write six images. What a snail looks like climbing up a leaf, what it felt like to stub your toe. I do it every morning without fail, if miss one I do a catch up session later. Coming out of the six images I write a haiku. Then I do the classic three pages of morning pages – free writing coming out of the six images or using a writing prompt."

These rituals sound like a lot of work, but taken individually they are small tasks and quick to perform, and that's the secret for Rosie. "For me it's all about small commitments. Don't set yourself up to fail. If had to write a full chapter I wouldn't be able to do it."

Dealing with an inner critic – silencing Mavis

Morning can be a special time for writers and artists, and for Rosie it's when she's open to more playful non-linear writing, but also because her internal critic hasn't got out of bed yet.

Throughout her writing life Rosie has battled with a vicious internal critic. A few years ago she gave this critic a name: Mavis. She found that naming her was a release; separating the cruelty from herself made it easier to deal with the criticism.

Rosie says "My rituals are there to nurture and support me. They enable my writing; provide nourishment, support and food for my writing. Yet Mavis will say to me, 'call yourself an artist when you enjoy rituals so much.' That's Mavis telling me an artist flounces around in clothes pulled together from a bunch of headscarves."

A weekly reflection inspired by Julia Cameron

The rituals are the foundations of Rosie's writing, a way of keeping in touch with her creativity. She's a big fan of Julia Cameron, though admits it took nearly a year to complete one 12-week programme and felt it "nearly killed me!"

Her final ritual was inspired by Julia Cameron from her creativity bibles The Artist's Way and Walking in the World. Rosie takes time each week to reflect on four things:

How have my morning pages been going this week?
Have given myself an artist date?
Have I gone on an artist's walk?
Other issues – what else has been going on?

Keep going

For most of her life Rosie has worked while writing. "I haven't had the luxury of being a writer as my full time job. I have had to hack out time for my writing in around all the things that put bread on the table and keep the rent man from chucking you out the time at the end of week."

Getting cancer made Rosie realise that life is too short. She told herself, "I'm not doing this any longer. I don't care what's in the future, I'll just trust." Rosie's advice to others struggling to find their creative balance is to just "keep going". It might take a long time, but it will happen.

I'm going to give the last line to one of Rosie's characters, Anne from Vixen who says "I shall live that life like the gift it is, and waste neither it nor myself. I am my own woman. I like her. She has stories to tell and all of them are interesting."

Vixen was published in July in hardback, and The Palace of Curiosities is available in paperback. You can find out what Rosie has been up to by following her on Twitter @rosieauthor and Facebook Click to go to Rosie's Facebook page

Click here to go to Write-Track blog page

 

Published in News
Thursday, 04 September 2014 14:24

29.10.2014 - For Books' Sake - London

 For Books' Sake, Halloween Witchfest

The Proud Archivist
2-10 Hertford Rd,
London N1 5SH

Tickets - £8 advance, £10 on the door
Doors 6pm, event starts at 7pm
For Books' Sake are very excited to have two ghoulishly glorious grrrls giving you the full on Hallowe'en treatment!
Obviously with Hallowe'en being a Friday we've allowed you the dressing up and drinking time for the weekend but thought we wouldn't be For Books' Sake if we didn't offer you something ghastly.
Rosie and Wanda will be reading from their respective books and then discussion the demonisation of women in history and historical fiction, followed by a Q&A.
After the readings and discussion there will be Hallowe'en party games open to all. Can you pin that broomstick on the witch?
Rosie Garland has sang in post-punk gothic band The March Violets, toured with the Subversive Stitch exhibition and performed as Rosie Lugosi the Lesbian Vampire Queen, cabaret chanteuse and mistress of ceremonies.
Having published five solo collections of poetry, Rosie is also winner of the DaDa Award for Performance Artist of the Year and a Poetry Award from the People's Café, New York and won the Mslexia Novel competition in 2012. Rosie's debut novel 'The Palace of Curiosities' was published in March 2013 by HarperCollins. Her second novel, 'Vixen', is out on hardback, ebook and audio (July 2014) with paperback coming in February 2015.
Dr Wanda Wyporska
Wanda recieved her PhD in researching witches and subsequently published 'Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland, 1500 - 1800' - A groundbreaking work that looks at the many reasons why individuals used witchcraft, accused each other and admitted to carrying out witchcraft. It goes behind the trials to discover narratives of abuse, power struggles, and the relationships between men and women in the early modern period.
All tickets come with a complementary blood curdling cocktail!
Click to go to For Books' Sake page
Click to go to Facebook event page
Click to buy advance tickets

Published in Gig List
Thursday, 04 September 2014 14:13

26.10.2014 - Gothic Manchester Festival 2014

The Two Rosies: Life as a Goth Icon


The John Rylands Library,
150 Deansgate,
Manchester,
M3 3EH


12 noon – 1pm
Free
Click here to get your free ticket via Eventbrite
Following the phenomenal success of the Gothic Manchester Festival 2013, which launched the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, we are back with a new programme of events and activities designed to showcase MMU's academic expertise in the gothic and foreground Manchester's rich vein of gothic talent.
The stellar Rosie Garland (aka Rosie Lugosi) holds a place like no other in the dark firmament of Gothic culture.
Spanning careers in rock music (as singer with post-punk Gothic behemoths The March Violets), through performance, poetry, burlesque and cabaret and on into her current incarnation as an award-winning novelist, there are few creative dark alleys she has not dared venture down.
Rosie will be honouring us with readings from both her first novel The Palace of Curiosities and new release Vixen, and she might even treat us to a poem or two. In keeping with the theme of our festival, she'll also be regaling us with a few choice insights into her life in the spotlight (and dry ice) of show business.
All this amongst the neo-gothic pomp and circumstance of John Rylands Library's magnificent Historic Reading Room. And as if this weren't spoiling you enough, we'll also be having a book signing and reception featuring a specially designed (and rather foxy) cake by the incredible Annabel de Vetten of Conjuror's Kitchen.

Click to go to Gothic Manchester main website

 

Published in Gig List
Delighted to announce that Rosie Garland is appearing at TWO events at Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival!

#1 – Writing workshop
Friday 24 October 2014
3:00pm-4:00pm
Venue: Number One Riverside,
Smith Street,
Rochdale, OL16 1XU
Price: £2
Click to book tickets for the writing workshop

# 2 - Meet the author - reading and book signing
Friday 24 October 2014
4:00pm-5:00pm
Venue: Number One Riverside,
Smith Street,
Rochdale, OL16 1XU
Price: £2
Click to book tickets for the reading and signing!

http://rochdaleliteraturefestival.co.uk/

 

Published in Gig List
Polari Literary Salon

Featuring Paul Burston, Neil Bartlett, Rosie Garland, Jonathan Harvey & VG Lee
Wednesday 15 Oct 2014
7.30pm until 9.30pm
Contact THEATRE
Oxford Road
Manchester
M15 6JA
Tickets £6/£5

Book on:
0161 274 0600

London's award-winning LGBT literary salon began life in November 2007 in the upstairs room of a bar in Soho. Events are now held monthly at the Southbank Centre and feature the best in established and emerging, queer literary talent. Championed by Sarah Waters as "always fun, always thought-provoking", Polari won 'LGBT Cultural Event of the Year' in the Co-op Respect Awards.

Hosted by author Paul Burston, this special salon for Manchester Literature Festival features performances from author & playwright Neil Bartlett (The Disappearance Boy), scriptwriter & novelist Jonathan Harvey (The Girl Who Just Appeared, Beautiful Thing, Coronation Street), comedian & writer VG Lee (Always You, Edina) and Rosie Garland (Vixen, The Palace of Curiosities).

Click to go to Polari website
NOTES
· Suitable for over 16s.
Click to go to Manchester Literature website

 

Published in Gig List
Friday, 15 August 2014 10:14

11.10.2014 - booQfest, Northampton

Welcome to booQfest - Northampton's LGBT Literary Festival.

Venue: The Royal & Derngate Theatre, Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP
Rosie Garland's event - 12noon till 2pm
Cost – free event

The festival celebrates a Queer perspective of the written and spoken word on Saturday 11th October 2014.

WHAT'S NEW IN 2014
This year, for the first time, we're exploring lesbian and gay Erotica & Erotic Romance with author Lucy Felthouse. Rosie Garland brings Poetry and Fiction to our festival, and Neil Bartlett will be providing the Drama - with monologues from his book Queer Voices, as well as treating us to some of his most recently published work - The Disappearance Boy.

Additionally, this year we will be celebrating National Coming Out Day with Northampton Borough Council's LGBT Forum.

So, if you come to booQfest in 2014 you will find so much more going on than in previous years! There will still be fascinating author talks and readings, and book signings but on top of that as part of National Coming Out Day local LGBT organisations will be promoting their services, providing entertainment, workshops and Northampton Borough Council's LGBT Forum will launch the Inspirational LGBT Award.
All completely FREE to attend!

http://booqfest.webs.com/

 

Published in Gig List
Darkulture festival

THE FROZEN AUTUMN + ATTRITION + TERMINAL GODS + CORTEX DEFECT + SYD.31
+ DJS BAERSJ / LE FREAK / EVENSTAR / AIDAN
+ Vampire Queen ROSIE LUGOSI - aka novelist Rosie Garland
+ Horror Novelist SIMON BESTWICK
+ stalls and other curiosities

The Zoo
27 September 2014.
126 Grosvenor street,
Manchester,
M1 7HL, UK

Full details on the website:
www.darkulture.org
www.facebook.com/events/523653877749375/

Buy Tickets here:
www.darkulture.org/products/darkulture-ticket

 

Published in Gig List
Friday, 15 August 2014 10:00

11.9.2014 - Wordplay, Halifax

Wordplay
Venue: The Square Chapel,
10 Square Rd,
Halifax, West Yorkshire HX1 1QG

Time: 7.30pm
Tickets: £3 (on the door)

A brand new monthly event filled to the brim with poetry, music, spoken word and storytelling in the comfort of the cosy Square Chapel bar. Featuring world-class established poets alongside up-and-coming spoken word artists and local musicians, there's also the opportunity to throw your own hat into the mix in our 'Open Mic' slice of the evening. WordPlay is guaranteed to brighten up your Thursday night!
What's more, enjoy your first drink for just £1. What's not to love?
Headliners confirmed:
Thursday 11 Sept feat. Rosie Garland

For more information or to register your interest for the Open Mic, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

http://www.squarechapel.co.uk/en/event/1234

 

Published in Gig List

I was delighted to be asked by Waterstones Bookshop to be a guest contributor to their blog- and here it is. Strange things have been happening since I embarked on my second novel, Vixen... read on!

Coincidence and synchronicity

Was Rosie Garland really being stalked by foxes because she'd just finished writing a book called Vixen- or was something else going on?

When Alex Allden, designer at HarperCollins, showed me Lindsey Carr's remarkable painting of a fox in a tree and suggested it as a cover for my forthcoming novel Vixen, I knew it was perfect.

That's when it started. Since then I've noticed foxes wherever I go – appearing in cathedrals, airports, pubs and museums; on ink cartridges, matchboxes and dashing across supermarket carparks.

I have no idea what's happening, if indeed anything is. I am not superstitious. My grandmother was so bitten by its bug she could barely walk up a flight of stairs without hanging on to a rabbit's foot, which put me off at an early age.

But there is so much foxiness going on. Logically or not, it feels like more than coincidence. As Auric Goldfinger remarked to James Bond, "Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action".

Maybe coincidence is different to superstition. After all, Albert Einstein said "coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous" (The World As I See It) and he knew a thing or two about how the universe works. Conversely, Vladimir Nabokov remarked how "a certain man once lost a diamond cuff-link in the wide blue sea, and twenty years later, on the exact day, a Friday apparently, he was eating a large fish - but there was no diamond inside. That's what I like about coincidence" (Laughter in the Dark).

I noticed the first outside the post office (sending a copy of my first novel The Palace of Curiosities to the USA). Browsing a craft stall, I was presented with a woodcut of a fox on a village green. How pretty, I thought, buying a set of vulpine greetings cards. What a coincidence when I've just finished a book called Vixen.

It escalated. After performing in York with my band The March Violets, I took a detour to visit Beverley Minster. On the north wall was a medieval carving of a fox disguised as a pilgrim. Standing on its hind legs, flashing its fangs in a broad smile and brandishing a hefty staff (for self-defence of course).

I needn't have gone as far afield. Manchester Cathedral boasts two wonderful fifteenth-century carvings of foxes: one teaching its cubs to read and the other poring over a book. After 28 years of living in this fair city I didn't know they existed (call myself a medievalist? I should hang my head in shame).

It's not just up north. A Hampshire pub surprised me with a Victorian etching of foxes dressed in pink hunting jackets, seated at a table groaning with roast pheasant and grinning slyly as they toast each other, joking about huntsmen tumbling into ditches.

It occurs to me that I'm not tripping over 'straight' representations. All my sightings (and these are a tiny selection) are of trickster foxes, camouflaged and hoodwinking foolish humans. None of them are what they ought to be. Which, 'coincidentally', are some of the themes of Vixen.

Are sly foxes really dogging my footsteps? Is it all a load of old cobblers or is it connected in some way to the imminent publication of my novel? Carl Gustav Jung would have said yes. In the 1920s he coined the word synchronicity to describe what he called "temporally coincident occurrences of acausal events." To put it in (slightly) simpler words: synchronicity is the experience of two or more events as meaningfully related, where they are unlikely to be causally related.

Hmm. Perhaps I should call my next novel 'Finding Viking Treasure in the Garden'. Sadly, I don't think it works that way.

They aren't done with me yet. A couple of weeks ago I landed in Seattle and headed for the information stand to grab a city map. Amongst the brochures was a museum guide with a cover image of Jenny Andersen's enchanting 'Fox Spirit Travelling with the Human Soul'. So - if I am being followed by foxes, they are the most benign of guardians. Even if I don't believe in coincidence, maybe it believes in me. I have decided to enjoy their benevolent appearances.

As for synchronicity, I'll leave the last words to The Red Queen; my favourite character in that under-rated book on quantum physics, Alice Through The Looking Glass.
'I don't understand you,' said Alice. 'It's dreadfully confusing!'
'That's the effect of living backwards,' the Queen said kindly: 'it always makes one a little giddy at first -'
'Living backwards!' Alice repeated in great astonishment. 'I never heard of such a thing!'
'— but there's one great advantage in it, that one's memory works both ways.'
'I'm sure MINE only works one way,' Alice remarked. 'I can't remember things before they happen.'
'It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards,' the Queen remarked.

Rosie Garland, for Waterstones.com/blog

Click to go to Carl Jung site

Click for Lindsay Carr's artwork, Morpheus

Click to see Jenny Andersen's Fox Spirit artwork

Click to go to Waterstones blog

Published in News
Diva magazine has given 'Vixen' a great review!

'A compelling story about love and devotion set against the backdrop of superstition, pestilence and hardship that dominate the muddy 14th century landscape. Poetic, surprising and ultimately deeply moving, Vixen will have you hooked faster than it takes to drink a jug of ale and – unlike ale – it will stay with you long after you've reached the final page.'

Diva august 2014

Published in News

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