Why haven't you published anything yet? It's 2019.
Why would I self-publish work that isn't finished? I've put a poem on this website to appease people who are horrified at the thought of not sharing creativity.
One difference between literature and photography (or other art forms) is that it's not unusual for a work of literature to take many years to complete. Creating a full-length manuscript isn't so tough. But working those words into the highest art available to you is time consuming. It takes years and many redrafts.
It can take months or even years to write a short story. I have a few short stories I'm happy with and would love to see succeed. I have a few dozen drafts of short stories to recreate again and again to make them exactly the way I want them.
I've hardly ever submitted work for publication and the few times I have, rejection has been a rewarding experience. It doesn't seem like rejection. It's an adventure.
This year I thought, This will be the year I finish my novel and create a prize-winning short story. I left my manuscript to settle for six months. When I looked at it again, it needed more drafting. So it goes. I rewrote three short stories and two of them are now as I'd like them. I'll go back to them in a few months and maybe they'll need TLC in future too. Maybe not. Then I can submit them for publication or sell them on Amazon.
That's what writing is about. Lots of waiting and returning to things and reworking. Publishing isn't the most important aspect of the process. It's simply one part of the whole - the part that satisfies both the reader and any demand for instant gratification. The fundamental joy of writing comes from selecting the best words and achieving an effect. It's a quality beyond putting those words into print as soon as possible.
I enjoy making visual art because it's something I've grown up around and know. When I lived in Holmes Chapel, they called me Miss Flash because I took pictures of the pub and trees and made photo stories. In the village, photography seemed dangerous and expressive.
I've always liked spirit photography. One time I scared a ghost tour at a castle because the guide in front couldn't explain the flashing. It was my camera at the back capturing ectoplasm and orbs. The roll of film is still in the camera so I don't know what I took.
I like the instantaneousness of taking pictures. Even if I've planned them in advance, I like that it happens fast. Less than 10% of the population can act now and see results in more than a year from now so I'm really in a minority when it comes to producing literature - it's so time-consuming and slow. With photography I press a button and it's done. It's rapid. It's entertainment.
I took a course in the philosophy of photography in London in 2011. Essentially, it was literary theory applied to photography. I was using literary theory to make paintings so that was no surprise.
I decided it would be useful to learn how to take my own pictures to accompany travel writing. It became another storytelling medium and I got into it more by doing a course in documentary photography. Originally I wanted it to be a social activity but I'm usually out in the field photographing isolated trees. Sometimes people.
I hope you enjoy it.
Why is there nothing in the shop?
There are a number of photography prints and psychedelic posters to list. But it's taking a while to get it all ready and running. Patience, please!
Are you very timid and introverted?
No, in a word. I used to be out every night. I used to be outgoing and always trying to make new friends and meet new people. Talking is one of my favourite things. It's laughable to think of myself as timid. That's sort of the opposite.
However, it became more important to do the most meaningful things and laughing and joking with people in a bar wasn't one of them.
I got PTSD after a couple of life events and would get traumatised when meeting new people. It meant I stopped socialising so much. It's also difficult to move away from villages where you have no relatives and still maintain friendships with villagers. They stopped answering my calls and replying to e-mails. On top of everything, having no past made it more challenging to make friends. I panicked at a huge bill that came from Hackney council by mistake and thought I was having a heart attack. My brain conjures experiences I can use in my writing and sometimes I don't feel safe enough to sleep.
Then I got a second wind and things became easier for a few years. Until I was bullied at art parties and condescended for not being a creative. I get sick of being bullied. It's not like I'm soft. I started going to the gym instead of galleries. There are punch bags at the gym. Night after night my sheets were soaked with sweat as I fell through my mattress with a thud. In my nightmares the ground was opening and absorbing me, which was what I'd wanted to happen.
Now I'm comfortable spending time in my own company as always. I don't mind being alone and getting on with work. People aren't inheritantly bad and I'm back in a small place again where the outlook is a lot less competitive. I'm always looking forward to visiting the city and catching up.
I'm an ambivert. I like reading and partying.