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Saturday, 3 October 2020

Guest Blog - Patricia M Osborne

 


We have been friends on social media for a long time, and one day I sincerely hope we manage to meet up. This month, it is my great pleasure to welcome the exceptionally talented poet and novelist, Patricia M Osborne. 



Thank you, Beth, for inviting me to talk about my writing journey. 

My Writing Journey – Patricia M Osborne

From as young as I can remember I’ve been writing poetry, well I wouldn’t call it poetry now, but back then I thought it was fabulous. I’d write one draft and to me I’d written a masterpiece. I was one of those people where whatever the situation I’d be the one who wrote the poem. For instance, I was twenty-two when I went back to school for the first time, well college, to train as a bookkeeper and typist. It was a TOPS Manpower course (for anyone who remembers them). It was great fun being with the other women students. I was the youngest and the eldest was in her seventies. We did a two-year course in eight months and on our last day dressed up as St Trinians. Our poor tutor, Jim. Of course I had to write a poem. Well someone had to.

This was it. (1977) I certainly think my writing has improved over the last forty years or so.



I’ve kept a lot of my poems from younger days, although I have to admit they’re pretty awful but they do form part of my writing journey.

It was only back in 2009 when I enrolled on an Open University degree and chose two creative writing modules that my writing started to move forward. Although, to be honest I thought I knew the lot. What could I learn? I was already able to write a poem without thinking. Hmm.

For my first tutorial in the classroom, I sat scared while everyone took it in turn to read out their masterpieces. I came to mine. The tutor was lovely and told me it had a simplistic feel but nevertheless said a lot. I think she was just being kind. Although I have to admit I do kind of like the poem as it shows the pen and paintbrush as rivals and I’m sure my paintbrush feels just this way.

First draft.

Rivals 

I stand alone in a colourful pot,

bristles, dry and crispy,

why do those inky

rivals get attention

and not me?

 

Dip me in blue,

paint a cloudless sky,

orange, a fire burnished sun.

Dip me in green, paint a land

with tall trees, mounds on moors

but instead she chooses the pen.

 

Abandoned I stand and wait for the time,

when her words too, will become dry.

Until then here I am, stiff, rigid and cold,

watching and envying the pen.


Later Draft 

Rivals 

I stand alone in a colourful pot,

bristles, dry and crispy.

 

Why do those inky pens

get attention and not me?

 

Dip me in blue,

paint a cloudless sky,

 

orange, a fire burnished sun.

Dip me in green, paint a land

 

with tall trees, mounds on moors

but instead she chooses the pen.

 

Abandoned I stand and wait for the time,

when her words dry up in her mind

 

until then here I am, stiff, rigid and cold,

watching and envying the pen.

Nine years on, ‘Rivals’ is still a work in progress. I remember my first creative writing tutor’s advice: ‘Never throw anything away, not even one line, because you never know when it will come in handy. (Clare Best, 2011). How true that statement is.

As I worked through the first creative writing module with the Open University, and started to learn the technical tools, my creativity became stifled. The tutor advised this was perfectly normal. I wasn’t convinced. During that summer I signed up for an online visual/concrete poetry course and I was able to let my inhibitions go. It was wonderful to scatter words across the page – my first poem was a sewing machine creating a zig-zag stitch effect. By the end of the course my muse was back. I was now in possession of new writing tools and my creativity. I was ready for the advanced creative writing module.

For my dissertation I wrote a screen play and House of Grace was born. Once I’d finished my degree, for the first time in my life I felt able to tackle a novel. Before this I was in awe of peers who’d done this. ‘I’ll never be able to write one,’ I’d said. But I was wrong. In the year between finishing my BA degree and starting my MA I did just that and wrote House of Grace: A Family Saga. It then sat on my PC doing nothing.

After losing my mum I was lost, so for my first module on my master’s degree, I wrote a sequence of fictional poems on lost identity. Here I gave the characters my pain. It was great therapy. I took a long route to complete my MA, four years, and as I went through the various modules my writing became stronger both creatively and academically. I had the chance to become a Poet in Residence in a local park where I taught poetry to beginners and completed a fictional timeline of the Victorian park based on facts. This role gave me confidence to call myself a writer. For my MA dissertation I took on a research project studying myth, folklore and legend around trees and created a poetry collection. Some of that collection has since been published in my debut poetry pamphlet Taxus Baccata.


I have come a long way since my early poems and I am now a poetry tutor for Writers’ Bureau.

Since finishing my MA I published a second novel, The Coal Miner’s Son, Book 2 in the House of Grace trilogy and the final story, The Granville Legacy, is well on its way to be completed.


My latest project is a children’s picture book which I hope to get off the ground within the next few months. The story is based on an ancient Indian legend around the banyan tree and will be suitable for children aged 6-9 years – or so my Beta readers, who are teachers, have informed me. 

I thought I’d finish with a poem from Taxus Baccata. This is one of my favourites and I hope you and your readers agree that my writing has moved on from St Trinians and Rivals.

Sunrise Concertante

Burnt golden rays break

the night-time sky,

beating on the Ouse’s slow crawl.

 

Air-warmed sweet-grasses

fan fragrance into the wind:

marsh marigolds shine.

 

A blackbird’s

chromatic glissando sweeps 

towards the riverbank.

 

Swanking his red tuxedo, a robin

trills to join the recital

 

as elm silhouettes dance,

watching their mirror image.

 

The mistle thrush flaunts

his speckled belly. He takes his turn

to chant – introduces

 

hedge sparrows who chatter,

boast brown suits.

 

A cadenza call governs the concerto—

plump skylark makes his solo in the skies.

 

Shades of light peep,

geese chevron across the blue,

noses down, necks stretched, wings

 

spread wide. Honking their signal sound,

they climb the horizon and sky-fall

on to daylight’s iridescent waves.


Thank you, Beth,  for inviting me to talk about my writing journey. It’s been quite a trip. If anyone is interested in knowing more about me and my writing they can visit:

Patricia’s Pen

Facebook

Twitter

Linked-In

Instagram

Links to Books:

House of Grace

The Coal Miner’s Son

Signed Paperbacks including poetry pamphlet, Taxus Baccata


About Patricia M Osborne

Patricia M Osborne is married with grown-up children and grandchildren. She was born in Liverpool but now lives in West Sussex. In 2019 she graduated with an MA in Creative Writing (University of Brighton).

Patricia writes novels, poetry and short fiction, and has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. She has two published novels, House of Grace and The Coal Miner’s Son and her debut poetry pamphlet ‘Taxus Baccata’ was published by The Hedgehog Poetry Press in July 2020.

She has a successful blog at Whitewings.com where she features other writers and poets. When Patricia isn’t working on her own writing, she enjoys sharing her knowledge, acting as a mentor to fellow writers and as an online poetry tutor with Writers’ Bureau.