Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

I started posting to jtns on 20 February 2010 with just one word, 'Mosaic'. This seemed an appropriate introduction to a blog that would juxtapose fragments of memoir and life-writing. Since 1996, I'd been coming to terms with the consequences of emotional and economic abuse that had begun in childhood, and which, amongst other things, had sought to stifle self-expression. While I'd explored some aspects of my life through fiction and, to a lesser extent, journalism, it was only in 2010 that I felt confident enough to write openly about myself. I believed this was an important part of the healing process. Yet within weeks, the final scenes of my family's fifty-year nightmare started to play themselves out and the purpose of the blog became one of survival through writing. Although some posts are about my family's suffering - most explicitly, Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story - the majority are about happier subjects (including, Bampton in rural west Oxfordshire, where I live, Oxford, where I work, the seasons and the countryside, walking and cycling) and I hope that these, together with their accompanying photos, are enjoyable and positive. Note: In February 2020, on jtns' tenth birthday, I stopped posting to this blog. It is now a contained work of life-writing about ten years of my life. Frank, 21 February 2020.

New blog: morethoughtsnstuff.com.

Wednesday 24 March 2010

blackwell's, initiate and two former students

Enjoyed reading at World Writers at Blackwell's. It's a fun, good-natured event that gives unpublished writers the chance to read their work alongside published ones, including the writers in residence--this year, Roma Tearne and my colleague on the Oxford MSt course, Jane Draycott. (Roma will also be taking up a week's residency at Blackwell's from 26th April-1st May.)

This year the Blackwell's audience was particularly giving, I thought, and the overall effect of the event was of successive voices--each so different, each so thought-provoking. The World Writers at Blackwell's festival series will continue at the Marquee Christ Church tomorrow, Thursday 25th March, 7.15 pm-7.45 pm, and at Blackwell's, 50 Broad Street, 1 pm-2 pm, Friday 26th and Saturday 27th March. Admission is free.

These events are the result of the unflagging determination of Rita Ricketts, the Blackwell's organiser.

Rita and Jane are also colleagues on the editorial panel of the new creative writing anthology, Initiate, that will be launching at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival tomorrow, Thursday 25th March, 6 pm. The event is billed as follows and it's a privilege to be involved:

A special preview of exciting new voices from Oxford's MSt in Creative Writing, alongside established names such as Tim Pears, David Constantine, Grevel Lindop, Fred D'Aguiar and Christina Koning, all appearing in the first Blackwell/Kellogg College Centre for Creative Writing annual anthology, INITIATE (published in autumn 2010). The readings (including by the winner of the A M Heath Prize for Fiction) will be introduced by Jon Stallworthy, Professor Emeritus of English at the University of Oxford, and Dr Clare Morgan, Director of the MSt and co-editor of the anthology with Rita Ricketts, Blackwell's historian. 

Meanwhile, today brought news of two former students. One, Liz Gifford, will be reading at Oxfringe's China Evening on 31st March at the Malmaison Hotel , 7.15 pm. Liz will be reading from her book Into the River. I also heard from Norma Sit, who sent me a link to a fascinating TV chat show interview she did on channelnewsasia.

Today was great.

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