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030620JuneIrelandORIG (10)

Senses

hear

tender words
questions answers
your current reality

see

furtive glance
visual dance
clever hands and fingers

touch

tentative press
to shy flesh
still clothed in other loves

smell

breathe you in
where’ve you been
through all my loves and life

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2007

From my book “Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey” published in Cork, Ireland, 2003

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #POEM:Senses  #Poem  #Ireland  #Romance  #Love  #ExploringPossibilities #HiddenCapacity  #Poetry  #Touch  #Sight  #Sound  #Smells  #Sensory  #SketchingInIreland  #WAWriter

 

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what are you thinking

where are you looking

not at me

why?

 

the times

insecure

scared

private

secrets held

hands grasp bags

pats wallet

life blood exists

reassurance

 

woman in track-pants

yakka green

hunt food

nylon jackets

eat and walk

forget manners

quickly – no time

lighter

hidden puffs

blurred singing

sadness

plastic rustles

stumble

life wins the battle

shame bottle

 

executive black

cash freedom

uniform success

yellow jewelry

sustained work

blood money

 

comfortable shoes

mushy cardies

link arms

coats in sunshine

meander

disregard fashion

first eye contact

traditional warmth

traveling through life

together

relaxed touch

 

look into my eyes

I exist

I breathe

friendship

I’m secure

the day is shining

I give

look at me

I’m whole

I’m here

where are you going?

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2000 

* Published in ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ Ireland 2003.

 

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BlackwoodMarathonMap%20all

My novel started life way back  in 1986 as ‘Competing’ then became ‘Kathy’s Clown’ and finally ‘Toy Soldier’.

I’m still not sure what to call it… the story just won’t go away but I have had to adapt working ‘docs’ for each and it’s getting very confusing so I must settle on a name soon!

This 3 para Synopsis will give you an idea of the story and characters:

SYNOPSIS:  ‘Kathy’s Clown’

The Army Reserve is a volunteer group that consists of weekend soldiers.  Peter Watts-Brown is their Colonel.  He has made his hobby his career – his day job with the Department of Agriculture, pays the bills. He enjoys playing games – with the army, with money, with women.

His favorite opponent and total opposite at work and play is Colin Williams.  Colin is in line for promotion which Peter feels he deserves. He also wants Colin’s wife Kath.  Both have a team entered in the Blackwood Marathon held in the South West.  Each needs the validation of crossing the finishing line before the other. Both will do anything to win.

When one of the girls who works at the Research Center is murdered, the games turn serious. Both are prime suspects – now the real war games begin.

Because I’m busy re-writing my novel and also adapting it to the big screen, I thought I’d tell you how many different documents I’ve worked on concerning the same story and characters without reward.

For example, publishers usually require either one or the first three chapters however, Film Producers ask for so many different ‘docs’ it can be quite mind-blowing if you don’t know the purpose of or how to construct each format.

No 1: 1st draft Novel manuscript.

I’m not at all sure which number draft I’m on now as I’ve been working on it for so many years and changed computers so many times since them, I’m sure a few have been lost in the myriad of saving-method evolution.

In 1985 I wrote the first draft of 92 pages in three months when my very generous brother Paddy lent me his computer.  (I also managed to write a book of children’s stories  in the same 3 months.)  It meant I got the idea down on paper and the characters set in my mind.   Every couple of years I revisited it.

While at University studying for my degree in 2000, my Screenwriting units required different ‘docs’ for a feature script.  I thought using my story ‘Competing’ would be easier because I already knew the ending.

It actually wasn’t because I had to re-imagine my story for a visual medium – the polar opposite of most novels.  Luckily, I am a visual thinker so I was half way there…

No 2.  Logline.

The Logline is the hook.  If you can’t fit the premise of your feature on one line, perhaps you’re not completely clear on your idea.

‘Competing’ Logline:  Peter Watts-Brown plays games expecting to win but Colin Williams won’t let him; at work, at home or the Blackwood Marathon.  

No 3:  ‘Synopsis’.

The synopsis is a snapshot of the story and characters meant to reel in the investors, so it has to be ‘sexy’ and can be any length, from 3 paragraphs to a 1/2 page,  1 Page or 3 Page Synopsis.

No 2: ‘Scene Breakdown’.

The Scene Breakdown gives a description of each scene or sequence, some in full as examples with dialogue but mostly just action to illustrate the flow of the story, which in this case finished at 29 pages.

No 4: ‘Treatment’.

By March, 2001 of my final year at Uni, I had a 19 page ‘Treatment’ sometimes called an ‘Outline’ of the story, which showed what happened in each scene written as narrative in story form, with no dialogue.

No 5:  Feature Script

When I left Uni I decided to actually start writing the script but then half way through, because of the different medium, I naturally found the story was changing to suit.  So back I went to the novel to do another re-write because I wanted both to ‘marry’.

That’s why I’m really not sure how many versions of the novel exist without going through all my old discs – some are even the old 4 inch square ones – and I can’t play them!

Since then I’ve done a Transmedia masterclass with Jeff Gomez and realized the differences make versions interesting – each should add new aspects of the ‘world’ I’ve created of story or characters.

Perhaps now you understand why I keep putting it away and coming back to it…

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #FILM:Competing  #FILM:Kathy’sClown  #FILM: ToySoldier  #BOOK:Competing  #Transmedia  #Novel  #Books  #Manuscript  #JeffGomez  #Treatment  #SceneBreakdown  #Outline  #Synopsis  #FeatureScript  #Script  #Logline  #BlackwoodMarathon  #BlackwoodValley  #Marathon

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Upturned bottles once lined with military order

on dusty, termite-rotten shelves. Fingerprints,

clear spaces of use, caught by the shafts of daylight

through pin-holes where nails have been.

 

A puddle of spilt pain, beneath an upturned bench.

Life, wasted in boozy stench lies forgotten,

punished for excess, while determined creatures

march with hunger towards rotten snacks.

Dirt’s secret world survives in semi-darkness.

 

Corrugated walls, rusting-red and brown. Drips

where rain had been, left tracks as if guiding

to the next place. A dark, dank, mud-bed

suitable for long soft round things

to slither and slide through eyes now closed.

Still focused on nightmare dreams, gone before.

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 1998

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #POEMBarOfGrief  #BOOKHiddenCapacity  #eBOOKReturnOfRainbows

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KINDLE edition #francesmacaulayforde

 

Well, that’s it – I’ve just published my first KINDLE book on Amazon of a previously printed  “Rail Tales ~ notes from the Currumbine Line”  and naturally, had to buy the first copy.

“Poetry and stories written while travelling on the Currumbine Line between the City of Perth and the Northern Suburbs in Western Australia.”    

It’s live and available right now so I’m pretty pleased.  (It certainly wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be but I managed.)

Here’s another of my favorite short poems from the book:

 

Rail Trail

parallel bars ride the sand

silver bullet steered by hand

expressed in kilometre-d speed

human flotsam to concrete greed

 

 

…and a (very, very) short story I hope you’ll smile at, remembering I was riding the rails when I wrote it.

 

The Great Escape.

Head back, eyes closed. I savor the cool, quiet efficiency of train travel.

I’m alone on this journey.  It is obviously not a popular time to commute.

Silence.  Then a scuffle, a soft knock below me and to the left, makes me

open my eyes. There it is again.  Are there mice on this train?  

It sounds like old crackle-y paper. Rounded, moving haphazardly

in all directions.

I hope the security video can’t see me climb onto the seat. 

Where is it? More importantly – what is it?

Feeling foolish, I gingerly step down. Then cautiously kneel and bend over,

eyes level to the carpet, bum up. 

Oh, it’s O.K. Panic over. Breathe again.

It’s only an onion, enjoying the freedom of riding on the train. 

Do you think it’s got a ticket?

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#BOOKRailTales   #FrancesMacaulayForde

#McAlpineBellPublishing

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download

CRANNOG Spring 2014 Journal

A free subscription was included with entry into their competition, so I’ve just received my copy of  ‘CRANNOG Spring 2014’.

Wish I’d read it before entering…    The book feels slim but the 88 page volume is packed with clever writing.

The Galway editorial board did a superb job of choosing short stories and poems which affect the reader – and they did.

Like “Worship”  by Ruth Quinlan:  Your white shoes aren’t white at all.  They’re just cream pretending to be white and when you hold them against the Communion dress they look old and discoloured  even though you know they’re new.   

The words put put me right into the moment of my own Holy Communion (which I haven’t thought about since) remembering the crisp feel of new material and the smell of polished shoes.  Wonderful writing.

Or Breda Wall Ryan’s  “Crushie” poem:  The rain has stopped. Sunlight/veneers a table set between windows. /The year turns.   

The journal CRANNOG Spring 2014  is available for Kindle fans or surprisingly cheaper as a printed version.

Certainly well worth the few dollars to enjoy such gifted authors.

 

#FrancesMacaulayForde  #CrannogSpring2014  #RuthQuinlan  #BredaWallRyan

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RRPauline

‘Pauline’: Jessica McCallum 2002 #jessicamccallum #francesmacaulayforde

Call Waiting

 

I killed you!

I took away your power to insult.

Never again will your strident, insistent beeping
intrude on intimacies between friends.

No. I struck you off.

I pressed the buttons that devoured you.

I ended your reign of terror.

Then Pauline rang
‘A new baby? Wond….’

Beep – Beep!  Beep – Beep!

You didn’t die!

From happy jubilation
brain switches,
buttons pressed,
retreating  “Call me back.”

I lost the war.

I don’t blame Pauline.

Rudeness is forgiven under pressure
from the mighty  “I wonder who it is?”

Someday I’ll explain
and  continue my campaign
for courtesy.

I died a little.

Aren’t I important too?

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2002

(Another from my book  “Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey”. )

#HiddenCapacity   #francesmacaulayforde

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Cover 'Hidden Capacity ~ a poet's journey'

Cover ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey’ #francesmacaulayforde  #HiddenCapacity

One from my book:  ‘Hidden Capacity ~ a poets journey’, Pub. 2003, Ireland.

 

My Car                                                                                    

 

Red used to be my favourite colour.

I’d just get Tinkerbell (my 1983 Mitsubishi Colt)

cruising nicely at sixty kilometres an hour

then red.

I’d have to slow down.

Pump the brakes.

Change gears gingerly in case her clutch drops out….

An old girl now, she needs TLC…

takes her time to build up speed,

then I see red. (Or orange.)

Bugger!

But, once she’s there (sixty K.’s) she sings like a bird.

I think it reminds her of her youth.

I’ve tried dressing her up (covering the rust).

The silvers don’t match and I know she feels the shame.

The petrol pump makes her feel better.

Once I insert that nozzle,

she almost smiles.

Her seat greets me tenderly

and we smoothly swing away,

high on fumes.

Yesterday,

a young man washed her windows.

She sparkled and purred.

Yes. Red used to be my favourite colour.

Now mottled shades of silver have loyal appeal!

 

 

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2003

#HiddenCapacity #francesmacaulayforde

 

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I love how sometimes a poem ends up taking you to all sorts of places you don’t expect.

0912DanceSeries

‘Dance’ by Jessica McCallum at His Majesty’s Theatre, 2009. #jessicamcallumartist

My poem “My Life as a Sari” has appeared alongside beautiful artworks.

image001

POETRY POSTCARD available from Jessica McCallum

An excerpt published on a postcard.

09Iindigovolumne3

#IndigoJournal

And published in the INDIGO JOURNAL of West Australian Writing, Vol 3 published by INDIGO books and received lovely comments.

Fremantle Press have recently become on-line partners with the original publishers of the journals and have always been tremendous supporters of those who write in Western Australia, quietly promoting and encouraging new, emerging and established writers by putting their money where their mouth is.

As a result of my inclusion in the journal, Fremantle Press also interviewed  me about my writing and particularly, this poem.

 

My Life as a Sari

 

Securely tuck your fears under elastic

at the centre of your waist with your left hand,

and with your right, hold the remaining

metres of spun silk – your future, facing inside.

 

Measure the drop of the fall

and it’s finely stitched edge

for correct positioning against heels.

 

Wrap yourself in the gossamer fold,

swirling the diaphanous film behind

but stay level and wedge the top border

into your petticoat.

 

Like a bride preparing herself,

you are now ready to pleat.

 

At a distance from the last fixing,

hand-measure the delicate veil,

embroidered with details

important to who you are

toward the middle of your body.

 

Some may need five pleats, some six.

Less is more. Another judgement held on show

– a statement of size, however graciously it moves.

 

Securely fix the perfumed fanning

and grasp what is left, bring it back around

to wrap warmly and return to the front.

 

These days, you can choose to gather all loose

ends onto your left shoulder, secured with a jewel.

But many prefer to throw the remainder

over, remembering to hold an arm half bent,

letting the end float freely – the beaded

edge skimming the inside of your wrist.

 

 Frances Macaulay Forde © 2009

#francesmacaulayforde

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030920MLC - Frank O'Connor House S

Munster Literature Centre, Cork, Ireland.

When I was a member of the Munster Literature Centre, I did a masterclass in Short Story with James Lasdun.  

The title story of his published collection The Siege: Selected Stories, was adapted for film by Bernardo Bertolucci as Besieged ,  only one adaptation.

 Sunday was based on his story Ate Menos or The Miracle and co-written with Jonathan Nossiter. (Info from Wiki.)

030920Writers JL WS - CU Frances & James

Frances and James Lasdun during the 2003 Masterclass at MLC, Cork.

Later that year, I attended a festival at MLC with Richard Ford speaking, who’s novel Independence Day  was adapted and directed by Roland Emmerich in 1996 and a huge hit.

The Paris Review  did a very good interview with him soon after the film was made.

So, yesterday, I found this amazing resource – opportunities for competition and publications for writers of  SHORT STORIES:   Paul McVeigh   and just HAD to share.

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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