NEW Poems Everyday In February posted on Facebook.com/CatherineVaughanWriter

 

hjwkmkehbco-alvaro-serrano-1

Pop over to this Official Facebook page 7:30pm UK time every evening in the month of February.

 

facebook-sq

 

Advertisements

Poet Spotlight: Omar Majeed

dsc_1369a

Meet Omar

Omar Majeed is a local Hereford Poet.  Born in Crewe, Cheshire he grew up in Hereford having attended the Cathedral School and studied photography at Hereford Art College. Later on he went to Kingston upon  Thames, initially to study journalism, but his creative instincts lead him into a degree in Graphic Design.  Now back in Hereford he works as a copywriter and is studying fine art. He does the occasional poetry reading, makes short films for fun with friends and is reworking his passion project: SCree Magazine.

dsc_1368a

Omar’s Writing

We r all one we always win is a collection of over a decade’s worth of his poetry. Majeed can occasionally be found reading poems from this collection at events such as Booth Fest and most recently Courtyard Hereford’s Poetry Slam.

You can purchase a copy of his latest poetry book on his Etsy Shop: GravityEnterprises.

Here’s a taste of his way with words…

All That Is Within Our Grasp

We hold on tight to the hands
of those we love
as they hold on tight to us,

as if we may float away
should they or we
loosen our grip,

and still
through knuckles white
we let them slip.

“… In your hands a pine cone spirals, draped in cobwebs. A tiny spider crawls across your knuckles. Books lie beside us, unread as we chat in chapters about this and that.”

dsc_1366a

Omar’s Poetry book: we r all one we always win is available on Etsy

Notably at Apple Store Gallery in Hereford there are some copies available to buy. Apple Store Gallery is also where Majeed has done some readings at their poetry nights and he participated in a group art show last year for them. Omar has long been interested in poetry since his school days and won the Foyle Young Poet of the Year 2002. He’s had stuff published in Kingston’s Ripple mag and Short cuts competition pamphlet where his poem Duet was chosen as the winner.

One of Omar’s short stories about Aldous Huxley’s deathbed LSD experience was published in Askance’s Positional Vertigo collection available on paper copy and Kindle.

dsc_1364adsc_1365a

On Drawing

“Up until a couple of years ago I hadn’t done much drawing.  I mostly worked with text and photography.  My friends used to gather together in Lucy Baxendale’s living room and draw, an informal gathering that turned into a Drawing Club which meets every third Thursday at De Koffie Pot in the evening.  I was hanging out with everyone drawing.  They would give me a page out of their notebook and a pen and I would scribble stuff.  Gradually I wanted a ‘thing’ and started just drawing people from my imagination that I called my imaginary friends. This developed into the wooden painted sculptures that I showed at the end of my portfolio course. I like drawing people from the recesses of my head and then naming them. I’m thinking of giving them stories.”

dsc_1367a

Copies of Gravity zine

dsc_1370a

His Magazine

“For about six years I was producing Gravity zine, which largely comprised of art submissions to a theme, and a bit of writing, mainly from Hereford creative and a few sympathizers.  The template involved putting out a call for work and then laying everything out and photocopying.  We had colour covers from Issue four letter-pressed by Fishbone press, and started hand sewing the binding. My friends would all get together regularly to help me put everything together. It was a collective endeavor to celebrate all the amazing work that was around and not a commercial venture.  I rarely made my print costs back. I gave everyone who contributed a copy and that was enough for a while.  SCree is an idea developed with Graphic Designer and Illustrator Johnny Burrage to make a more developed magazine, featuring articles about important contemporary topics and covering cultural events for which we can have an editorial team commissioning up to the minute articles and illustrations, and the layout is a bit more structured and professional. We want to be able to pay people for their work because artists have to work for free too often.  We are currently exploring funding models.  Keep an eye on the SCree Facebook page and Screezine.com for news.”

dsc_1373adsc_1371a

Among Majeed’s other creative projects he makes short films such as this one titled Lorem Ipsum made alongside with Johnny Burrage last year starring local musician Elspeth Anne Macrae. They’re working on a new one, titled Un Chien Errant (a lost dog.) He also writes semi-regularly for Minky Cuadra at Hereford City Centric blog.

Omar wrote a novella which he describes as a “transgressive noirish experimental thriller” called Dark under a pen name. The paper copies have sold out but it is available as a Kobo ebook here.

Check out the synopsis:

Ex-professional footballer Thomas Peterson receives a phone call alerting him to a disappearance that throws his already spiraling life into intrigue and disorder.  A transgressive, post-modernist thriller. Adults only.

screenshot342a

More of Omar’s Poems found on SmallSongsOfHope.blogspot.co.uk
His other website: Is This An Art


Connect with Omar omar-gif

Twitter: @MyDadsJacket
Instagram: @MyDadsJacket

Author’s Journey. Coming Soon!

Hey guys,

So a NEW category shall be in effect after Summer Break from July 1st 2016.

I will be documenting my Journey to becoming an Author covering facets from the writing process, event planning and bits and bobs in between.

0NML1Q2CFH

It really all started this time last year: Sunday 17th May 2015 with a simple ebook! A year later I am working on my fifth publication, have organized and hosted my own poetry performances plus hosted a group one. On top of that I’ve run multiple websites and social platforms plus my online shops! Who would’ve thought all this would manifest in less than a year. The question is not how she did it but what horrid people were holding her back? I’ve done it alone and I may as well document the process to the rest of the world…..

None of it was planned, all of it was made up as I went along. That I promise you! I literally had NO friends, no connections. This has been a solo journey. It’s also been a horrific time in a lot of way and nobody should have to forge this path, The Writer’s Path which is one of the toughest career paths especially when one has been suffering as I have…. It is a cruel, cruel world and you are a fool, fool to not make everything happen all at once. Things are changing. The amount of jobs and self-taught practices I’ve had to achieve is sickening and the short time frame I’ve done it in is enough to make someone take a gun to their head. It’s not easy but it has to be worth it. There’s nothing to catch me anymore, but I don’t care I simply dare.

 

Free Kindle Books by Multi-Genre Author Catherine Vaughan

Go on Amazon to get a FREE COPY:  Friday 20th May + Saturday 21st May 

♡ P o e t r y ♡
“The Quarter Life Crisis Poet: a collection of poems on pain, heartbreak and defiance by a twenty-something
http://amzn.to/1TNnunp

♡ H e a l t h | G u i d e ♡
“How to Heal Eczema Naturally: A Quick Self-Help Guide to Learn the Secrets of Healthy Skin”
http://amzn.to/1SUdjyk

To receive a Reminder on Facebook of when these ebooks will be available as FREE downloads visit the listings page here.

On writing about darkness:

A lot of my writing from poetry to prose explicitly or indirectly talks about pain and darkness. This is unintentional. I just can’t control it sometimes. I have a new novel coming out this spring it is called “Welcome to Wonderland.” It is a Bohemian Love story with many beautiful but equally devastating plot twists.

They say write about what you know and the only thing I know and have experienced about life are good fortune at times and devastating, unimaginable lows.

There is a passage is this upcoming book that says how a couple of the villains in the book are so twisted you would be lucky if they paid to have you beaten to death. Their punishment of choice? Driving their enemy to commit suicide. Initially I felt unease. This is dark stuff. Notably there is no violence or disturbingly graphic scenes.

But that line: drive an enemy to the big S word we never talk about. That is deep. It may seem outlandish or cruel but we forget to acknowledge reality. In the book it is a certain wealthy character that has this dark drive.

My focus in my writing is to tell a compelling story with beauty, culture juxtaposed with the sadness and pain of life because we don’t just have the former alone. There is always truth in what I write, I can’t help it, it just comes out. I’m pretty perceptive and intuitive. Some mistake my sharp, deep and terse writing for deliberate infliction of distress. It is not. I could never do that. I’m just accurate in identifying the universal strand of truth and suffering. My brain automatically assesses or creates information/content from first principles thus there is always maximum coverage/depth from the simplest idea I merely think of. I can’t help it. If you think a villain uttering the words that he’d rather drive an enemy to suicide is too dark: let’s take a detour. This following analogy came after I wrote the dark passage. I know that what I write is more that what is typed. It is universal and it’s powerful to utter the stories we don’t dare speak up. It is hard but it must be told, the only acceptable form to do so is fiction.

Imagine an 11 year old boy who has just moved to a new town and has started high school.

boy

His parents have split up, he is the new kid, he lives in a block of flats; no garden; no park to play in. His father works full-time and has a new girlfriend so there’s not much one-on-one time with his son. He’s finding it hard to make friends. He’s the shortest boy in the class and a little skinny. One kid in gym class picks on him as he is partnered up with the prettiest and tallest girl in class. More boys join in on the teasing. They say he’s short, he’s ugly. He goes home and hardly sees any of his old friends on social media because they’ve forgotten about him by now. So he adds some people from his class in an attempt to make new friends. Some reject the “friend request” others accept. He’s not great at sports- just Maths. But it’s not cool to do your maths homework so in a bid to fit in he stops too. At first the boys kinda let him in a little subject to him letting them copy from him for homework and future tests. The kid that first picked on him adds him on facebook. He’s kinda relieved, maybe he wants to be friends. So he accepts the friend request, but the boy is no different online.

Now he just has more fuel to bully him. He finds old photos of him wearing glasses and calls him ugly. They make sly comments about him not having any friends. They label him gay. It gets worse and worse. He tells his Dad who just says “hey don’t worry about it.” He’s torn between even finishing his homework because the cool kids don’t and he wants to fit in. His grades slip, teachers bemoan about the slip in grades. They don’t acre to ask why he’s gone from an average ‘B’ to ‘D-‘. They just label him as not bright and non-compliant with school work. He confides in one teacher that it’s been 6 months and he has not made one friend, teacher’s dismiss his pain say he just needs to be more confident- to stop worrying. His Dad says join the weekend football team. Sadly those horrid boys from school are already on the team and he’s crap at sports anyway. He wants to take up the clarinet again but Dad can’t afford the fees. He has to have a special free lunch for school because he is from a low-income household. He has an aunt nearby but she’s got three kids under 10 and is always busy. She does love her nephew but she has too much on her plate. So he stays indoors after school and the weekend. He starts a little blog on Warhammer and games like that. But before you know it the kids at school have found it and take the mick.

Every possible route to a supposed ‘normal kid life’ is blocked or mocked: his Dad, teachers, friends (or lack there of), hobbies, family etc. So what is that 11 year old child supposed to do? He can’t just pack up and move to his Mother’s who is 4 hours away with a new man. He could face even more rejection at another new school and what would his Dad think of him for choosing his Mum instead. He feels trapped. He is trapped. There’s only so much an 11 year old boy can do.

Then on Facebook someone at school calls him a “loner” that he would be better off dead. He thinks this over. He believes it is true. So tell me does that scenario by all those people surmount to someone being driven to suicide?

You think suicide is selfish and depression is indulgent. Sometimes it is the only logical state of mind and state of being a person can feel given their circumstances. Obviously people are not always intentionally driving someone to that state but others are even if they do not notice it.

Ergo my writing is not unnecessarily dark it coneys truths. The truths we do not want to face or hear about. Unfortunately these dark circumstances happen everyday. The least we could do is be pleasant to people. So yeah my writing may upset people but it has to be written, it is not what you originally think and finally I could never write something to maliciously hurt someone. Never. But my writing ends up bleeding truth whether I want it to or not. All I intended was to write a sweet love story with Bohemians, creatives, billionaires and poets and something bigger than myself came out, darker than I ever imagined. I’m never trying to be political or take a dig at society. That’s not my intention. My writing is deep and sophisticated it can satisfy superficial whims alongside one’s propensity towards depth and meaning. Ultimately my next book is a moving, deep and pensive book. It is also an enjoyable read, it will be an emotional roller coaster but you will have been glad to have read it and it ends on a most intriguing, beautiful and heartfelt scene.

Copyright © Catherine Vaughan 2016.

 

#Connect

Arts & Culture Blog

Lifestyle Blog 

Instagram

Google+

Artsy Jolie Girl Facebook

Official Facebook

Official Catherine Vaughan Site

GoodReads

Publications by Catherine Vaughan available on Amazon in Paperback + ebook

USA     UK     FRANCE     DEUTSCHLAND     SPAIN      CANADA

ebook format only on Amazon International sites:

INDIA     JAPAN     ITALY     NETHERLANDS     BRASIL     AUSTRALIA