What to do on a wonky head day courtesy of Vici Wreford-Sinnott

Today I was feeling a little bit wonky. A not right in the head, wibbly, I’m a bit rubbish, sort of day. My wonderful friend, activist, writer and director Vici Wreford-Sinnott gave me some brill advice via email:

Stop right there! Do not go near that television! It will drain you of the will to breathe, it will suck all of the breath optimism and hope out of you. That is not being kind to your heed.
What exactly are you doing badly and inefficiently? Is a more accurate word, tiredly? Badly and inefficiently therefore do not apply and are banished from negative internal baboon chatter. Stoppit! By all means have the cup of tea. Perhaps get a big piece of paper and a big coloured pen for a quick colourful bubble-gram of six amazing things that have happened to you because of your writing. A quick re-read of your guiding motto (I’m sure you have one or more) and another big pen and paper of where you are heading. Four big fluffly cloud shaped bubbles with ambitions in them.
I rather thought that was flipping brilliant. So, care of Vici, I’m offering it to you too as a really bloomin good idea. Get out a piece of paper, some stickers, pens and glue. Make a mess. And write and draw the things that make you feel good about you and excited and happy and next time you have a wonky head day you can look at it and remember just how flipping fantastic you are, or at least have a gentle reminder while you wait to emerge from your blanket fort.
Here goes with my six amazing things that have happened since January…..
Photo from BBC Radio 3 web page advertising Sunday Morning with Sarah Walker
photo description: Advert for Sunday Morning programme on BBC Radio 3

Archipelago LEGEND Faye MacCalman was interviewed live on Sarah Walker’s Sunday Morning BBC Radio 3 programme from the Sage Gateshead and featured our title track from Between Waves. Only bloomin danced round the kitchen in my dressing gown and heard my name on the Radio Box! Listen in for Faye storming it 2 hours in, and my little bit at 2 hours 30 mins.


 

I got to sit in a BBC Bitesize Director’s chair and hold an as seen on TV BBC microphone as I spent a day in two schools bigging up the creative industry and all the fab jobs that can be found within.


a caricature of my face.
photo credit: designed by Scott Tyrell. photo description: a caricature of my face.

When my ickle sister was little, she was on a school tea towel – you know the sort where children draw bad pictures of themselves and for some reason they all look like Hitler. I didn’t get to do this. My mum still has the tea towel. I’ve held that grudge for years. Well, the amazingly talented graphic designer and poet Scott Tyrrell created a Spoken Word Map of Great Britain and followed it up with a tea towel AND MY FACE IS ON IT! Beat that ickle sis.


I was privileged to be asked by MIMA to be the first to light the candles at the Sisters exhibit by Chiara Camoni. It was a beautiful way to begin the year with new found friends.


a group of young people collecting awards along with me, Rowan McCabe and Barry Hyde.
photo description: a group of young people collecting awards along with me, Rowan McCabe and Barry Hyde.

I was really proud to be part of the No More Nowt Happens Showcase by East Durham Creates performing alongside Rowan McCabe and Barry Hyde. It’s a development programme that’s right up my street – meeting young people where they are and providing them with fantastic opportunities to create, design and programme their own events. MINT!


12 squares containing in each a photo of the 12 mentees, I am one of them. The Penguin logo and the words Write Now are mid left hand side.
photo description: 12 squares containing in each a photo of the 12 mentees, I am one of them. The Penguin logo and the words Write Now are mid left hand side.

On Friday 29th March I handed in my first draft of my novel to my editor and mentor at Penguin – right on the nose of the deadline. And you know what, I wasn’t sure I could do it. And then I did. First time I’ve ever finished a first draft of a novel. EEEEEEEK. Now I enter completely unknown territory, but I’m so lucky to be working with a fantastic editor who understands what I want to achieve with the book and knows and loves the world of the story just as much as I do. Lots of work ahead, and I’m ready for it! Off to London Town on Friday to get notes on my first draft….


me and my sister, wearing sunglasses, saying cheers with beverages.
photo description: me and my sister, wearing sunglasses, saying cheers with beverages.

Yes, I know, this is the seventh! But I wanted a lovely reminder of all the behind the scenes stuff that enables me to do all the creative stuffs. I have a wonderful army of family and friends who completely and utterly get me and my impairments and what they mean and entail, who always include me and find ways to adapt, and are there throughout the sucky bits and the brilliant bits. This photo is of me and my sister; we found a sunny spot in York for a cheeky beverage, and later at a restaurant, I found out that my sneaky wonderful sister had been planning and there was prosecco and a congratulations card for submitting my first draft waiting for me at the table. Writing is a solo isolating job, but that is made easier and more glorious by having a tribe – this is my reminder to be grateful and say thank you often to my wonderful gang.

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