Chudleigh Writers’ Circle Chair, Brenda Hutchings has been beavering away over the past few months putting together her first collection of poetry. This week we bring you the third and final part in a series she has written about her journey towards publication.
Scullery. Clifford T Ward.
“Clifford T Ward, was lighting up a scullery in 1973; painting pictures, adding ingredients to the mix as he went along. Soapy water, washing machine…it was all in there, and it’s one of my favourite songs. Listening to it recently, the lyrics struck a familiar chord with me—and I noticed a similarity to self-publishing! Off on a tangent along a rocky road I went as the lyrics resonated with my home brewed book, Heads, Hearts and Tails, a distillery of poetry and stories, although the method I used for making the book is based on the gin distillery process. But I also like to bake cakes:
You follow the recipe but sometimes you forget to put the sugar in, (done that), or you have to substitute a few items, followed by the nail biting—is it going to rise, is it going to taste good, will anyone like it, what happens if it burns?! But, luckily, as I’ve mentioned in previous articles, I wasn’t on my own in the scullery. I have a super bowlful of lovely friends who made sure I had all the right ingredients in the mixture, and once I felt I’d mixed them sufficiently, (ingredients that is), it was time to bake the cake. However, I had to make my mind up what to do with the cake once it came out of the oven!
There are so many options. Do I put the cake in the window? In other words, online, or do I take it to another baker? In other words, to the printers.
I chose the latter. Why? Mainly because I felt this was the best route for Heads, Hearts & Tails at this present time, and for me. It’s been a baking/distilling challenge, one that certainly wasn’t always easy. The process is a little slower, (in my own personal case), than the online route, but I was happy to let it mature, (and edit), and in the end, endeavoured to make sure it tasted good. And that feeling is ultimately worth bottling. It’s taken time to distil and bottle Heads, Hearts & Tails. But, once opened you will find: Warmth, with subtle hints of nostalgia; Earthy undertones, with hints of pepper and sea salt; Citrus sharpness, with humorous notes and pleasant on the nose. A refreshing 2020 vintage to linger over and enjoy. (Soapy water and washing machines included, although not intended as a specific ingredient, but there is cake!)
I guess the ultimate question is – would I do it all again? Of course, I would.
Thank you to everyone.”
Heads, Hearts and Tails will be available to purchase as a paperback from 7th December onward and would make a perfect Christmas present for your poetry-loving friends or relatives. For full details contact Brenda Hutchings via email.