Tuesday 2nd February 2021
And what's to come?And then I've been writing other stuff. I’m on to my fourth serial for Women’s Weekly. Very much in the preliminary stages with this newest story which means writing the first part, waiting for the editorial input, re-working if necessary and then moving on to the next part. I like this process actually, though perhaps it’s not for everyone. But being edited, self-editing and re-writing is, to me at least, at the very heart of creating fiction; it’s what I enjoy most next to researching which I completely adore and which gives me a valid excuse to pore over books and documents and dig into things with my metaphorical trowel and find out what lies beneath the soil. Once I wanted to be an archaeologist; researching for stories is probably the nearest I’m going to get to it! Most recently I’ve been doing just that for something other than a serial and which has resulted in me helping to produce a podcast, writing a short story for audio and e-book, and celebrating a town near to where I live. It’s for Historic England and it’s for a project called High Street Tales where seven towns have been chosen to have stories written about them. I especially wanted to take part in the project as it involved research, of course, but there was a specific area i.e. the shops, the retail side of things in the town, which really appealed to me when I found out that the earliest of my Irish ancestors came to North Shields to set up a Boot & Shoe business. Now, I wasn’t born in North Shields, in fact I come from south of the river Tyne originally but my Irish routes form a bridge between North and South Tyne. Apparently, I’m 100% Irish & Scottish with not a bit of anything else in me, which is a little disappointing, I have to admit , as Jarrow, where I came from, was, apparently, one of the first places the Vikings came to when they hit our shores. Anyway, you can find out more about my story 'Time and The Shoe Man' if you visit: https://historicengland.org.uk/services-skills/heritage-action-zones/regenerating-historic-high-streets/cultural-programme/high-street-tales/
Tuesday 2nd February 2021
Crikey, what a year.Hello again! You’re all probably used to this by now, the long gaps between my news items, which I apologise for but at least you can see, through my tweets, that I’m still getting on with stuff. I have not been idle! Oh, but it’s been a long year hasn’t it and while hoping that this one is going to be better, I’m just putting my head down, following the rules and trying to live life within the restrictions. Missing my family and the times we used to have and longing to see them all together in my house, around a table eating a good meal, having a laugh and having the little-ones sleep-over like they used to… even if the house does look like a hurricane's hit, afterwards. That all feels like ancient history now, hurricanes in the house. Heigh ho. And so to music. Anyone who sings or plays music with other people are feeling the loss now. As for me, I’m missing getting out to sing with my band and with the community groups I used to work with. Life without singing is hard because it’s one half of the creative side of me, while writing is the other. I love to be around other singers, hear harmonies, sing harmonies, experience that wonderful feeling that only making such a sound can give me. I love to see and feel the joy that singing can bring. So hey, listen, Covid-19, Go Away! Let us all get back to using our vocal chords, our smile muscles, our deep breathing, our soaring spirits and light hearts, our laughter- all together in one room, hall, foyer, wherever that place may be. But I haven’t been lazy on the music front. Even though, as far as my band is concerned we’ve not rehearsed for a year now, not gigged for a year and only communicated through social media, I’ve still managed to bring out a third album of The Celia Bryce Band originals. And while I didn’t get to Nashville to record the new material, I did manage to work with some fab musicians from there- all done remotely via Drop Box and email, and everything in between so that when I finally got to record the vocals, in a socially distant and safe way, it was with the most amazing backing from across the Pond! And with a handful of local musicians to add extra flavour in one or two of the numbers it all worked really well. I have to say I feel very blessed to have been able to do this under such difficult circumstances. And I must commend my husband, Colin Bradshaw for being the person on this side of the Pond who managed the to-ing and fro-ing of our demos and the arranging of studio time here on Tyneside; basically for making it all happen! The CD is called ‘Here Before’ and the songs range from folk to country and there’s a bit of pop-py stuff going on there too. It’s being played on a few on-line radio stations: one in Australia, a couple in Scotland and more to follow and that’s all brilliant. I can’t wait for the day when we can get out and ‘gig’ the songs again. If you fancy having a listen then just go to our Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/theceliabband
Tuesday 3rd September 2019
Like buses, hey?
It’s that time of year again when I’m called to do some judging for short story competitions. Major and not so major. Sifting judge, main judge. I like the challenge of both. Time consuming certainly and occasionally, to be perfectly honest, hard, hard work but when there’s a story that just hits you in the eye, and you can’t see any other touching it, that’s when it’s pure magic. As a sifting judge you hope that story makes it right to the top; that the main judge sees what you see. As a main judge you make sure it does.
Songs have filled my head recently. Of misplaced people, of loyal dogs, of love and loss, and the lure of gold in the Gold Rush days. On that front, I now have a song complete, in lyrics at least, and spinning around a few tunes and styles. Soon, maybe I’ll be putting down a demo of it. Oh I like doing that.
Wrote a religious piece, ‘Mass of the Northern Lands’ which is being sung quite a bit locally which I’m delighted about. It’s not my first foray –written lots of hymns but this was something entirely new and using a music software programme, learning how to do it (and still learning) is a revelation. Like a foreign language. You know, there’s something very humbling about being surrounded by people who have enough faith in your music to want to sing it. I feel thankful every time. It doesn’t go away.
Completed my first serial for Women’s Weekly which was a fascinating process, I have to say and most enjoyable. Waiting to hear about a second one. It’s a shocker that there’s this issue with rights though and I’m pulled in many directions. I stopped writing for them for a while but having always loved contributing to the magazine my mother used to love I found myself wanting to get back to it. Twenty years is too long to turn away from it. Not sure what that says about me or what folk think. Not sure I care very much. I’m done with sniffy people.
Waiting to hear about the current finished novel which is sitting with an agent and a publisher and very soon another so who knows? The time it takes. Keeping on with the writing. That’s all a gal can do.
And of course my September Challenge for Cancer Research UK. Exercising every day, trying to raise money, and having stated that I would also get back to some writing, every day too, and not about exercise, what am I doing? Writing about exercise. And what do you know, enjoying every minute. No, don’t be daft, not the exercise, the writing.
My own little world. It’s nothing to what’s going on the wider front. Sometimes my heart near fails when I think about the mess we’re all in and what we’ve shelled out to the next generations.
Saturday 11th May 2019
Great day at The Word (National Centre for the Written Word) to give its grand title. As part of this year’s Write Festival the library ran its first ever short story competition and asked me along with crime writer Adam Peacock to judge it. Which is a privilege, so thanks due to those who thought of us. Today was the celebration of the winning and short-listed stories. It seemed to go well though I’m always a wee bit anxious about reading out other people’s work, only because I want to make a good job of it and not spoil something which is precious to the writer. Thankfully there weren’t too many hitches, there were some lovely looking books to hand out and some cheques for the top three stories. Well done to all who entered. Meanwhile I’m working on a serial for Women’s Weekly- there’s a first time for everything- and have to say the process has been really interesting and something of a challenge to someone who’s been writing short stories for so long. I’ll let you know how it’s coming along. Oh and the rewrite of the novel short listed in the Kelpies Prize is now complete. Looking for a home for it...
Tuesday 5th February 2019
Is it that date already!!!
Oh heck, it’s February 2019 which means it’s a long while since I last posted some news. And yet there’s been nothing but news, though most of it is only really relevant to me and mine. As for world news then, crikey, don’t you just feel like burying your head? Just for a little while? Anyway, lots of stuff going on at my crowded desk, stories being created, novels being edited, music being written with the help of my amazing Sibelius programme and songs coming thick and fast. So yes, folks I’ve been busy. I’ve also embarked on my Coffee Grounds a slow brew of poems written in all the cafes serving Baristocracy Coffee. Why? It’s beautiful, that’s why. Look it up, try it out! And soon I’ll put up some of the poems. A run of gigs with my band over the next few months and some lovely little people to tell stories to. Here endeth the news.
Thursday 28th September 2017
National Centre for the Word
Well here I am folks, Writer in Residence and celebrating The Word's first birthday. A few workshops available if you want to come and write poetry and there's a song and poetry fest from Noon till 2pm on Saturday Oct 21st. The Celia Bryce Band will bring up the rear with some of their own songs as well as songs written for the celebration and variously performed by the library choir, the Ukulele group and anyone else who wants to join in. Can’t think of a better job! By the way there’s all sorts of other stuff going on in a fun packed week, so check it out!
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Just a little extra note to say that I've been recording some King Crimson songs for a project with South West German broadcasting station, SWR2. These things! So, how, you might ask did I get that gig? The answer is - it’s all down to Anthem for Jackson Dawes, its German translator, Bettina Obrecht and her musician husband, Werner. The programme’s due out in October, date to be confirmed. That’s all I know for now, folks. Updates nearer the time. Crikey, October’s going to be a busy month!
Wednesday 19th July 2017
Delighted to be appointed Writer in Residence at ‘The Word’, South Shields, a National Centre for the Written Word. I'll be running writing workshops in September and October and spending time in August absorbing what goes on and what makes the place tick. On October 21st there’ll be The Word’s First Birthday celebration where work produced over the coming months will be performed. Can’t wait to begin!
Friday 7th April 2017
The clocks have shifted, the garden's frothing with new growth and colour and it’s April already. Yikes. But let’s embrace what we can, folks, let’s be happy while we may. So here I am, embracing a fab school near my home town, a real pearl of a place which actually reminds me of my garden just now. This school, with its indoor and outdoor classrooms, wild gardens and neat gardens, and happy, buzzing atmosphere, is just five minutes away and yet I’ve never noticed it before, nestled, as it is, in the heart of town. Hoping to see a bit more of it in the future.
Friday 3rd February 2017
Women on Song
Celia Bryce and Chloe Chadwick
Low Lights Heritage Centre, N Shields
Fri 3rd March 7.30 pm Tickets £10
Hear Celia & Chloe perform their songs and
discuss the art & inspiration of song-writing
Saturday 1st October 2016
Sunderland Literature and Creative Writing Festival 2016
It's all happening on Wearside for the month of October with Sunderland’s Literature and Creative Writing Festival. For further info why not download the brochure! I'm doing a couple of adult creative writing workshops on: Tuesday 11 October 1.30 – 3.00pm at Sunderland City Library and Thursday 20 October 10.30 – 12noon at Washington Town Centre Library. Booking required folks!
Wednesday 3rd August 2016
In the eye of the beholder.
Wednesday 3rd August 2016
The world still turns no matter what’s chucked at it which, to me, is nothing short of a miracle. But my heart aches for the good people in it, the children, those who just want to live their lives. And it shudders at the rest. Let's find some peace, and some beauty.
Thursday 16th June 2016
Back from a trip to Iceland and with a head full of rocks, steam and sulphur. Oh and fermented shark which is a non-compulsory initiation to this amazing country. I’ve eaten it, folks. But won’t again. Took my camera, took some pics. I’ve posted a few below. Can feel some writing coming on!