Closed Season Blues came into being in November 2018. I wrote it after my first season at Alton Towers, full of emotion over Scarefest and Fireworks. In it, I’d tried something different. Instead of briefly referencing the flashback in verse two and then moving back to the present, I kept the memory going into the third verse. The result, in my eyes, was beautiful.
Over the last two weeks, I’ve spent my time reworking the original poem. I knew that the rhythm – or meter, as it’s referred to in poetry – was off. The line length often varied a clumsy amount and the rhyming was inconsistent. I sat down with my project book and got to work.
As you can see, I marked out the stressed and unstressed syllables that make the meter with full circles and empty circles, respectively. This is how Stephen Fry does it in his book The Ode Less Travelled – it’s essentially a guide on how to write poetry. (Who knew Stephen Fry was a poet? I sure didn’t.) I also drew lines between the lines that rhymed and marked the syllable count of each line. From there, I decided on a syllable structure based on what fitted in the best verses.
I began rewriting the lines based on the new syllable structure and meter I’d decided. That knocked the first revision out but I wasn’t happy. The last couple of verses (not pictured) had gone quite well under the rework, but there were still issues in the beginning verses. My review of the revised last verses told me I’d done a different syllable structure and meter to what I’d planned. Therefore, I took that and revised it all again.
Three days ago, I typed out what I had on Adobe Illustrator and decorated the background, initially starting with just the blue version. (I decided on the blue because it was in the title, Closed Season Blues.) After that, I began importing the track into the file from this picture:
Initially, it went in the corners of the print, much like it did with my wedding invites, but with the text spanning down the whole of the middle, it didn’t seem right. I tried various combinations but none seemed to work. In the end, I made the track bigger and spanned it across the artwork. I made some adjustments to the thickness and opacity and finished placing it.
This whole time, I had also kept working on the wording. Even when I was happy with the blue version and had moved onto the rainbow limited edition*, I still came back to the prose. The revising continued until I was finally happy and very late on Tuesday evening, I was.
Realising My Dream
I’ve spoken for so long about wanting to make people happy through art, wanting to inspire them and up until now that’s just been talk. It’s real now. To all the people who said I inspire them, thanks to you I’ve kept going and made good on what I said. I worry about if it’ll sell, and anything else I make going forward, but I’m not doing this just to make money. While I do want to pay my overheads and make this a viable part of my life, ultimately:
I just want you to have something meaningful, that inspires you, that makes you happy.
The prints were on sale for a few weeks until a change in direction. For more information, click here.
*I made the rainbow edition for two reasons. Firstly, I wanted to reflect the symbol of the rainbows in this pandemic, a sign of hope and light against the darkness. I hoped that in the tough times we live in that it would bring some much-needed joy. Secondly, the stairs going up from the station on The Smiler are rainbow themed, and I thought it would be cool and inkeeping with the theme, seeing as the track and the entire poem is really about The Smiler.