I don’t like being miserable. For a start, it peels at least 20 points off my IQ, and at my age, that’s too significant to ignore. Second, it makes creative thinking well nigh impossible. It closes up the essential gaps between those bubbling, spontaneous irregularities that sit in my unconscious, and the conveyor belt of conscious delivery. Third, it makes my face look like a smacked arse, and frankly, I prefer it less baggy and more crinkled, when the crinkles are herded into place by an irrepressible urge to giggle. But today I am royally stuffed. My father died last week. One of my cats died this morning. His brother is on the blink (same … Continue reading ‘….As You Wave Me Goodbye’
I have to say more about this, and so I will shortly. Linda is right, the psychologist’s hat is as difficult to remove as the headgear of the internal editor. More so, possibly, as most of us start out as uninformed nosey parkers and graduate (literally and severally) to become professional ones. When fictional characters are properly filled out, we are satisfied by them because, flaws and all, they are authentic. The trick is to allow them to be idiosyncratic, unpredictable, and downright annoying within that consistent authenticity. That’s what Linda has done with her characters, and why it became … Continue reading Psychoanalyzing fictional characters (via Linda Cassidy Lewis)
Writing is writing, right? Someone in ‘Good Will Hunting’ said that, if you can do it, you should, on behalf of all those who can’t. Well this link to my other blog, my other life, is my writerly way of speaking for those who can’t. Others have done the same. Journalists have made erudite comment. The BBC gave us the material. But we all knew it was happening, somewhere in our souls, our collective psyche. We knew that we could not always trust humans to act with humanity, or decency, or even just plain neglectfully. We knew that some would see an opportunity for … Continue reading Winterbourne abuse scandal
I already knew this, I can’t say I didn’t, so why then do I feel disquiet at the notion of the ‘slush pile’? It’s not the fact of being in a queue or of waiting for an evaluation of suitability, those are regular experiences in my world. It isn’t even the element of subjectivity, the lack of control, or the length of time invested in the wait because these too are familiar in matters such as applications for research funding. In both circumstances, there are rules to be followed; this many words or characters, this kind of remit, and that … Continue reading The #Scrapslush campaign
..a large, brown, cardboard package containing letters, CDs, a study guide, a study calendar, a TMA form (a what?!), and a Serious Looking Book. My Open University Creative Writing course is about to kick off. So what was it about signing those papers, ticking the box marked yes and sending off a fat-ish cheque made them think I meant it?! Continue reading In the post today..
I’ve seen this debate elsewhere, publish on your blog so you have a ‘presence’ or keep your work to yourself so that it remains saleable. So far, I’ve just put up early pieces; exercises, bits and bobs that might entertain but that wouldn’t make it into a slush pile, never mind a magazine. Last week though, on leave and with only myself to entertain, I wrote what I think is one of my best short stories EVER (nah – doesn’t take much!) and, it being under 500 words, I was about to sling it up here for my many thousands … Continue reading If not the blog then, where?
Just a little while ago, we were talking about the kinds of support we get from other writers and how we value the small communities that build up around blogs and tweets. Some of us are beginners with little to offer except awe for those who are into their third novel. Published or not, that’s tenacity, and if so far they haven’t hooked a publisher, this may say more about the vastness of the market than the quality of their work. If you can’t find ’em, you can’t impress ’em, and as the same principle applies in reverse, getting an … Continue reading Authors and writers in Second Life