I keep finding myself wondering ‘is this enough-about-my-life-as-a-writer’ to post on Planting Words? Where is the literary connection?
Here is my cat Fatty. His real name is Salem but our vet told us off for feeding him too much when he was a kitten. The nickname stuck.
He is nothing to do with my life as a writer, except when he gets jealous of my laptop and pats at my hands with his paws. He keeps his claws in.
This week, my life-as-a-writer is finding that I don’t want to read anything, especially not novels. I’m just not hungry for words. This week is writing nothing (unless you count blogs, which I do).
That’s OK. Everything in my life is about writing. I am a writer. You could also say that everything in my life is about Zen. Or relationships. Or you could say that none of it is.
Today Fatty accompanied me as I sat by the stream in the garden. He crushed an oval of grass with his sleeping body.
I have Alhambra’s Poetry Calendar on my desk, along with a candle (to be lit while writing) from my friend Esther, and my mini vase to be filled with flowers from the garden. I haven’t mentioned the pot of pens or the LED lamp because they’re not so poetic.
This calendar gives me the gift of a new poem every day of the year. I’m a bit behind (10th of July), but I loved the start of this poem, by Stephen Holt.
An Apology for Coming Home Late from a Morning Walk
You must forgive me,
I was slowed by summer…..
What better excuse? He goes on to mention a fencerow of trumpet vines in bloom, the shallows of Crane Creek, a cluster of mares… aah, glorious words.
I would like to be slowed by summer too. I’m going to take my raspberry smoothie ice lolly outside now and wander about the garden, trying not to make lists of things to be done in my head.
My friend Jacqui has just returned to blogging after a year off to focus on writing – see what she has to say about finding the time to write. A perennial question/struggle for most of us, I think. I’ve rearranged my working life so I have mornings at home, and I still manage to avoid it!
I’m getting my manuscripts ready for Snowbooks at the moment – I think I might get to see some mocked-up covers before too long…
I’ve just been out to the garden to say hello to my cat Silver – she is sitting up against a white wall and looking pretty and LUXURIATING in the sun… cats have got it right. I hope I come back as a cat.
Hope you have a sunny day, wherever you are…
I’ve given myself the gift of an Arvon holiday this August, something I haven’t done for years. These weeks are usually oases (I had to look that word up) of quiet and good literary company and good food and stunning surroudings and words words words.
In the leaflet for the centre I’m visiting, it says ABSOLUTELY NO INTERNET ACCESS in capital letters. I imagine they’ve had to explain this concept to course delegates so many times they’re sick to the back teeth of it. But wait a minute. How will I update my blogs? How will I google things? How will I visit Facebook? HOW WILL I CHECK MY EMAIL?!
As you can tell by my own capitalisation, a week without internet is exactly what I need. Amidst all this excitement about book deals and new blogs and interviews my internet use has rocketed. I’m on it right now – see what I mean?
The internet is the most wonderful invention since lovely non-sliced proper bakery bread, and without it I wouldn’t have my book deal or a lot of good friends or the hundreds of books I’ve ordered from Amazon. But picking courgettes is also a good pastime. As is making lemon curd, fixing back windscreen wipers, and going to BBQs. I’m going cold turkey in a couple of weeks… wish me luck…
A triplet of books, that is! I’ve signed a deal with www.snowbooks.co.uk, a savvy independent publisher with a great reputation, and they’re hoping to bring all three of my novels out next year. As you can imagine it’s been a week of celebrations!
I’ve signed my contract and sent it off and I wanted to wait until I’d my copy back before I made any rash announcements, but as Emma mentioned me on the Snowbooks blog today then I don’t think they’re about to change their mind and tell me it was all an April Fool…
I hope you’ll join me over the coming year as my books get ready to get born. I’m feeling a little hormonal already… : )
I’m listening to Sigur Ros’ new album as I type. Jónsi Þór Birgisson’s voice is penetrating my skin and dissolving directly into my blood.
I always fancied being in a band. Not enough to actually learn an instrument, like my brother who is a wizard guitar player and was in the very cool and popular zombie emo band ‘Send More Paramedics’. Just enough for the occassional daydream about what I might wear or how I might deal with my groupies.
Listening to live music can put me into a kind of trance. Musicians, at their best, perform a kind of magic. Being a writer has never felt cool in the same way. Voracious readers have the reputation of wearing glasses and being a little bit shy. Charismatic male poets might do well with the ladies, but a clearly-enunciated sestina can never be quite the same as a guitar solo.
I’m not dissing words. Reading and writing are the most important things in my life (OK, maybe a few people come first, but…) They have brought me wisdom, comfort, laughs, they have spoken to my darkest places and have brought things to light. But I’d still kind of like to swap with Jónsi Þór Birgisson. I’d like to be able to do that for people. Just for a day.
After various people sending me their own small stones over the years I thought it was about time they had their own home.
They will soon – at http://ahandfulofstones.blogspot.com. Read more about the project here and find out how to submit here, and please help me spread the word!
Hope you have a great Monday.
I had some very exciting news on Monday about my novels, which I will share with you as soon as names are signed on dotted lines.
As a result I’ve been in the mood for celebrating. This morning I thought I might treat myself to a shopping trip so I could buy some ‘stuff’ – a book, a box of chocolates, maybe a CD or two…
After breakfast the sun came out, and I sat outside and tilted my face skywards. I imagined the busy shopping centre, teeming with people and artificially lit. Instead I walked across the grass to my blackcurrant bushes where I picked enough dark fruit to fill a generous punnet. I sat in the sun and topped and tailed them with my thumbnail, and then came in and baked a blackcurrant pie.
I still get the urge to ‘buy stuff’ when I want to celebrate something. I suppose the media has been telling me I should for thirty years. But my blackcurrant pie was a much more satisfying way to celebrate. No money. No stress. Just plump tart berries in crumbly buttery pastry.