Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from August, 2012

School's Out

It's the last Bank Holiday weekend of the year. Suddenly I feel determined to squeeze the marrow out of it; mostly because this week saw me start a new job, and after a week of meeting lots of new people whose names I'll have to be reminded of for the first few weeks, this 3-day weekend gives me time to recharge before the bull is grabbed by the proverbial. There's lots to do; when is there not? Anyway. I shall be spending tomorrow in St James's Square in the concentrated bookishness that is the London Library; writing; re-immersing myself into 'the book'. There's also a lot I want to read. Can I write 10,000 words AND read Ben Lerner's Leaving the Atocha Station, The Prophet by Michael somebody, Junky by William Burroughs and the new Alice Munro short story in this week's New Yorker? Oh, and meet a few friends lest I'm considered an impossible loner? Doubtful. I also had the urge this evening to re-read Orwell's Down and Out in Paris & …

Memoir and Iceland

I have made good headway on the memoir. I made a schoolgirl error this week though when I sought approval on where I'd reached by sending it to a literary agent. Her response, whilst friendly enough, made me question the entire thing; being questioned on one's endeavours is not a bad thing - but when you're not even halfway through the first shit draft, it is positively dangerous. I am now viewing it through her eyes, and my subjectivity has become diminished, which does not do for memoir. Or first draft of anything. I managed to plod on and do a bit more this evening but half-heartedly. I spoke to a good writer friend - she has read some of it, and she declared it to be the best thing I've written and that I must continue with it. Now it feels a bit like a big heavy bag of shite hanging above me. Will this feeling pass or can I push myself beyond it? I don't know. Maybe I need to look at my own attempts at self-sabotage through the seeking of professional approval…

Revealing

The past few weeks have been a bit tricky. Snapping black dog etc. I've also begun reading a few new books, but have so far failed to reach the middle of one; when I'm in this state of mind I can find it a bit difficult to be engaged enough. It's a failure to secure a purchase on those things that one normally takes an interest in. I met a very charming and established author, Stephen Benatar, in Chiswick Waterstones last weekend. He stood beside a small table that featured piles of his own novels. Whenever anyone strolled past him he took the step or two and handed them three of his books and asked that they might take a moment to browse through. I did and immediately took them to a spare chair at the back of the shop. What struck me from all three was the quality of the prose; an established quality. Does that sound old-fashioned? Having heard of the title I made inroads into 'Wish Her Safe at Home', an NYRB Classic, including an introduction by John Carey. I thi…