The problem with this blog, I’m discovering as I get more and more lax about updating, is that the longer I put off writing anything for it the more there’s a jumble of things to write about. And then I can’t find a solid topic for a post – or even any kind of hub for the mess to revolve around – and it becomes bitty and a rubbish read, and that puts me off writing, and the cycle perpetuates.
Yesterday morning the sky looked like something holy wanted us to look up for a few minutes, and it felt too too ordinary to be seeing it as I walked to the train station weighed down with parcels. And then I saw two people punching the sh*t out of each other, expletives echoing, and wrestle each other into a waiting taxi – and the magic leached away slightly. Continue reading “2016 is all about you and them”
Have to be honest, I haven’t missed writing blog entries. My domain ownership actually ran out a couple of weeks ago, and it took me longer than it should have to renew it. I was half-heartedly considering shutting this place down – maybe starting a new site, a more professional one with my name in the address and whatnot. Bookworms is a hodge-podge after all, with a misleading title and not enough control over the layout to keep me happy. But I’m giving it another year (if you keep reading).
I haven’t slept properly for the past four nights and, since I can’t pin the blame on caffeine, stress or much else, I’ve decided that part of the problem might be lack of decent exercise.
The Thursday after the Great North Run, I took myself off up to Scotland for four days alone. I stayed at an incredibly romantic and quite fancy shepherd’s hut (and completely recommend the place). No electricity, so when night started to fall, that was bedtime. After the first day, if I wanted a fire I needed to chop wood; if I wanted water, I had to fetch it from the next field over and slightly up a hill. Point being that even making a cup of tea involved some measure of effort. And I decided, in between reading a lot and writing a bit, to go walking. I bought a map of the area with trails marked on it, and went for a short explore on Thursday evening, and for longer walks on my own (six miles and ten miles each on Friday and Saturday. Sunday was a lazy day involving cake and a dog-sitting for the lovely people I met there).
Three weeks of silence, so here’s a story. It was written very quickly over lunchtime last Friday, as is fitting for the Faber Academy weekly #quickfic challenge. The winner gets a batch of Faber books; second place story goes up on the Faber Academy site with the winning story. Third place isn’t really a place but does, it turns out, get you a nice email from one of the Faber Academy folks letting you know that you very nearly almost scraped in, and that next time you might nudge it. Good enough for me. Below is a screenshot of the picture prompt from the Faber Academy site, and my words. It’s worth heading to the site and reading back through all the winners. A pleasant way to spend some time.
Continue reading “The floor is lava”
First off: sorry to all of you that received an email at the weekend saying ‘new post’, only to find your access blocked. That particular entry is me doing some test runs of the Literary Salmon project that’s due out at the end of next month – I’d forgotten about the notification thing until CM pointed it out to me. (No, I’m not giving you the password.)
Literary Salmon Project 1 is well on its way, though. With a week to go before the hardest work, courtesy of the writers, is finished, we’re ironing out some last bits and pieces of the plan. It is intensely exciting to see it all taking shape; it’s also a bit nerve-wracking. It feels as though Bernie, Jane and I have been talking about this on and off forever, but even when we actually got the thing going, I confess to having some doubts that we’d actually do it. But here we are – and I think the final result is going to be something of which all the project writers can be very proud. I really hope that it’s going to be the first of many such projects.
I keep thinking of subjects for these increasingly sparse blog entries and then deciding that no, that’s too big a subject – I’ll save it and write something longer and more in depth. Maybe I’ll try an essay. Which is not to say I don’t put effort into these posts. I do, but normally all that effort happens over the course of a couple of hours at most. I splurge words on whatever springs to mind, and edit and post soon afterwards. There’s a minimal amount of research involved, but I have, usually, had something to say.
Oh, the bliss of a weekend at home! Which isn’t to say the past two weekends, out and about seeing friends, at weddings, having fun, haven’t been brilliant. They have, and now that I’ve run out of solid dates to be travelling across the country I’m missing everyone badly. But all the travelling and visiting and socialising is exhausting and I’ve been badly in need of a couple of days at home.
(Side note – I know there are people waiting for me to do some things for them, and I swear I will get on to those things this week. I just need one weekend!)
Three things this week that have involved stepping out of my comfort zone. First off: after a very kind offer of feedback on some of my poems a few weeks ago, I finally built up the courage to send three poems to my old uni tutor. I’m discovering that there’s varying levels of fear when it comes to putting things out into the world:
So earlier I posted a review (oh fine, ‘rave’) of The Good Son, which I enjoyed writing so much that I’m considering actually paying more regard to the title of this blog in future and doing a few more ‘Books I bloody love’ entries. Especially at the moment, while I’m somewhat nostalgic and rereading the Asimov Dragon Books series, and reciting the Thunder poem from Thunderwith on a loop in my head, like it’s an earworm. Meantime, though, this has been a week of Happenings, the biggest one being that I turned 33. I admit to dreading it. Continue reading “Age cannot wither her, except it has.”
Three weeks and an election later. Sorry. I forget, sometimes, that this blog is how my family keep track of me when I’m being the worst daughter in the world and failing to call them. (You can tell when that happens because I swear more in the entries.)
When I finally did speak to my mum she berated me, mildly, for not doing some sort of update here on the past couple of weeks, which did include a weekend trip to London and catching up with old friends and this fantastically chilled dog called Buzz that lives with one of them and the game-changing workshop with AL Kennedy that means I’ll never be quite so inept at talking in front of an audience again, and the always-emotional London marathon (nothing better than giving jelly babies to people staggering through their 5th hour of running and watching them perk up). And there was another weekend that involved walks and a slightly crap picnic. Continue reading “On the flipside”