Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thank you

My mum likes my writing but that's her job - it is indescribably lovely to have encouragement, unprompted, from a perfect stranger. I used to like to do competitions: poetry and short stories. It was another way of testing the waters. I was even shortlisted in one, but now I find them too distracting. I get that building up a writer's CV is considered important by agents, etc. but it's hard enough to find time for my book as it is! The blog is different. When I started my novel, it was all handwritten in a big black notebook and I used to feel compelled to make little notes in the margins about how I was feeling about the plot, the characters, the very business of writing. When I reached page 100 and started typing it all up on the computer, this seemed to be the natural alternative. I quite like the idea of its transcience - web-logging has the potential to prove revolutionary in terms of grass-roots personal history for future generations of social historians, and yet at the same time it's all just molecules of silicon in a chip in a machine, in a room, in a building, in a city. I don't even know where. It could be obliterated at any time at the flick of a switch, not to mention fire, flood...


When Beth & Nicholas Hardiman left the Saturday Guardian's Review section I was (briefly) distraught. I was slightly baffled by the whole incomplete snowman thing but I love the new 'writers' rooms' feature, it has really captured my imagination. I've been thinking that my desk is too small, and too high. Papers and pens migrate down the back of the radiator that it rests against. I spent an hour last week measuring and drawing my ideal desk and my next-door-neighbour is making it for me out of pieces of birch ply that his son brings home from his job at a printing firm. My neighbour is retired and usually makes garden furniture and rabbit hutches but lately he and I have been copying designs from catalogues for dolls' houses and toy boxes and the like. I can't wait to have it. I can't help feeling it will be lucky.

Love A


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