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Showing posts from October, 2008

Talk talk

I did a marathon library-working session on Friday - four hours in my usual branch followed by five hours in a smaller one, and it struck me afterwards how different the staff conversations were in each.
In library A there're a lot of us - ages ranging from twenty-two upwards (I'm the twenty-two year old in case you were wondering.) A couple of sample conversations from Friday:
1) "If we still lived in Victorian times, I wonder what we'd all be doing?" "You'd have several children by now." "I'd have died in childbirth." "We'd be upper-class, so I wouldn't be working. I'd have servants." "I'm going to marry a rich man." "Why?" "Why not?"
2) "I've got this great recipe - melt a 400g chocolate bar, put it in a baking tin crumble four chocolate digestives in, no more than four or it goes wrong, add two bags of white chocolate buttons and two bags of maltesers - or you could make it he…

Lovely Booky-book

I received my copy of Della Galton's How to Write and Sell Short Stories in the post today. I was very excited. I love new books. Especially ones containing Knowledge.

Actually, I was lucky enough to sell another story to Take a Break this week, so at first I shouted, "Pah! Advice? Moi? What was I THINKing?. Ay'm a fully- fledged short story writer now, donchya know? Children! Peel me some more grapes!" (As if)

Then I got over myself, and had a flip through. I'll sit down and read it properly over the weekend, but I can see already that it's jam-packed with tips, wisdom, advice and inspiration from one of the most prolific short story writers in the UK, and is a great tool to have in your writing belt (ooh, hark at me. Haven't a clue what I'm on about.) Highly recommended.

More importantly, it looks pretty. And SMELLS great! Does anyone else sniff new books like an addict? No?

O-kay. Neither do I...

And the award goes to...

...ME! (and lots of other people.) Thank you lovely Debs in your cosy shed.
I was going to post something meaningful about the novel that won the Man Booker Prize and ask if anyone had read it/was planning to read it, or mention the fact that it's Blog Action Day (the subject this year is Poverty) but it's been covered beautifully on several other blogs, so I figured...I know. I'll talk about me. Don't all fall asleep at once.

The rules of the award state that the following questions must be answered in one word (they don't all have to be true do they?)
1. Where is your cell phone? Heaven
2. Where is your significant other? Wardrobe
3. Your hair color? Forgotten 4. Your mother? Camilla 5. Your father? Charles
6. Your favorite thing? Cake 7. Your dream last night? Incomprehensible 8. Your dream/goal? Immortality 9. The room you're in? Hot 10. Your hobby? Taxidermy 11. Your fear? Incontinence 12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Outside
13. Where were you last night? String…

Outraged of Tunbridge Wells

Occasionally a library book will upset a customer due to its, ahem...content. I remember an elderly woman shouting about unnecessary references to the male member in what she'd assumed was a harmless story about horses. She thought it should be removed in case it fell into the wrong hands (the book not the male member, for heaven's sake.)
Of course we're not there to make judgements about the stories on them there shelves, but common sense prevails. We're not allowed to stock men's magazines like Zoo and Nuts due to the proliferation of brazen hussies lolling on the covers in frosted lipstick (and not much else), and ex Big Brother contestants talking about getting mobbed in nightclubs and having boob jobs - which is fair enough. But we can hardly go through all the books, scribbling out rude words.
Once, someone kindly stuck a Post-it note inside a book, pointing out various uses of the F-word and which passages to avoid, which was quite thoughtful. Customers have …

Who am I?

Looking back over my WIP, which I haven't done for a while (I've had to wean myself off editing constantly as I tend to get stuck) I was struck by how influenced I seem to be by what I'm reading at the time - and I do read a lot.

My first few chapters reflect the humourous women's fiction I was reading at the time, then I got hold of a couple of psychological thrillers and the style gets darker. After reading a memoir recently I realised I was writing shorter sentences and being all poetic. Literary novels make me lyrical and magazine stories more pithy (love that word).

It's quite confusing and made me think that I should probably stop reading while I'm writing altogether (D'ur!) Maybe I could harness the various influences in a constructive way, but at the moment I'm danger of smothering myself, as it were.

I seem to have lost my Voice.