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2 Apr

Something happened. And I want to tell you about that something, only I’m having trouble working out how to tell you what I have learned from that something, without the other people who were around being able to read anything into it. Do you know what I mean? Even though I have separated myself and don’t want to make any judgement – good or bad – about anyone else, just by reflecting on myself, it will appear as if I’m reflecting on other people too. Get it?

I’m particularly sensitive about it all, because in the aftermath of that something, I said something hoping to have one effect, but causing another. Tried to do a good thing, but made things worse.

Words are such tricky things.

Sometimes you think they are diamonds, but they are really shards of glass.

And howcome they sometimes don’t reveal their form until they have left you and reached someone else?

I suppose it’s the kind of experience that, at some time or another, will wrap itself in a cloak of fiction and present itself to the world. But I’m not in fiction-writing mode at the moment. I’m doing memoir.

Which, of course, causes me to reflect constantly on which parts of which of my stories I tell. I’m at the point now where I’m comfortable with the lines I’ve drawn. It’s about me and my dad and my mum, and sometimes me and my grandfather, so I’m trying not to mention other people at all, though the mister gets a guernsey, and the lads do feature. That means that it’s incomplete in some senses, that my parents are represented only from my point of view. But in memoir, as I’ve discovered, all of those decisions are a trade-off of some kind of another.

Anyhoo, I’d best be getting on if anything at all is going to be finished anytime soon.

This is really only half a blog post, isn’t it?


Another way of looking at it

25 Mar

He says: ‘Mum, ever since you’ve got that computer you’ve just been living on it.’

I reply: ‘I’m trying to get my book written, I need to work really hard on it, otherwise I will never finish it.’

He asks: ‘What’s this one about?’

I tell him: ‘It’s a memoir…’

He interrupts: ‘Oh, so it’s like your memories?’

I say: ‘Sort of.’

He is perceptive: ‘So it’s about Denis, right?’

I say: ‘Yes, and some other people.’

Eagerly: ‘Me? Am I in it?’

Thinking quickly about how I’m going to answer it: ‘Well, I don’t want to write too much about you and your brother…’

Interrupting (again): ‘Because we’re not memories, right?’

Warning: reading this post may change your life

8 Mar

Menus doesn’t rhyme with Venus.

And on the way home we got rained on

14 Aug

Did you know that there is a Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre? Neither did I. But there is.

These dudes, Clewis Productions seem to be associated with it, and we went to their Roald Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes which was as much fun as you would hope it would be. The more I read and listen to his work (which is a lot around these parts these days), the more I am struck by the enormity of Roald Dahl’s storytelling talents.

Also, watching this performance with my newly-formed performer’s eyes, I was in awe of their ability to take volunteers from the audience and give them such substantial roles. Unpredictability, she be frizwiggling to me.

Rhymes with…

27 Jul


but not maternity, paternity or modernity

got anything?

English as she is spoke

25 May

They are playing Poptropica again and when they ‘customise’ their avatars, my little boys say ‘costume-ise’.

A short rant

22 May

One thing giving me the shits is this whole ‘oh, look at twitter, isn’t that amazing? All these people writing things in 140 characters or less.’

Brevity is nothing new, peeps. Haiku, anyone?

And shock. Brevity nurtures wit. Really? Oscar Wilde, anyone? Dorothy whatshername?

Look, I wouldn’t be so fussed, but some dude has just signed a five figure deal to publish a book of people’s tweets (I’m not linking to him or any of the articles about him because he doesn’t need me to and because then he’ll think I’m just trying to get his attention so he’ll put me in his next book) and that has tipped me over the edge. Don’t get me wrong. Twitter is fun and all, it’s just that brevity is not a literary revolution.

I dunno, maybe I should be happy that there is a revised and revived interest in poetry…I just wish they’d stop pretending it was all amazing and new.

On a not-unrelated note, this twitter-facebook status crossover is not entirely successful, because twitter asks, ‘what are you doing’ while facebook asks ‘what’s on your mind’?*

It makes for imprecision and imprecision is what poetry is not.

To my mind, the day that Facebook caved to populism and shed the old ‘ThirdCat is…’ civilisation lost a lot.

Now, if you’ll excuse me I’ve got a sense of perspective to find.

*UPDATED TO ADD: I didn’t really explain myself properly there, it’s only a problem when you’re getting twitter updates automatically sent to update fb statuses, because then you’re answering different questions with the same answer. Anyway, look, a friend has just emailed to tell me I’m losing the plot and has suggested that I (and here I paraphrase) forget about it.