Sunday 30 January 2011

like a dog at a bone

It seems to me that if you really like a story, just hammer away at it till it's the shape they want. They meaning the editors. There's a poem about that somewhere. John Donne I think. Only he was referring to something entirely different and probably more important. Yet, my elephants were important to me, and now they've been accepted. Let's hear it for the baggy skinned, bun eating, feet the size of tyres (and some) favourite animal of mine. I have a mantle-piece full of them, as those who follow my every word will know. Ha! As if! Anyway, they were marching up to the manger last Christmas, now they're walking down a village street in post-war England, ready to wow an audience which hasn't seen a circus for a very long time and isn't sure it wants to. Third time lucky. The first rejection was to do with it being unrealistic. OK it was told through the eyes of a donkey (where'd that come from, you might ask; read the story when it comes out and you'll see), so I stopped donkey thinking and made man think instead... and some who know me know my thoughts on that... talk about a reality check... but then his actions seemed unrealistic. Second rejection, tempered with -but we liked it - so I changed his actions too. Anyway, acceptance at last. So hey ho. Off to the bank I go. By the way, there are some sniffers out there who rail at the very idea of (me) writing for money. I nursed for money. I stacked shelves for money, once upon a teen time, and I sing for money. Does that make me a bad person? Answers on a post card please. Or here would do. Can of worms time, perhaps.

Wednesday 12 January 2011


So, because once I played the soprano sax, I now have a clarinet. Christmas present. Those who claim to know all, and in fact don't, told me -the fingering's the same, babe. A doddle. You can do it. Well, it's not, as it happens. And up till now I can get a very nice tone on the lower register but murdering cats on the upper and it's a mind warp thing, cos the register shift key doesn't rack you up to another octave, at least not the one you're expecting. So. Not the same. Not nearly the same. And so many blinking levers. You could drive a plane with all those levers. Not to worry. Perseverance is my middle name. My writerly friends can tell you that I stick like dog do to any project till Ive seen it through. However long it takes. Though not a button accordion. I gave that up. After a year. Is there a Clarinet and Accordion Shelter anywhere? Ebay probably. Back to the easier task of shaping Megan so that they love her to bits and can't wait to put her in a book and shelve her. Shelve her? That can't be right. Isn't the English language a marvellous puzzle!

Monday 10 January 2011

the ghost is dead

So this is how it goes. Major storyline now surgically removed from Megan's story. Not quite as painful or traumatic as I thought and after three weeks agonising over it just sat down and did the darned things cos that's what you have to do. Less is more. And I think it is more.
Meanwhile off to uni to teach a semester in creative writing, off to school to teach eight year olds creative writing and tell some stories to little munchkins in first and second year primary. Also just talked myself into taking a week and recording some new material with ace guitarist Tony. At least, that's the plan as long as our friends who own that nice cottage near the sea can spare it for five days. Crikey, can't believe I've initiated this! But I can feel songs just ready to go, having been buried catacomb-like. If you want to know about the ghost well maybe that's Megan, book 2. But let's just get this one sorted first. Time to spell check. Hiya France. How're you doing? You OK? Happy new everything to you all, where ever you are. And my resolutions come tumbling down cos, well they were built on shifting sand. As always.