Friday, September 02, 2011

Holiday Reads

Holidays are a good time for reading and so far this holiday I have read two novels and I am now half way through a third one. The first two were crime novels - Kathy Reichs and Ian Rankin - relatively easy reads. The book that I am reading now is the surprise hit though. It is called "The History of Love" and is by Nicole Krauss. It was a spur of the moment purchase at the local charity shop just a few days before we came away. I was desperate for books that I could take away and leave behind once I had finished. This is a book I might take home again though - it is an original story and beautifully written.  It is a joy when one comes across a treasure like this by chance. The story is too complicated to explain here and I wouldn´t do it justice as there are several plot threads and the story is complex but if you are interested then you can look inside here

Monday, May 30, 2011

A non-literary post about notebooks and writing

On hearing that the new copy of The Rialto would be hitting my doormat any day I now, I decided that maybe it was time I finished reading the last copy. I tend to dip in and out of journals and sometimes they end up sitting in a pile somewhere for a while before I read them properly. In his editorial introduction to Rialto 71 Michael Mackmin describes how he has piles of notebooks dotted around his house. Me too I was shouting (in my head of course!). 
I am a compulsive buyer and hoarder of notebooks - I have little heaps waiting to be used. I am fickle with them too - I don't just use one notebook at a time. I have one A4 on the go, which is where I try and write my morning pages and then I have two or three smaller ones of differing sizes that I take out with me. I go for nice covers these days (I'm sure notebooks were plainer when I was younger) - but I don't like them too pretty or girly or with things stuck on.  My current favourites have some kind of groovy retro owl print on their covers.  If there was ever some kind of disaster I would have enough notebooks to keep me going for ages; and there is no way they would get used as toilet paper either: take the novels first!  It strikes me as odd that they never have a character obsessively writing in a notebook in post-apocalyptic dramas like Survivors. I would be scribbling away in the corner every chance I got.  
I have always written - I wrote as a child, I obsessively wrote (bad) poetry through my teens, in my twenties I wrote a collection of short stories and more (bad) poetry. I have written on hillsides in Devon, in pubs and cafes, in other people's houses, in cars and on trains, in communes, in bed, in Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, Italy, France and Greece.  For me it hasn't been about the audience - although now I finally am getting one that's nice too - I would write whether I had one or not, hence all the notebooks, I am a writer through and through.