There was a quote at the end of the Start the Week podcast. Q. “Why are you not unhappy?" A. "The time I have left is to precious for that?”
Spot on. I have become a year older this week. 37. How did that happen?
Actually it was the Start the Year podcast it being the beginning of January and all. I was listening to the podcast as I was doing my shopping. I am up to speed now on the problems of the year ahead - China, America, the credit crunch, Hilary Clinton, Obama, world flu pandemic and so on.
Podcasts were a new thing for me last year.
And already, for this year, the BBC have launched the iPlayer. You can watch and download BBC programmes onto your computer. As I was working over Christmas this is a good thing. I sat here, where I am now, and watched Dr Who and Extras.
And I write here, email manuscripts and stories, work through corrections, listen to the radio, watch the snooker. I might never actually have to speak to anyone again.
As this has been the year of Facebook this might be true.
I wrote the last line to ‘The Penguin Variations’ on my birthday and immediately I wasn’t happy with it. You would hope it would be a good feeling to get to the end of something but it isn’t. All you do is somehow feel it is not good enough.
So already I have gone back to rewriting. Over the past two days I have been working on chapter one. I read the first page of J.M. Coetzee’s ‘Slow Man’ to help me. That starts with a bike accident. There is an accident at the end of chapter one of ‘The Penguin Variations’.
Coetzee is a fabulous writer. That’s what I’d like to be like. To write so simply but so well. I think that’s why finishing something makes you sad. Because you realise you’ll never be that good.
I hope Me and Mickie James does well. I’d like to be able to write more. Although, in fact, I do write every day. I mean write more in terms of go to work less.
I don’t want to be adorned with diamonds but I would like to have handfuls of pencils and the time to sharpen them.
I had an idea for a new book this week. It will be called ‘The Submariners Artificial Banquet’. But it’s quite sad so I don’t know that I’ll write it. Perhaps someone could write it for me if I tell you what it’s about?
There’s a new story too this week, called the ‘Bwindi Impenetrable Forest’. It’s a real place and really does have gorillas in it.
And I believe there are still places up for grabs at the Writing Industries Conference where you can meet writing people, make contacts, speak to agents and so on. I shall be there talking on a panel about commercial fiction.
Perhaps next week I should go back to writing about something in these blogs. I just seem to meander....
Currently reading - Don Quixote. (I’m now on book 2. It gets better and better.)
Currently listening to - Control Soundtrack album