I started this blog just about a year ago because I was relishing the thought of my forthcoming two month stay in the Languedoc and thought it might be a good idea to document that and to go on and write a hundred posts that somehow documented my pre-occupations in what I thought would be an interesting year. I didn’t know whether I would last out but here we are and this is the hundredth post.
The outcome is a book-length text that somehow does document the year – including that endless and too short time in France. Every day there made me reflect on my life and the work I was doing there – posts like sounds not of silence. So now I invite you to join me as I revisiting my posts on a writer's mindset on the house in France and the cafe where I watched and wrote and the joy of beginning and working on the novel that has become STARR BRIGHT and the amazement there in the Maison d’Estella of the first sight of the newly published Woman Who Drew Buildings (now out in paperback) I could not keep off the subject The Miracle of The Woman Who Drew Buildings. Then back to Starr as she climbs a wall. And thinking about Starr again in research leading down strange pathways.
My posts reflect the inspirations of great people – in the flesh and on the page - Mary Davies who inspired The Woman Who Drew Buildings; Sylvia Hurst whose life was more extraordinary than any novel ; the late Julia Darling, indeed a darling of the Northern writing world, my own Angus who is always an inspiration, and John Fowles; and Jane Yolen; Alan and Nira Chidgey. And the sparky and dynamic Easington writers whose book Shrugging Off The Wind will be launched with balloons and rip roaring readings just this Saturday coming (Obviously that will be worth its own special post) .
And threaded through all this are posts that reflect elements of my own life from my occasionally troubled childhood onwards. There are also also many posts on my sometimes idiosyncratic and obsessive views on writers , the process of writing and aspects of syntax and language - both from a practitioner and mentor’s point of view.
It being World Book Day today I have the thought that I might make a book of all this – a ‘How To Write’ book with a difference. What do you think?
One unexpected joy of the blog has been that need for images to support the prose and to give the reader some colour. So I had to teach myself to take (not very expert) photographs. I have to admit I see these as writer’s notes rather than works of art. But they have been a joyous bonus of writing the blog . So I offer here – in no particular order – some of the hundreds of photos this blog has taught me to value for their own strange selves. .