Saturday, May 03, 2008


So, sometime next week I have to spend lots of time lounging around Waterstones with piles of animal psychology/behaviour books and Earl Grey. Oh it’s a hard life indeed; my very bad guy from the Josie & Rita novel is going to be some kind of expert on both. I’ve just been reading Susan Hill blogging about writing in cafes, but there’s no need for me to report on Costa because it’s the same all over and everyone knows that Waterstones is Paradise.

Interesting week coming up then, and TopCat is going into heat, see the vibrating tail! She’s vocal again, and rubbing herself on anything that’s not flat; my old shoes; bags; tables; my feet; and don’t forget the galloping through the flat in the middle of the night, leaping across me in my bed, up onto the windowsill above my head, THUMP, down again. For a little cat she makes some noise landing on the floor. Also, I’m planning on getting her a collar and lead; she’s never seen another animal (except my grandchildren) and I want to see what she thinks of grass – when the weather is warmer of course.

I got lots of bits of work done in work last night; been taking The Writer’s Workbook in with me. I buy these books and don’t use them, so now I’m giving myself a real slap – this is a good workbook, with some great ideas for writing…I think I’ve had it a year and barely looked in it.. Here are two exercises with potential:

‘Keep a travel journal for a week. Detail every journey you make. Include maps and illustrations, snapshots or sketches. Talk about the souvenirs you bring back, like fluff from a carpet. Make the smallest, most banal or disgusting detail amusing and alive.’

‘Describe a barn as seen by a man whose son has just been killed in a war. Do not mention the son, the war or death. If worked hard enough, a wonderful image will be evoked, a real barn would stand before us but one filled with mysterious meaning. And another of his suggestions: a lake as seen by a young man who has just murdered his girlfriend. Do not mention the murder or the girl.’ (This is from John Gardner 1984) Change gender if you want of course [me].

This book has been catching my eye all week, from the bottom of a pile on the unit. Already I’m thinking of the travel journal and am cleaning out the camera, rubbing my eyes and preparing my lazy self for an onslaught of writing practices.

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