A little bit late, but I wanted to put on here images of a few of the things we found at the Battlesbridge antiques centre last Sunday. One cannot buy highbrow literature all the time!
I am very excited by the literary festival that will take place a 15 mn walk away from my house in July: the Shorelines literary festival.
The sea, books, writers... Some of the things that keep me going...
The blurb for the festival is as follows:
"The World's First Literature Festival of the Sea"
‘A small, powerful, intelligent and thought-provoking festival celebrating some of the great writing across the ages that has the sea as a central theme. Curated by acclaimed writer, poet and performer, Lemn Sissay and artist and writer, Rachel Lichtenstein. To provoke discussion, re-awaken senses, excite the adventurous spirit and discover new and classic texts about the sea.'
Let's hope it gets properly advertised!
Download the programme here: http://www.metalculture.com/images/shorelines.pdf
I am positively jubilant today as I have received the ink cartridge my printer desperately needs.
Literary agents beware: "I Am a Muse" is coming your way! I hope you like it...
Who knows, one might rescue it from the rubbish bin one day as it happened to JK Rowling's rejected Harry Potter manuscript... Not that I would end up like her, earning so much money she doesn't even know what to do with it and having to turn into a brand...
No, all want is to get published and to be able to write more books in the future!
I have now finished the fabulous "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" and am about to start on "The Suspicions of Mr Whicher" by Kate Summerscale.
I haven't done any work on my book for ages now. Unfortunately, I am not the type of person who can write for an hour and then leave things as they are until the next time I can find another 30mn to spare.
In order to work on a book, I need peace, quiet and a lot of time so I can immerse myself in the story, the characters, etc.
I am now impatient to start again.
I have now ordered a new cartridge and cannot wait to receive it, so I can start sending I Am a Muse to agents...
Everything is in the hands of an Internet company... They are supposed to do next day delivery but somehow I doubt this will happen...
Everything is going so slowly these days... Too slowly!
Author Sofi Oksanen to dowdy female Radio 4 presenter who had just asked her to describe her hair for the listeners, because "she would stand out in a crowd *nudge nudge - you're a bit weird, aren't you?* and has been described as the Lady Gaga of literature (my comment: by lazy, ignorant journalists)":
"I am an author. I am here to talk about my work. My hair is not my work." and this followed by what I would imagine was a killer look to the *embarrassed dowdy presenter who stammered and quickly changed the subject*
Good on you, Miss Oksanen.
We would have liked to hear more about her writing and her work, but it all lasted about 5 minutes and half of it was about this writer's "fame" and appearance. Dumbing down, lack of respect? Aargh.
The author's website: http://www.sofioksanen.com/
Maybe somewhat related: At the station this morning, a nice-looking Eastern European girl, with make-up, nice dress and heels was buying her train tickets. I was just behind her. As soon as she left, the employees at the ticket office (a bloke and a 50 or 60 something woman) started bitching about her. I couldn't hear very well and I am glad I couldn't. But basically, they were saying things like "that's what Southend is for you nowadays" and "she'd be lucky to get out alive", etc. I am glad I didn't hear fully what these two saddos were saying. It made me feel awful, really.
Time for the London Slutwalk, don't you think? http://www.slutwalktoronto.com/
(update Monday 16th May: Read this morning the rather sickening article written by one Minette Marin of the Sunday Times. I would have three words: UP YOURS, MARIN)
I love Saffron Walden. (http://www.saffronwalden.gov.uk/)
It is awfully marvellous and dreadfully genteel, but I can do this as well as awesomely edgy stuff if I want to, variety is the spice of life!
It offers gorgeous architecture, great charity shops (for clothes, shoes, objects and books), lovely parks, some art galleries (among them the increasingly popular Fry Gallery (http://www.fryartgallery.org/), a market full of fantastic bargains and for cake lovers, the most amazing display of cakes I've seen on a market place, and it is a walking distance away from the fabulous Audley End house - do as we did, walk there at the end of the afternoon, when everyone has gone.
The house appears all of a sudden, wrapped up in all its greenery, and if it were not for the cars going along the busy road to Cambridge, you wouldn't be able to determine which era you are in. It is so peaceful, so refreshing... (http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/audley-end-house-and-gardens/)
I was there on Saturday (apologies, I had previously wirtten in on Sunday), and I am going back very soon! I am sure we have missed a few things...
Also, there are antiques shops. One of our favourite ones has now disappeared (oh the disappointment, it had the bestest piles of Picture Post magazines!) but the other two establishments we like so much are still there: Arts Decoratifs (http://www.artsdecoratifs.co.uk/)
and the fabulous Lankester Antiques and Books at The Old Sun Inn, full of pictures, magazines, books, ceramics, bits and bobs, all filling in large, evocative rooms...
It is at the Lankester antiques and books that I bought the 18 volumes of the Charles Dickens Library, 1910, the lot for £25... It includes a biography of the author and the Charles Dickens picture book!
I love old books. Holding them, reading them brings back the era in which they were published. They are usually beautifully made, sometimes richly illustrated. You always feel that you are holding a little bit of history, and if you start thinking about the people who might have read them (yes, I have a lot of imagination, this is why I love history, visiting monuments, castles, ancient cities... Because my mind can travel in time...) you can go all giddy...
I have nothing against technology and I am happy to use it when it serves a purpose, but I have to say that the feelings you get from old books cannot be recreated with an e-book.
I wish I could say that I am furiously working away on "The Book of Thoth", but I'm not. Some unplanned corporate work has come in and in my situation, can't really say "no". It's dull, mindblowingly so. The only thing good thing about it apart from the invoicing that takes place at the end of it is that it gives me a glimpse of another world, one in which people are mere robots without a brain... Some bits of the stuff I have to translate are downright frightening...
In other news, I am still trying to recover from watching the fabulously twisted TV drama The Crimson Petal and The White. This was the bestest costume drama ever. I am a big Victorian era student, and am still harbouring the hope that I will one day enroll for Birkbeck college's MA in Victorian studies. The people we see in the drama, with their frustrations, warped sense of relationships, vile instincts, etc. are exactly what I am interested in. I want to write and study the misfits of the era, the outlaws, the ones who didn't live according to the values of the time. I want to go under the skin of Victorian society and find its dark side... And I want to show how inbedded in our society those values still are...
A lot of scenes and topics were incredibly uncomfortable and I congratulate the makers of the series for being so daring while making a mainstream drama.
In The Crimson Petal... everything is fantastic: the acting, the camera work, the colours, the haunting music (have to find out more about it!)... And I am getting my hands on the book in the forthcoming weeks!
I have also spent a lot of time helping out my boyfriend with his venture, Matt ArtPix. It is exciting and worrying at the same time... It is a lot of work and effort, but we are hoping to expand from small "hobby" project to full-blown business one day... With a shop, a publishing company, why not?
We just love plotting and that's what we do.
I think therefore I write.
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