We live in very shallow times, and the emptiness of the political and social discourse at the moment, entirely deprived of any depth, idea, imagination or creativity, genuinely depress me.
I am currently working on my third novel The Right Place, and have stocked up on nature writing volumes, thinking that they would be the best inspiration for me, as I want The Right Place to be some kind of a rural noir story set in Dorset. To my surprise though, in between a few pages of tales of exploration of wild places, I have found myself reading some Oscar Wilde - I am the happy owner of a fab volume of Wilde's Plays, prose and poems. And right now, I am re-reading The Portrait of Dorian Gray, elements of which had already found their way in my second novel, The Book of Thoth.
Wilde's writing is incredibly modern, and his understanding of human nature devastatingly accurate. It is my opinion that he should be studied by secondary school pupils, whose awareness of the human condition nears zero.
Of course, Wilde is eminently quotable, but two days ago, I was struck by the following passage, which basically sums up my philosophy in life.
Right, time to get ready for tomorrow's Bridport Vintage Market - it's going to be a cracker! You can see Arcane Publishing's stock for this event HERE.
Of course, there was no money to be earned as a music journalist and I was paid in free CDs and entry to gigs...
Since I stopped writing about music to concentrate on my own creative efforts, things have changed rather a lot: venues are closing, alternative cultures have all but disappeared and London is now too expensive, bland, corporate and artificial.
I left London and the South East over two years ago and am comforted in the fact that I have made the right decision each and every time I return to the city: it's now nightmarishly over-overcrowded and seems to have been taken over by shiny people whose only hobbies are food an drooling over their mobile phones.
But I will always remain a music fan. True, I miss going to gigs whenever I want to. True, the music scene down in Dorset is not exactly edgy. But we didn't come here for the music, did we?
So the gig yesterday at one of our old stomping grounds, The Electrowerkz, was a special treat, even though it involved 6 hours stuck in traffic several times in 28 degree celsius (whose idea was it to wear a vintage dress with long-ish sleeves, eh?).
We were treated to three excellent bands (apologies for the bad quality of pictures, our little camera doesn't cope well with low light and movement...):
newcomers Randolph and Mortimer (from Sheffield, much like another of my favourites, The Mighty Sieben) gave us a brilliant instrumental set full of influences. The perfect warm-up for what was to come!
I always listen to quite a lot of Cubanate as it is the perfect soundtrack to an exercise session (it makes you lift those weights!). Contrary to Matt ArtPix (whose blog about the gig you can find HERE), I had never seen Cubanate live, and I was really impressed by the high-energy set and Marc Heal's intense presence (although he moved so much that I just couldn't get a good photo! :-( ).
Now, finally seeing PIG live was quite something. Frontman Raymond Watts and guitarist and En Esch are both true legends of the industrial scene, having played in bands and worked in music since the 80s. The stage looked too small for them, and small room seemed to struggle to contain all that energy! Someone books them again in a larger venue, please!
Watts' stage persona is fabulous, dramatic and pitch perfect - and that voice! What a performer!
As I enter yet another very busy period with the day job(s), it will be a while until I post again on here...
So it's going to be yet another intermission before I return to the novel...
I believe that a writer is first and foremost a reader. As I resume work on my third novel The Right Place, set in rural Dorset, I seek inspiration from other authors and have now acquired copies of books I have wanted to read from a long time.
I bought them at Bridport's fantastic independent bookshop, The Bookshop.
Chapter three of The Right Place is slowly taking shape... Still in its very raw, badly composed version, but I will get there... It takes so many hours, even days to get a satisfactory version of what you want to say!
And then you always have to leave it for a bit and come back to it to reshape it again!
But it is good to be back writing!
An avid reader since the age of 5, I don't think I have ever been that long without reading a book.
During the February holidays, I started Robert Macfarlane's The Wild Places, and then... nothing until this week.
I am on a mission to correct this...
I have just finished the terrific Zoe Heller's Notes on a Scandal.
I am going back to The Wild Places now, and I have also ordered a few books I've wanted to read for ages... More on that soon...
I am working on the opening chapter of my third novel today and will start chapter two tomorrow...
I have started to feel like a writer again... At last!
I have finally finished the assignment I have been on since early January - very early starts and a lot of driving around have been stealing my energy...
I am now ready to get back to what I love doing best: write books, find new stock for the Arcane Publishing second-hand book stall and walk around the beautiful Dorset countryside to find inspiration for my writing.
I will be able to post more regularly over the next three months or so, especially updates about the progress of the first draft of The Right Place which has been dreadfully abandoned over the past few months...
Today, I went for a walk down the Portland Beach Road to take pictures of the very pretty pink flowers which spread out over the pebbles on the side of the road: thrift, or Portland Pinks.
Ironically, as everything is kicking off before the next round of European Elections, Portland is full of colourful vans sporting the logos of national sailing teams from all around Europe and a mixture of languages can be heard being spoken. We didn't even know about it (!): Portland is hosting a very big sailing competition, the European Sailing Championships, which are an important step towards selection for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo!
Spring has arrived in Dorset, and I am on holiday...
After a very intense three months working in a very busy environment, it really is bliss to just go out and find oneself in the gorgeous Dorset countryside.
I am trying to reconnect with nature and with words, and I hope to start writing again at some point over the summer.
I hope to go out and get as much inspiration as possible in the next few days...
Lambs have started to appear... Next week should be good in the fields around here!
I think therefore I write.
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