A real Renaissance man and my dream library!!!
Great video HERE, just simply amazing... So, so inspiring! That's exactly the kind of person I wanted to be when I was thinking about becoming a lecturer and academic (Yes, I almost did become one... But that's another story).
And go and have a look at the article THE 30 BEST PLACES TO BE IF YOU LOVE BOOKS. I am drooling over it!
This is one of the reasons why I can't do e-books. e-books are so incredibly BORING.
Isn't it marvellous? I am one of those sad, sad people who spot typos/spelling and grammar mistakes everywhere: in shops, in newspaper articles, job adverts, even in the novels I read... (my pet hates: its/it's - whose/who's - there/their - you're/your, plurals with apostrophes... argh!)
And yet, when it comes to my own books and after seven (yes, SEVEN) read through, I have still managed to leave a few stupid things lying about in the I Am a Muse manuscript. This is entirely my own fault, of course, not getting anyone else read the book before sending it to typesetting. Call it arrogance, impatience, whatever!
The truth is, very few people have got the time - and the will - to carefully read through a 300 pages manuscript unless they are paid to do so.
So thank you to Matt ArtPix, who will be giving some of his infinitely precious time over the next few days to read through the book for one last time.
But I have learned my lesson here, and will actually plan properly in advance for The Book of Thoth, which might go to two different people as the manuscript will be so much longer and the plot so much more complicated! Now to find that one extra person (Matt ArtPix will probably have the dubious honour to be the first to read through the book!).
I am planning on finishing the first draft of The Book of Thoth over the summer, with an intense revision and re-writing period between the summer and the beginning of the following year. I am aiming for a Summer 2014 publication for that one.
This is just so true. For me, the writing has to be done at the desk, surrounded by books, pictures, pens and paper, and most of all SILENCE.
But the ideas come to me suddenly, usually when I am outside the flat, staying somewhere else, or at the theatre, an exhibition, walking in the countryside, reading an article or a book. I think stability and familiarity are good for the actual writing process, but change, unusual environments and exploration do stimulate the production of ideas.
I call these "brainwaves" because they do come in waves, and I usually get ideas for several books at the same time.
During my recent stay in North Devon, I woke up at 6.30am and thought about the various ways I could sell/promote my books, then several plot lines for The Book of Thoth materialised in front of my eyes, and then some background biography details for some of the characters in The Right Place appeared out of nowhere.
I have two days of writing in front of me this week. Better make the most of it!
I love working from home, but as I cannot afford a Victorian detached house surrounded by fields just yet - it might come one day *one can always dream* - I just need to escape the lack of space, the neighbours, the constant noise and filth and go some place where nature is Queen, where one can sleep without being disturbed and one is able to get some proper thinking space.
I do this by escaping to Dorset and Devon a few times a year.
This weekend, we fled to Ilfracombe, North Devon, where we have family. It immediately proved rather productive, as I woke up the first morning at 6.30 with ideas for The Book of Thoth and The Right Place pouring into my head - I just HAD to write them down.
First a theatre dubbed "Madonna's Bra", then a logo that looks like a cheeky little sperm has got itself stuck to the letter "i", and now Damien Hirst's hideous Verity statue. Some people really must have something against this slightly downtrodden yet charming Victorian seaside town...
Instead of celebrating and making the most of its fabulous 19th century architecture - it has some of the most impressive houses I've seen - the local authorities seem adamant about imposing their somewhat weird, misplaced vision to bring Ilfracombe up to date with the modern era.
Well. What can I say without being rude? I have quite a lot of things to say about Verity, but I will not voice them on here because 1) this is a blog on which I'd rather waffle on about things I like and 2) what I have learnt by reading other people's blogs and websites is that it is far better not to post anything controversial anywhere on the web. If it makes me a coward, then so be it. I really can't be bothered to start having stupid online fights because I have got a life, like, a real one.
Anyway. Let's say that I find Verity disgusting, but I find anything by Damien Hirst or most other YBA (hello, Tracey!) completely abhorrent anyway. (My own, ignorant-of- the-subtlety-of-the-Art-World opinion, mind). I wouldn't have minded a sword-wielding Amazonian mermaid or a Poseidon-like warlord figure, you know, something related to the sea - hey, the statue is on the HARBOUR . Not a pregnant woman with half her body sliced open. I am used to "alternative", even darkly beautiful, anatomically challenging works of art, but there is a time and a place for it, and I genuinely do not think Ilfracombe harbour is one of them.
It will bring some more celebrity-worshipping tourists, though, which can only be good for the local economy, at least let's hope so.
To forget about Verity, nothing beats two hours at Woolacombe Beach - I would also suggest Saunton Sands a few miles away. Local and visiting dogs will approve. Sadly, we don't have a dog (yet). The wind was crazy and made the rain sting our faces as if thousands of tiny pebbles were being hurled in our direction. We had to abandon ship and walk the other way with the wind behind us. We reached Combesgate Beach as the rain stopped.
Along The Esplanade, we found this abandoned house, The White House. This is a lovely, lovely building in a prime spot. The gate was open, and we climbed up the steps to have a nose... Looking in the ground floor though a window, we could see that the inside was in a sorry state but still salvageable - just. Pictures and furniture were still in place if a little worse for wear - an antiques dealer's dream. The whole house is probably full of great stuff.
At the back of the house, a kind of summer kitchen/scullery was full of books, objects, letters, clothes, all apparently left to rot. How I yearned to unlock the door, get in and explore!
If I had the money, I would buy it, refurbish it and turn it into a writer's retreat.
I'd love to know more about this house, and how on earth such a big, beautiful building in need of a lot of love can stand abandoned like this in one of the most popular places in the country!
Give it to me!
All pictures © Carya Gish
I'm a lucky girl...
My boyfriend's found the complete series of cult series The Persuaders (with loads of extras!). This has been one of my favourites since I was a kid - yes, I did watch it as a kid, being responsible - together with the Avengers and quite a few other things - for my obsession with London and everything British - but I had never seen it in English, and of course, it's even better in the original version!
It makes me happy, somehow.
Thank you, Matt ArtPix! :-)
Some exciting developments here at Carya Gish and Arcane Publishing towers regarding the publication of I Am a Muse. A lot of work to be done in the first few months of 2013, but I am rather thrilled by the way things are looking so far...
I will not say anything as nothing has been confirmed yet... But the wretched thing might finally get published this year!
Watch this space!
Why, BOOKS of course!
Even though my "TO READ" shelves are crumbling under the weight of the volumes I have put on them, here comes another exciting pile of lovely reading material!
Can't wait to get started!
Also, a lovely little booklet entitled Writing London by the rather fab HERB LESTER ASSOCIATES containing an illustrated map and short paragraphs detailing the link between authors and places.
This morning, I woke up with a massive brainwave taking over my thoughts... All of a sudden, I had all those ideas for my third book, The Right Place. So I had to get up and scribble like mad until I had put everything on paper.
I have defined some of my characters a little better and added some details about the background story. More of this, please!
Holidays are definitively good for brain activity.
I found that fantastic extract in The Crimson Petal and The White. This is supposed to be a medical pamphlet the main character, Sugar, finds in the public library's reading room (in 1875). This reminds me of why I am who I am. I am not "healthy wife material", THANKFULLY!
No woman can be a serious thinker, without injury to her function as the conceiver and mother of children. Too often, the female "intellectual" is a youthful invalid or virtual hermaphrodite, who might otherwise have been a healthy wife.
Oh, and another one:
There is no more sombre enemy of good art than the pram in the hall.
I think therefore I write.
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