Thursday, September 14, 2006

Conf 249: Water & Horses

Fiddling is over, and the MS has gone to agent. I suppose I could have e-mailed it by return, but it seemed better manners to print and post. But then I worried about it getting lost amongst all the other submissions, so I wrote REQUESTED MATERIAL on the envelope and attached a copy of the e-mail. But then didn't enclose SAE thinking he'll bin it if he doesn't like it & will e-mail if he does, but then afterwards wondered if I should have.

Have been busy with work work, up till midnight last night as had to surrender computer for homework in the afternoon. Got VERY grumpy. It's getting to stage where we will have to buy a second computer and do all that scary wireless stuff. Then the arguments start, I want a laptop, partner says desk ones are a better buy as less likely to go wrong. I can't justify the mobility argument as I never go anywhere.

Writing that makes me spit with envy:

Have just finished Carol Shields' Unless. A book about a writer writing about a writer. Yum. Noted this handy hint:

'I passionately believe a novelist must give her characters work to do. Fictional men and women tend, in my view, to collapse unless they're observed doing their work, engaged with their work, the architect seen in a state of concentration at the drafting table, the dancer thinking each step as it's performed, the computer programmer tracing a path between information and access... ...I've read novels about professors who never step into the classroom. They're always on sabbatical or off to a conference in Hawaii. And artist-heroes who never pick up a paintbrush, they're so busy at the local café, so occupied with their love life or their envy or their grief. Does the brilliant young botanist with the golden back-swept hair, one wisp loose at her neck, wander up a grassy hillside and fill her pockets with rare species? No, we see her only after work or on weekends when she goes to parties and meets young novelistic lawyers who have no cases to work on, no files, no offices, no courtrooms in which to demonstrate their skills. That husky young construction worker does all his sexual coupling bewteen shifts... ... Just once I'd like to see him with the pneumatic drill hammering against his body, shaking him stupid. But what if the novelist is a Yale grad, and his father before him? What would he know about how that drill kicks and jumps and transfers its nerves into the bones and belly of a human being? We might see the poor guy reach out for humanistic understanding, discovering Shakespeare-in-the-Park or French cinema, something like that, but chances are against seeing him work.'

Also love this, from my favourite blog of the moment:

'I can't properly explain why I think about horses when I eat undercooked green beans. Whenever I see a jersey, I think about the way someone once showed me how to put on a duvet cover. Vogel's bread makes me think of the Beatles. The Telegraph is Edinburgh in 1985; red lipstick, thick black headbands; all cats are Chiswick, and fax machines are Irish squirrels. But most importantly, and most regularly, squeaky beans are horses.' Non working monkey.

Mine is raw cabbage, which is Melanie, a drony 70s folk singer.

Bye bye, thanks for visiting, come again soon.


Caroline said...

Hope it all goes well for you.

Love the handy hint. It makes sense. Perfectly obvious, yet it makes sense.


Sharon J said...

That's true what you wrote about characters doing their work. Thinking back, I've always shown mine in the workplace but I haven't consciously thought about it so either I've instinctively known it helps build rounded characters or it's purely coincidental.

Made my way over here via Caroline's blog. Glad I did because, so far, this looks like a blog I'm going to enjoy :-)