Thursday, 29 March 2012

The second time

I know it's trite, but the second time feels so much better than the first...

string her up on the pomegranate tree

...I think it must be because somewhere inside, I worried that it was a fluke when I first saw my name in print. 

Apologies for my absence; unfortunately I had to read Theodor Adorno's The Culture Industry during the last week of term, and it inspired a spell of nihilism with regards to my work and my blog. The challenge has been to accept that he makes a very good point, but to take it with a pinch of salt so I don't feel like I'm stuck in a Matrix. [Life is meaningful and we are all important, despite the powers that seek to control and repress us!]

I'm going on holiday on Saturday and will return in the middle of next month, hopefully with tons of inspiration and a few stories to tell. Until then, enjoy the beautiful weather if like me you are a surprised and warm Brit, and take care all x

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

String her up on the Pomegranate Tree

I am thrilled to announce that String her up on the Pomegranate Tree has been published in Volume magazine! I am now anxiously awaiting its arrival, with my fingers crossed that it will fit through the letter box...

Volume's launch party for issue 9 was last Thursday in east London, and I'm really annoyed that I couldn't make it, but it sounded like an amazing night and a great success. You can buy a copy of The Girls issue through their website, or wait for the PDF download to be released. 

I have posted an excerpt of the story here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Modernist Alice

Last week I had the opportunity to go to a lecture about one of my favourite childhood books - Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Professor Gillian Beer visited Sussex to give a talk on 'Modernist Alice', about how the Carroll books influenced Modernist writers such as Eliot, Joyce and Woolf, as well as other forms of art and new thinking in that era.

by EyeOfMaharet777 @ dA
It wasn't a mind-blowing reinterpretation of the novel, but it was fascinating to see how the logic, words and images Carroll created ended up spanning so many disciplines and influencing so many great minds. It certainly made me think about this funny and magical children's book in a whole new light, and I'm sure that when I revisit the book in the future, the feeling of awe and wonderment it creates will have another, deeper significance. 

I always worried that digging deeper into the books I love would ruin them for me, but I don't think it is as simple as that. We'll never stop loving the books we love for whatever reasons made us love them in the first place - finding out more about them can show us more reasons to admire them.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Success through self publishing

When a writer wants to publish their work, there is the question of whether to self-publish, or go traditional. There are positives and negatives on both sides, and sometimes one type of publishing will better a suit a writer, for various reasons.

It is not something I have had to personally consider yet, but something a writer-friend of mine said got me thinking about it; she said, 'I don't want to self-publish, it's not really 'making it'.'

I'm sure there are many counter-arguments that could be thrown at her view, but it got me thinking about why she, and probably many other writers, feel this way.

I think it has something to do with the access writers have these days to publication. Perhaps not with novels or drama so much, but certainly with short fiction and poetry, the Internet has opened many doors. Because we have the ability to submit our work more conveniently, and with far more places both online and offline to submit our work to, self-publication can feel like a larger scale version of the lengths we already go to in order to get our writing into the world.
I think it is validation we seek, knowing that we will be accepted into a special 'club', that makes traditional publishing seem like the ideal - it is called 'traditional' for a reason, after all. Hundreds of years of rich literary history have passed through the doors of publishing houses, and although it would be arrogant to assume it puts us on a par with, say, Shakespeare, knowing there is a tenuous connection to great writers can be a real boost to confidence, and aid in that feeling of, 'I've finally made it'. 

I'm not there yet, but I look forward to the day when I have a chunky manuscript on the desk before me, forcing me to choose a fork in the road. Perhaps I'll agonise over the journey ahead, but it will be worth remembering the journey I'll have already been on in order to reach that point. 

I wonder if Shakespeare ever wrote the final line of a play, and before looking ahead to the production at the theatre, took a moment to say, 'look what I've just done,' before he had the crowd's applause to validate it...