Monday, June 15, 2009

Stuck at the desk, out and about and busy with the hoover

Not sure why I haven't been blogging much in the last few days - ah, yes, I remember, I was writing a story. On Friday I was so immersed in it and tensely intent on getting it finished I typed from nine in the morning until six in the evening and ended up with a hideous RSI shoulder to add to my bad ankle.

Ah well. You have to suffer for your art...

And then the really nice things happen. On Friday too I was invited to read in Prague - a city I love! - for Alchemy Prague, the writing community which I know Clare Wigfall (The Loudest Sound and Nothing) was involved with when she lived there. Couldn't make it before Christmas, however, so I'm reading there in February, and so looking forward to it!

And then last night I discovered this lovely comment about Balancing on the Shelf Life blog:
I'm still under the spell of Elizabeth Baines's short story collection Balancing on the Edge of the World, which I finished last night. These stories are very short, but hypnotic--I found they definitely transported me to another world. Sometimes that other world was the world of a child's mind--those stories were particularly good.
It's just so wonderful when someone says they've been affected like that by your writing. I'm sure you never stop feeling thrilled when it happens.

What else have I been doing? Well, on Saturday evening I was hobbling up and down the old warehouse stairs in the Rogue artist's studio for their open evening. I really should get out more. I had been invited by Jen Orpin, whose stunning paintings of the sea horizon in Williamstown, Australia bowled me and John over, but there was also new work to see by other artists I know: David Gledhill whose still, haunting paintings of suburbia so conjure for me a period in my teenage years when I lived on one of those housing estates, Jackie Wylie with her fascinating knitted pieces, and some photos which leave Tracy Emin's latest exhibition looking a bit tame by a photographer we once featured in the short story mag Metropolitian, Sue Fox. And I bumped into an old writer friend there: Julia Brosnan, who is now part of the cabaret production company, Mish Mash. Their latest show will be at the Bury Met on 18th June, 8.30 £5.00, 0161 761 2216.

And then on Sunday I cleaned, because we're having visitors later this week and also the place was filthy after my writing stint. What is this thing with homes, and the way they become so chaotic when you're writing? Surely, if you're stuck away at your desk everything else should stay perfect and untouched? But then of course there are those forays to the fridge when you leave the stuff out on the table because you've just got to get back to it, and the unwashed pots for ditto reason, and the clothes you don't hang up but leave lying about because your head is just somewhere else and can't accommodate the here and now, and all the other stuff you just drop on the floor instead of putting away... etc etc

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