Stravinksy saw Spring synonymous with violence and death. Somebody - was it him? - described the sound of the ice cracking on the Volga as being like the slashing of a blade. And then, we have THE RITES OF SPRING, and, of course, Easter, which isn't really about bunnies and chicks, but about a horrendous form of death followed by the myth (or not, depending on your beliefs) of the resurrection. Spring, for me, has always been about death and violence. Yet I was married in Spring, and our two children were born in Spring. Then the man I loved died suddenly, two years ago, in Spring - so for me, it's still a season of high drama, cruelty, death and re-birth. I wonder if Stephen King, or any other horror writer, has ever deliberately set any of their work in early Spring for these reasons?
We have recently lost the incomparable Terry Pratchett, with his gigantic imagination, and the world is a poorer place without him - except that his books live on, and I hope will never go out of print. I've recently been rereading THE SCIENCE OF DISCWORLD, and yes, of course, our planet and its inhabitants are all actually part of an experiment run by the Unseen University - who could doubt it? And in recent months, I've found myself wondering if 'God' isn't a rather unpleasant little cosmic programmer who's decided that we're getting a bit too canny for our boots. People living longer, cures for plagues, and a general feeling that we should be nice to each other and even take care of our planet? Boring, boring, and worrying, too - where is Its place in all this? So It's been stirring things up a bit. Nasty.
Two small, but positive, book-related things have emerged from my unwanted and unloved Spring this year. The first has been the resurrection of one of my children's books I thought had vanished for ever - no, it didn't go out of print, but the publishers dealing with it did what publishers so often do - jumped into bed with each other, divorced, re-wed, then emerged as a different company in a different place. Not one of my favourite cover images, but hey! it will be out next month, so it will be a bit like having a new book out there.
The second has been the unlikely acceptance of one of the stories I produced in response to a really challenging (well, for me) brief. It's set in the Rainforest, has three near-murders, and will be aimed at Years 1-2. As an American might say, go figure.
On the Indie side, I'm still flirting with CreateSpace. A friend of my daughter's won a writing competition with an extraordinary debut Young Adult novel. The prize was publication plus an ISBN by the CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, and she received a large quantity of books to distribute, plus a professional cover image. Exciting, except that her local bookshops refused to stock them, and I'm concerned that the narrow commercial requirements of so many traditional publishers might restrict her chances publishing-wise. She's not a celebrity, and recent publishers' reject cliches seem to have evolved from 'not quite right for our list' into the enigmatic, and infuriating: 'too quiet'.
God/Terry Pratchett/little FW story/research/Spring