So far I haven't heard P-51 Mustangs or Spitfires roar overhead or seen aerial bombs oh-so-glad to go off...but I can say my own war's on the way. I'll explain. On August 2, I'll leave Seattle, Washington, by train, bound for my new place in Tucson, Arizona. The apartment is unfurnished, my personal effects arriving in increments--by movers, mail, and UPS. The absolute essentials I must bring with me by train since I need to hit the ground running when the war begins in Tucson: hunting for a job and continuing my WIP. I've been anything but idle, carefully packing boxes and bags for the movers and mail. I've even set up an advance Tucson delivery address for furnishings from Amazon. A collapsible desk will await me. But till now I felt buffaloed by the vast conundrum: How, with my life in such chaos can I access all my immediate needs--easily and quickly? From flash drives to sun protection shirts, from Moleskines for my WIP to Tucson maps and travel docs, fr
As I may have mentioned, on 1 st January this year I took a leap into the abyss and became a Full Time Writer. This was at once terrifying and thrilling. Yes, I had my well-established freelance writing career, but just as I laid down my other source of income for good, one of my biggest clients changed things around and I haven’t had any work from them since. I got writer’s block for the first time ever while trying to write my third novel. My elderly parents needed even more care and attention which sapped my mental strength and even though I’m a fairly brave and optimistic person, I sat in my Palace of Creativity in the cold, dark days of January thinking to myself, “Ruth, how on earth are you going to make any money?” A fellow writer, the magnificent Sheila Robinson, had mentioned years before that she booked herself a space on local craft and book fairs and sold her books directly to the public. This seemed like a splendid idea. Having spent twenty years running my own comp
Veni, vidi...Wiki! Not long ago I had the all-time greatest Great Idea: one, born of total ignorance, that nearly tanked a novel. As you may have guessed from my opening line, my subject is Julius Caesar. But you might not have guessed from the title that my Great Idea entailed his being reborn as a penis. Don't laugh, please, I beg you. I saw no way around this, even though showing JC as a 'dick' might lead some to think that I've written a spoof. In fact, it's a serious thriller. Without giving the plot away, I can say this: I needed JC's ghost, today, remembering his nights with Cleopatra on her fabled golden barge. There was the heart of my book--a ghost trying for 2000 years to relive that lost boogie with Liz. And I'd begun to run with this when my memory corrected me: Mark Anthony, not JC, was on the barge with Cleo. And this was after JC's death. What the hell was I to do, lacking the good sense to check memory's 'facts
Our previous joint blog (under the same name) went down so well that another three members of the team (Kathleen Jones, Susan Price and Valerie Laws) have decided to share where they work as well. Kathleen Jones - visit website When I moved in with my partner there was nowhere for me to write. It was an old industrial building adapted to the needs of a sculptor who sloshed plaster and clay about and who needed large, draughty spaces to mix toxic chemicals for casting. The living space was basic and cramped. I wanted a quiet room to crawl into with space to think and spread papers around, enough light to read books and sometimes write them. It was quite a problem. But the man wanted me to stay and so he decided to fix up something to tempt me. Up in the rafters, on the top floor of the mill, he made a platform under two big skylights, built in a desk against the slope of the roof with plenty of space for files and a computer. The roof has wond
One of the most galling things about being a writer (apart from the fact that people think we whinge too much; sorry) is that it doesn’t sit too easily with being political. Despite the fact that some of the most massively effective works of literature over the years have been nakedly political – let’s cite The Grapes of Wrath as exemplar to avoid too much argument – the word has been used as a handy catch-all pejorative since time began (so to speak). The only one to get away with it scot free was old Bill Shakes, naturally, because almost by definition He can do no wrong. I’ve never heard of Richard the Third being ‘merely’ a political play, although it was arguably a piece of twisted propaganda for the Tudors. Bertolt Brecht was the opposite. He wrote some of the greatest plays ever put to paper, but he was a communist. Trot out the put-down words. Didactic. Boring. Germanic. Narrow-visioned. 'Mother Courage'? 'Galileo'