Showing posts from February, 2020

Notes from a reformed perfectionist: N M Browne

Once upon a time I was a perfectionist. This will come as a surprise to anyone who has known me over the last thirty years. I am untidy, careless, a last minute by the skin of my teeth kind of person, an optimistic, ‘it’ll be all right on the night’ under-preparer.   Long ago, in the days when my hair was long and brown and I’d never heard of anti wrinkle night cream,   I was conscientious, disciplined, ambitious and er teetotal. God, I miss that girl. She would have a clean, well-organised office, a full work schedule and would probably be far too busy doing something important to write a rambling self-indulgent blog.   However,   I can’t entirely regret her demise because, though a small number of brilliant perfectionists publish incredible books, I suspect that most perfectionists don’t publish anything at all – lost in an eternal editing loop: nothing is ever perfect.   I was made very aware of what I’d lost when I was chatting to a friend last night. She is s

Pipeline Theatre London, Stories, Lies and Fake News by Enid Richemont

I'm opening this post with a little publicity for a Pipeline Theatre production, currently on tour. It's called "DRIP DRIP DRIP, and it toured the South-West of the UK last year. Now it has its first London booking, at The Pleasance Theatre, Islington, so I'm hoping London-based followers of our blog will come.  My daughter is an active founder member of the very successful Pipeline collective which has already showcased work in the Edinburgh Festival. It specialises in bringing our attention to difficult and often challenging subjects, and "DRIP DRIP DRIP" is no exception, taking a very hard look at racism in our NHS medical system, especially now, when the UK has split from the European Union, and following every performance there's a discussion panel if you feel like taking part. Pipeline routinely gets excellent reviews, so if you can, please go. Oh, and there's a discount on the ticket for anyone working in the NHS. I was given books for Ch

Are Authors Skilled Enough for Little Britain? - Andrew Crofts

The British Government is currently working out who they plan to allow into the UK to work, following their triumphant disposal of “freedom of movement” after Brexit, and it has made me question whether I am actually of any use whatsoever to my fellow man. If I were to decide to venture out of Britain for any reason, would I automatically be allowed back in? I mean, I guess I would because I was born here and that apparently qualifies me as the sort of desirable person the government wants to protect from foreigners, but do I actually pass any of their other criteria? It is confusing because they say they don’t want any “unskilled” folk. I have to admit that I am entirely unskilled for every practically useful job available in the modern workforce. I have no idea how to work a till, let alone a credit card machine. When I make a bed on my own it immediately looks unmade. I am lamentably ignorant on the best cleaning products for a variety of tasks and I have no idea

When I Have Fears... Rituparna Roy

My writing is born of fear, the fear of failure – always palpable, always present. From 2005-2020, these have been my fears: From May 2005 - Nov 2019: - Will I be able to write fiction? - Will I be able to flesh out the sketches waiting in my desk-drawers for 2 years? - Will I be able to do justice to the lives of the women I’m writing about? - Will I get a publisher for a collection of short stories? - Will my book ever come out? From Jan 2020: - Will my book ( Gariahat Junction ) reach enough people if it’s not available in bookstores? - Will it get reviews? - Will it vanish from the face of the earth in a few months? Most of the fears in the first set were productive. It pushed me into writing fiction – first of all. And then doing all that needed to be done. Write, submit my work to a group, re-submit, edit, revise, submit to journals, get rejected, sometimes get accepted, seek representation over years, get the MS accepted, & finally go through the proces

Come to the Sterkarm Wedding -- by Susan Price

A Sterkarm Kiss by Susan Price '...There had been a lot more dancing, and drinking and eating, and the evening light that came through the door... had flickered into dusk before the fiddlers and the pipers began to play, once more, the tune called 'Come to the Wedding.' As they played, they bore down on Per and Joan, and people cheered and clapped and stamped. It was time that the wedded pair were put to bed...           Mistress Crosar put her mouth so close to Joan’s ear that it tickled, and shouted, “Undo thine garters!”           Joan froze. They were at the back of the dancing hall, near the benches. People were everywhere. How could she pull up her skirts and undo her garters?..           "Oh, come here, lass!” her aunt said, and turned her round, tutting at how slow and clumsy Joan was in moving. Other women gathered round her... The women spread their skirts, blocking the view of other people, while her aunt pulled up Joan’s magnificent sc