Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Things happen

The past couple of weeks have been a blur of things happening. My novel found itself an agent, lovely Karolina at ICM. It all happened so quickly and easily that it was quite unbelievable; after all, we're constantly told how difficult it is to find an agent and to get the publishing process started. Karolina had some interesting ideas about developing the narrative, so I wrote another 15ooo words in 6 days last week and kept on waking up at 3.30 am with a thought about structure or an idea for the beginning.
It was quite hard to concentrate on the MPhil stuff. But I wasn't the only one with a wandering mind. My best friend (Ruth) has become affianced after her boyfriend proposed on 'pretend Valentine's day'!! She now has a platinum and diamond distraction weighing down her left hand...
But yesterday, we found out that we both got distinctions for our first coursework essays. Being slightly neurotic perfectionists, we were worried we hadn't done well enough, that our distinctions were only borderline. Then some of our other friends told us to get a life!
On the medical front, I've been having a few worries waiting for the tests to come through from the QE. I now have a date for the Echo and the possibility that the exercise test might be on the same day. The nadir of that worry was when the consultant's secretary told me that 'most of our patients are in and out of A & E while waiting' ... super. Something's rotten in the state of cardiology when there isn't enough money to get people seen before they clock up expensive visits to other parts of the NHS.

Saturday, February 04, 2006


A friend recently asked the question 'do you hear the voice of narration when you read?'

Generally I don't: I think I go too quickly for the words to be formed fully by a voice. But I have noticed that when reading the work of someone I know (whether from real life or from the radio!), I can hear their voice in the narrative. In fiction, this has been most profound when reading novels by Melvyn Bragg whose voice is so distinctive on radio 4, and by Caron Freeborn, whom I know well. Caron's narrative technique is particularly concerned with the recreation of idiom so perhaps consciousness of sound is not surprising when reading her work.

Today I'm reading some literary criticism by a man who used to be professor of Medieval and Renaissance lit here so I remember his voice from lectures. It feels as though he is talking about Gower to me himself!

PS I am aware of the bus effect with my blog: you wait a month for a post to arrive... then two come at once :-)

Tea leaves

I just had a tea leaf incident: my special tea boule opened as I pulled it out of my mug... lapsang leaves every where. But I'm quite proud of myself: I managed a rescue effort involving another tea strainer, two more cups and a sink. Tea equilibrium was thus restored.