Monthly Archives January 2010

Iris

“People from a planet without flowers would think we must be mad with joy the whole time to have such things about us.” - Iris Murdoch A recent trip to the big city found me, at the end of an eventful day, casting about for something to read. What landed on my lap was Iris Murdoch’s novel, The Sea, the Sea. I love the way she repeats, she repeats. Seriously, it’s this
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January Things Noticed

“There is neither a proportional relationship, nor an inverse one, between a writer’s estimation of a work in progress and its actual quality.  The feeling that the work is magnificent, and the feeling that it is abominable, are both mosquitoes to be repelled, ignored, or killed, but not indulged.” - Annie Dillard, The Writing Life 1. That even the cruddiest looking banks of dirty, frozen snow from
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Highs and Lows

Recently we had a blistering cold, clear, sunny day. I know, I know, too many adjectives, but sometimes that’s what works best. Unless Dear Reader would prefer the following: It was a cold day. Getting on with it… At times in January in our neck of the woods, the mercury drops to minus-ten Celsius and lower. Such was the case on a recent Sunday. My companion and I decided there
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Blessed Unrest

“I try to decorate my imagination as much as I can.” - Franz Schubert No time to write a blog today; Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, arranged for orchestra, beckons. So I leave Dear Reader with the following observation, made by one great artist to another: “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you
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Unstuck

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” - Gene Fowler The last few months have been taken up with settling back into work and book promotion, at the expense of my own writing. I rather thought that would happen, and so at the end of August, while wrapping up my sabbatical I
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Presbyopia

The review: “It is very long, rather old-fashioned, and in our opinion not deserving of the reputation which it seems to enjoy.” The book: Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville Suddenly I have to drop my thesaurus on the floor in order to make anything out? Last night I squinted my way through a few choice adjectives for Dear Reader to consider: Scathing: belittling, brutal, biting, burning, caustic, cruel, cutting, harsh, searing, severe, sulphurous,
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Onward, Inspired

“In writing, Sibelius certainly did not think of creating something new; he simply listened to his irresistible, volcanic inspiration and accepted its direction.” - Bengt de Torne I’ve been busy tidying, putting away boxes of ornaments, clearing out the fridge, and chasing Christmas tree needles around the house with a broom. I miss the scent of balsam, but will not miss the stray needles, the last of
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