October 29, 2010

Disappointed, flattered and assembling

Now that I have figured out, again, how to  post pictures to this blog, here is the cover of the book of Virginia Woolf’s essay On Being Ill that I couldn’t post last time.  Both the essay and the introduction by Hermione Lee were a disappointment. HL did little more than summarise the essay, with a bit of context, and the essay itself started off with a fantastic few pages and then rather dribbled along to an ending that HL made rather too much of. If anyone else has read this essay I’d love to know what you thought of it. Please note that my disappointment at this piece does not diminish my admiration of either Hermione Lee or Virginia Woolf overall. I do, also, have the lovely book.

The book this month for my book group is Marianne Wiggins’ Evidence of Things Unseen, which I haven’t yet managed to get a copy of. The library did however have The Shadow Catcher on the shelf so I’m reading that in the meantime. I had not previously heard of Marianne Wiggins, and am enjoying The Shadow Catcher a lot. It’s called a novel, the protagonist is called Marianne Wiggins and one of the major characters is a true historical figure, photographer Edward Curtis. The overblown blurb says that this book, “chases the silhouettes of our collective history into the bright light of the present.” Fortunately the book itself is not written in this ornate style.

Out to Lunch, the book of writings by members of my writing group is almost ready for printing. There’s always some anxiety at this time — what mistakes have we missed? Have we spelt everyone’s name right every time? Will we meet the deadline? Will anything bad show up in the proof copy? Will the printers meet their deadline?

I’ve finished the latest edit of the-book-known-as-Ann. Except I have one more thought about the lead up to the ending. I don’t know what I want to do next about it. I’ve had helpful feedback from my partner, who is so far the only person to have read it all and from my writing group, who have read the first two chapters. More readers, I guess. I’ll just make this one addition, then I’ll print it out again and … watch this space.

Someone I know slightly who is trying to get a book published following the renegging of a publisher who had said they would, is reading this blog from the beginning and taking notes! It’s the self-publishing posts she’s interested in, I think. I am strangely flattered by her interest.

I’ve got all these short pieces of writing, many of them in several versions, so I’m going through the writing folder on my computer and taking the ones that I think have something in them and assembling them into one file. As I go I’m putting pieces together that seem to fit together. There’ll be sixty pieces in all, I think. Not short stories, exactly, although some are. Possibly a prequel, in the same volume, to Ann. There's whole lot of thinking going on.

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