Skip to main content

The wilting writer

It was scorching today and, like some become down and lethargic in the grey weather I am the opposite. I hate the heat. It is always easier to warm up than cool down, and I write better looking out of a window with a steady stream and tinkle of rain. I am truly of these isles. I do not suffer claustorphobia but I imagine my discomfort of the heat is like being trapped in a confined space. Anyway, I woke early, determined to have a productive day of editing my novel. I started the day with an iced coffee and the Guardian, then to catch up with a few friends, then onto gym and swim. By early afternoon the heat had me frazzled and of impending migraine. I took a couple of painkillers, but it persisted. I did some shopping, watermelon, grapes, hot weather nibbles, but still it harangued. I took another two painkillers then, when I returned home tried to nap for an hour. It is still there, but not as sharp as it was. Needless to say I have only, in the past hour, managed to begin editing my ms. Which means I have to get that mich more done tomorrow. Am I whining? Well, yes, just a bit, not helped by the facy that I am still taking some time to post this particular blog. Avoidance? On some writing days when I have to either edit or write something I find difficult I find myself scrubbing skirting boards and dusting curtain rails. Funny that. Enough. Back to the work.

Belinda's blog:

Popular posts from this blog

Who was Mary Burns?

On 7th January 1863 Mary Burns was found dead from a suspected heart attack. She was 43 years old. Since her death Mary has received barely any attention despite the fact that she spent over twenty years as the common-law wife of Friedrich Engels, one of the world’s most influential thinkers and the co-founder of Marxism.

Born in 1822, Mary was the oldest surviving child of textile dyer and factory operative, Michael Burns, and Mary Conroy, Irish immigrants from Tipperary. Mary’s parents had married at St. Patrick’s in an area known casually as Irish Town, one of few Catholic churches in Manchester at that time. The year of Mary’s birth and her infancy were significant in that Manchester was still dealing with the aftermath of the event that became known as the 1819 Peterloo Massacre, a peaceful protest of the working-classes on the site of St. Peter’s Fields in which several people were killed and hundreds injured. The Massacre occurred when magistrates, alarmed at the size of t…

Booker Shortlist announced

It's been a while... I know. Dog walking on the Downs, a bit of theatre, a bit of baking, a bit of writing etcetera etcetera. I also managed to read two complete books in the past month, which I was so pleased about. I had not read a whole book for about a year. The first was A Lie About My Father by Scottish poet/writer, John Burnside; a very well written memoir about father and son, but like all memoirs, some unreliability I felt. Poignant and tragic in equal measure. Then my husband returned from Cyprus (too hot for me this time of year, I can barely cope with England!) with Sebastian Faulks's Birdsong. He loved it. And then I read it and also loved it. I had originally picked it up several years ago but didn't get beyond Amiens, where the first section is set, but was really glad I did this time around. Another incredibly well written book in the style of a good Victorian! I felt a bit unsure about bits of Elizabeth, in the later section, but I have never learnt so muc…

Days Without End and Mosul's Avengers

So fed up am I of buying books that I don't finish, that I decided I would go to the local library for a copy of Sebastian Barry's latest novel, Days Without End, which has just been awarded the Costa Prize. Unfortunately, I could only borrow it on the proviso that it was return by 1 February. I returned it the day after, without having finished it. I was about three quarters through, and will now have to go out and buy it for the final quarter. I loved Barry's The Secret Scripture, and on every publication of a new work, his star rises. Days Without End follows two boys, one descended from native Americans, and the other having arrived on one of the notorious coffin ships from famine struck Sligo. The tale is brave, funny, touching, but most of all Barry has achieved the perfect pitch. It is quite remarkable.

Another remarkable work comes in the form of reportage in the New Yorker (February 6, 2017) The Avengers of Mosul, by Luke Mogelson 'A Reporter at Large'.