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Reading... Writing...

I'm reading The Believers by Zoe Heller. I bought the hardback for a fiver from the British Library shop. Asked why it had been reduced so drastically within months of it being released I was told it was because they couldn't return them! It received good reviews on Newsnight Review and so far, having reached the second chapter, I am enjoying the dynamics of the Litvinoff family.

I'm also about to read, again, yawn, another draft of a couple of my own manuscripts. Writing feels like a trudge at the moment. I had a good old chinwag with a good friend yesterday evening, a screenwriter, and we lamented the status of writers, and the earning power of all but an elite few. I mainly fired off about Niffennegger's (sic?) $5 million advance, which I felt was no different from giving a banker an as yet unearned bonus!

However, I have to add that, on my 'main' project, the Victorian political biography/novel, I am feeling somewhat invigorated, having gone to the British Library yesterday to meet my mentor, who is proving to be an invaluable source of help. You see how much I've got on the simmer? Too many! Oh well, these stories will out, I know it, because having them just sit there is like an itch not being scratched. And, moving away from novels, what most definitely does not feel like a trudge at the moment is poetry. I've been writing quite a bit of it - I even submitted one particular poem to a national comp, so confident I must have been with it! So glad I am when I can build a reasonably well measured line that contains as much feeling in a few words as in an entire paragraph of prose. That reminds me, another purchase over the weekend, Penguin's Poetry for Life. That's it for now.

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I'm also going to tweak section one of this three section critical paper with a view to journal publication because of the academic interest in the claims I make of Mary.

-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-

And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised


The biggest thank-you is due to Norma Clarke, Professor of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University, who supervised this PhD. I never had cause to doubt my initial instincts as Norma proved to be the best mentor I could ever have wished for.

I would also like to acknowledge the generous studentship that I was fortunate to be awarded by Kingston Universi…

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