Skip to main content

King Crow and catch up

I was reading Wally Lamb's I know this much is true - I still am - but I've laid it aside (figuratively speaking as it's the kindle version) - in order to read the marvellous King Crow. I'm far from halfway through, given I only started on it yesterday, but the tone is accomplished and the voice bang on. It's about a teenage boy who lives in Salford with a penchant for ornithology. Birds.

Yesterday, after several weekends of feeling disconnected from the Mary Burns rewrite, I got into a stride. I wrote longhand - which I haven't done for yonks - and I ended up with sixteen or so pages. Writer's cramp is much more pleasing than writer's block. I'm hoping it will be as easy to resume this Friday. I have seven working days off from this Thursday and I need to get it into a fit state to resubmit. And then, this evening, as I arrived home from a very long day at work, I found myself with the opening paragraph of a book that has been jostling for space for a while. I tried to ignore it, but then realised I'd have to get the words down. So I did. So it's there, this hook, of another book. That rhymes. It rhymed better when I inserted the comma after hook, hence leaving it in. So. A bit of a catch up. More soonest. And just to say - Lionel Asbo?! I feel any respect I had for Amis the writer has flown out the window. The current LRB has also given the cover story - four whole pages (broadsheet sized pages) of text about him and Asbo. Aargh. Why?! We know why. But why, oh why?!


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…

My PhD critical paper

I thought I'd upload the critical element of my PhD thesis. Hopefully, for those who are interested enough to read it, it will make sense despite the references to my creative work, which I can't upload as I'm seeking publication. And besides, at 68,000 words...

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…

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…