enitharmon: (Default)
In another place, we were talking about bread. Well, we weren't actually, it was a completely random thread in which somebody mentioned bread in a couplet. And I felt moved to write a pome, which is not, repeat not, to be taken too seriously.


Mother's Pride

My mother's bread is nothing like the sun
Too stodgy 'tis, and leaden in the gut
Its crust would have me to the dentist run
Its crumbs like gravel, crunchy underfoot
The hungry starlings scorn such spartan stuff
And mallards in the park turn up their beaks
When offered lumps of something just as tough
As pebbles from the bottom of the creeks
There's nothing guaranteed to bring the blues
So much as coming home at night to see
My mother muttering the dreadful news
There's naught but bread and butter for your tea.
Then dream I of some golden-crusted cob,
Focaccia, sourdough, or Dorset knob.

New toy!

Dec. 2nd, 2009 02:05 pm
enitharmon: (Default)
I’ve just posted my first hub (article) on HubPages

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] satsekhmet for introducing me to this site, which looks like it could give me hours of fun.
enitharmon: (bookrosie)
My Round 7 entry has clunked. Not as badly as the previous one, but clunked all the same which is very disappointing because I thought it was rather good and I'd at least tried to do something original. But it seems that these things are just like the invisible rubric in school exams - "original thinking will be penalised". (My guess is that the judge didn't understand it)

Anyway, you can read the story, which I thought an apt one for Big Bang week, at Enitharmon's Cave. Please let me know what you really think of it. The more feedback I get the better I like it.
enitharmon: (bookrosie)
Well, I rallied enough to get a Round 7 Whittaker Prize story in.

It's a strange one, that seemed to come to me intact but then I turned off writing for a whiole and didn't work on it. I reconstituted it today and sent it off.

It's completely bonkers. We shall see.
enitharmon: (Default)
My latest Whittaker Prize story, the Round Five entry Going to the Dogs, is now available at Enitharmon's Cave.

Enjoy, and feel free to comment. I thrive on constructive feedback.
enitharmon: (Default)
Here's an opening chapter I need to pick up and build on. A tad under two thousand words. Let me know what you think.

Read more... )
enitharmon: (Default)
Over the last couple of weeks I've written about 20,000 words of my novel. The springboard for all that was the "interview with Alison" that I posted here - thanks to everybody who commented, it really set things off.

I aimed to do 1,000 words a day, and most days I did a bit more. Today I'm feeling written-out so I've decided to take a break. Please reassure me that I don't need to feel guilty about this!
enitharmon: (Default)
Since Tuesday I haven't had the cramps and I haven't been sick. I can't say I've been feeling entirely well either but that was certainly an improvement.

Instead, I've been suffering from sinusitis in spades. Almost no air is passing through my nose so I'm down to breathing through my mouth all the time. This causes problems at night because I am sleeping fitfully and then waking with a mouth that feels like it's been stuffed with sand.

I had another of my recurring dreams last night. This is the one where I'm at some kind of residential gathering, a conference or an OU Summer School, or something like that. I'm having some kind of unspecified problem, but when I complain I get ignored, so work myself up into a lather of panic, terror, frustration and rage (people who know me well know that I'm more than capable of doing this in Real Life when things get bad), which gets more intense the more I get ignored, and still the world passes on its way without pausing. Eventually something bursts, I collapse with emotional exhaustion, intense guilt and remorse. At this point I wake up feeling tense.

This week I've been trying to kick start my 'straight' (ie non-genre) novel, A Voice Less Loud by conducting a dialogue with my protagononist, Alison Thorne, whom I've arranged to meet on the Wirral to discuss with her her feelings about returning to her childhood home to retrace the events that overtook her and scarred her life. I'm aiming for a thousand words a day. I may post some of the conversations, if anybody's interested in the virtual discourse between a dotty middle-aged novelist and one of her characters!
enitharmon: (Default)
I'm blocked.

Horribly blocked.

I've tried all the techniques I know about. I've been for a walk. I've sat down in front of the blank screen and waited for the words to come. I've set myself little inconsequential writing tasks. And the minute I become aware of the writing process I become terribly anxious and freeze up.

Fellow writers out there - what's our advice?
enitharmon: (Default)
I can't remember the last time I went to the cinema. Oh, yes I can, it was rather more than a year ago when I saw the French film Caché at the Reading Film Theatre. I was lucky then, in having a specialist film venue which wasn't in thrall to the big American distributors. Caché never got much of a run at mainstream cinemas.

Read on )
Culture is doomed. I despair!
enitharmon: (Default)
I used to hang out in a site called BeWrite.net - a community for writers which had a small publishing operation on the side.

It was free, and it offered lots of useful stuff like writing exercises, flash fiction competitions, and an opportunity for mutual critique as well as general support from real writers.

I hadn't been in there for a while. Yesterday I thought I'd check in to see how things were and maybe have a go at the exercises, but...

It was gone. Nothing there but tacky plugs for the products of the publishing arm.

There's a need for a proper writers community on the net. A UK-based one, I mean. I've been in US-centric ones before and found them overwhelming and profoundly depressing. Perhaps there are others like me who have a need?

Would anybody reading this be interested?
enitharmon: (Default)
I haven't done a meme for ages, let alone started one. Here's one that's also a five-finger exercise for writers: exactly 100 words about your name.

My full name is Rosalind Claire Mitchell. I like it; it's one of the things I like a lot about myself. Rosalind: three steps tripping lightly downstairs. A heroine from mediaeval romance, the sassiest of Shakespeare's women. Also, a scientist who gave her life that others might celebrate a Nobel Prize.Tall, dark, witty, a bit of a bluestocking. Claire, don't forget the i: French and redolent of moonlight on the sea. Mitchell: it's a name, it's neutral, it will do. People want to shorten my name. Nature abhors a dactyl. I am not Roz, but Rosie is user-friendly enough.

I hereby tag everybody reading this page to do the same for their own name.
enitharmon: (Default)
Tonight I've been out on tour with the Ulverston Writers, giving readings to the Crook WI in the southern fringes of the Lake District.

I like these trips, which are designed both to entertain and to flog copies of the UW anthology Winter Tales. I get to do a public reading, which I enjoy shamelessly and play to the gallery.. The Womens' Institutes invariably make a super audience, and the food provided is invariably of a high standard. There was a particularly self-indulgent sherry trifle on offer in this case.

I've no doubt the surroundings were very beautiful, but it was too murky a January night to appreciate it.

Manchester

Nov. 22nd, 2006 01:42 pm
enitharmon: (Default)
Manchester in the rain


You missed me yesterday, didn't you?

Oh go on, you know you did!

All right. Have it your own way...

I was in Manchester for a recording of BBC Radio 4's Book Club, with Val McDermid who is one of my favourite crime writers. We were discussing The Mermaids Singing. She is, how shall we put it, a solid lady who reassures me that you don't have to be young and/or glamorous to be a successful writer. She is also very good at what she does, and a delightful and funny human being. I got on very well with her before the show, and afterwards she gave me an incentive to keep writing when she promised to buy me a drink when I collect my CWA Golden Dagger!
Title Page (signed)

I got a couple of questions in - one about how her experience as a tabloid journalist influenced her view of crime writing (in view of the fact that TMS features a hack whose determination to get a by-line is rather less than helpful to the police investigation and destroys a life in the way that some of us know only too well is the everyday currency of tabloid journalism.) The other referring to other books of hers - Booked For Murder, in which a writer is murdered in the style of one of her own plots, and Killing The Shadows in which she makes a fetish of the whole idea. I wondered if she had nightmares about having the sticky end she created for several characters in TMS.

The programme is to be broadcast on Sunday, 4 February and again on Thursday 8 February, both on R4 at 4pm.

Of course, while I was in Manchester I had to seize the opportunity for a BCUK meet, and I had lunch with Claire (clairemagnolia) from Blackpool with her children Owen and Willa (the mouseorganmice) in the Museum of Science and Technology.

BCUK Manchester Mini-Meet


It was raining. Manchester, after all, is famous for being rainy. Yet I don't think I've ever seen rain in Manchester before (and compared with Barrow it's positively Saharan!). Heavy snow, yes - as when I was there recording University Challenge in 1987!
enitharmon: (Default)
The presentation and workshop on Parody I gave to the Reading Writers last night was a bit of a mixed bag. Much of the work that came from the workshop element was excellent. Members were invited to write a scene from a hard-boiled crime novel in the style of P G Wodehose, or a scene from P G Wodehouse in the style of Raymond Chandley, or either genre in the style of Jane Austen, or (for those really stuck) a parody of any writer they admired.

I'll be posting some of the best results on the website. Tony, an elderly ex-lawyer who sometimes seems to in this world but not of it, was in his element here and clearly relished the task and his Wodehousian vignette on Hollywood Boulevard was a delight.

On the other hand, it became abundently clear that I'd made a misjudgement somewhere. In my presentation, which I struggled through with a sore throat, I aimed to show that parody had a long and respectable history and went through a set of examples from the young Jane Austen to Wendy Cope. And I could see eyes glaze over. the earthy Don, at my right elbow, indulged in a bit of sledging, this was far too hoity-toity for him.

One of my points is that parody works best when you recognise what is being parodied, and I have always assumed that those who would write would also love reading widely and would recognise a variety of well-known styles from literature. That's what misfired - Hugh Kingsmill's Housman parody drew blank looks from all but Tony - I thought Housman was a well-known, distinctive style. As for the supreme parodist, James Joyce, this extract (which I find very funny indeed) fell as flat as a dead hedgehog:

What action did Bloom make on their arrival at their destination?
At the housesteps of the 4th of the equidifferent uneven numbers, number 7 Eccles street, he inserted his hand mechanically into the back pocket of his trousers to obtain his latchkey

Was it there?
It was in the corresponding pocket of the trousers which he had worn on the day but one preceding.

Why was he doubly irritated?
Because he had forgotten and because he remembered that he had reminded himself twice not to forget.

What were then the alternatives before the, premeditatedly (respectively) and inadvertently, keyless couple?
To enter or not to enter. To knock or not to knock.


A man has arrived home and discovered he's forgotten his keys. It doesn't need a lot of this kind of high-flown language, and how pretentious and out-of-touch with Ordinary People Mr Joyce must be. But of course, Mr Joyce the master of language knows better than anybody that you don't need high-flown language to describe everyday things. But not so the Church - and Joyce trained as a priest, so he should know (he was also a fine singer and relished words - the passage works best whe read out loud in a Dublin accent). He's taking the piss out of the Roman Catholic Catechism, of course.

I need to rethink. When this kind of thing happens the negative thoughts cut in and I tend to feel isolated and defensive.
enitharmon: (Default)
Cross-posted from my Blogspot )
enitharmon: (Default)
This story won me second prize in the Reading Writers Christmas Competition. I thought my readers would like to share it.


Read more... )

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