On opinions and writings

Recently, a young woman I didn’t know blogged about being opinionated and whether or not her views might harm her writing career. I enjoyed her post, as I hope you will, too. On the strength of that post, I bought her book White Feathers.

I understand that there are dangers when you’re negotiating the waters of purported influence, be they in a writing career, or in a career tout court. I am now pleased to have neither, so maybe my two cents’ worth will make you smile, or perhaps even spit. Either way, it’s a reaction.

Often we worry about the things we say possibly upsetting someone, or our own cart of carefully selected apples to show (when it was perhaps eggs and baskets we should have been worrying about). I digress. But I like to do that. Every time we worry about what others may think and amend our path to accommodate all possible views, we chip off a bit of our own … integrity. Is that too strong? The so-called career could slip away if we don’t toe the line. All those wagging fingers and raised eyebrows and whispered words behind hands say as much.

Recently, I’ve had visits from dear friends from way back, and more local friends that also go back to the pre-internet days. I reckon I’m about the most online one of us all with the friends ranging from ones who still have no email, only write letters and only have landline – in Japan of all places; ones who abhor social media and don’t even viber or what’s app, another starting up and going gung-ho, one who tablets rather than phones, another who does all the above but not necessarily with me, and another who keeps me alert with multiple sms of her whereabouts and etas. I love it. I feel loved. They all have helped me get my act together about who I am and where I belong.

I will not talk about the bullshit going on for recent UN retirees not being able to draw pensions on time because of possibly alleged fudging by the CEO of the UN Pension Fund – the UN is a law unto itself re its staff, and I know from personal experience that it would lose in any national court, but it is a supranational. (Didn’t the Mafia go global? Sorry, just a bit of stream of unconsciousness here.) I will not talk about the recent Australian elections that have now made Pauline Hanson “salonfähig”. (Check out translation from the German.) It looks like her ilk are now the flavour in fashion in so many countries as we go back to the future. Oh, and puleease, what is this Brexit thingy? A double bind or picking zee cherrie? Re Trump/Clinton? One word: Amerika! Just maybe add a bit more dystopia.

The mood of the world has been playing tricks with my health, but all is fine now; I try and do my 10K steps a day, swim a little and switch off. So on that note let me end with three happy and exciting writing happenings:


Gascony Writers´ Anthology 2016

the launch of the Gascony Writers’ Anthology which shows that passion can make possible ;

the third placing of my novel in progress at the Yeovil Literary Prize, where the judge, Jason Goodwin, had this to say about it: “This book employs a bold and unusual device to explore truth and memory in the lives of a family fractured by war and exile. And it has a subtlety to it which I found compelling.”

And the fabulous Festival of Writing where I got to meet the teachers, Debi Alper and Emma Darwin, and some of the participants in a recent online self-editing course, whose input, I´m sure, had something to do with the success of my NIP at Yeovil.

img_3442Oh, and there were things for the creative heartstrings in the form of a couple of bookends in Edinburgh in the company of this little guy and his mistress.

And, I´ve quit smoking

So, until next, onwards!