Back home, and entirely thrilled about it all – that’s what I am!
HNSScotland18 was a wonderful conference: Margaret Skea did a wonderful job of putting together an array of seminars, panels, lectures and talks – with a fascinating Scottish slant. Thanks to Stevenson and Scott, I have a fondness for the Jacobite Risings, and therefore I loved hearing about them from Maggie Craig and Trevor Royle, crossing kilted re-enactors on my way about, and being piped into dinner was a novel-worthy moment… Besides, I met such lovely people, and pitched my novel to two very nice agents – who won’t represent me, but had many interesting, helpful, and flattering things to say about my writing.
Ah well, and then there was the Short Story Competition. Let me brag and boast a little here, because the fact is that I won the competition. Remember the story that would not be written? Well, I wrote it, in the end*. I cut it frighteningly close, but managed to submit it – and… won the competition. Continue reading
I’m off to HNS Scotland 18 – the Historical Novel Society’s conference, back to the UK this year – three days of talks, workshops, networking, a gala dinner complete with ceilidh, and even two pitch sessions with literary agents.
This is my second experience with the HNS: two years ago I was preparing for HNS Oxford 16, and I was very excited, but also terrified at the prospect of meeting two agents – and, if I’m honest, a little nervous about the whole thing as well… you know, telling people that yes, I’ve written this novel in a language that is not my own – oh, your language, incidentally… Continue reading
A bleaker Ferragosto, this year – because of what happened in Genoa the other day, with the motorway bridge collapsing – but still, Ferragosto.
Feriae Augusti, back in the day (and the day was 18 b.C.) when Augustus thought it both nice and expedient to have a public festival right after the harvest season, and named it after himself.
It used to be a mixed affair of rest and play for men and beasts, a holiday of eating and drinking toasts to the Emperor, horse races, a day of rest even for oxen and donkeys… Continue reading
Yes, yes – what with the heat, and so many people going on vacation, and work slowing down*, August is a lazy month: time thickens and slackens, and one wants to slow down as well.
It’s that time of the year when I begin to toy with notions of a reading week: Henry Treece, Rosemary Sutcliffe, Sabatini, and a few more are singing like paper sirens – or digital sirens in a few cases. Continue reading
Do you remember last Saturday’s post, and the prompt with the anthropomorphised cities?
Well, a couple of interesting things happened because of that post. The first is Davide Mana‘s take on the game – which, it seems, has produced not only four lovely sketches, but also the resurrection of an old and intriguing project of his.
I’m not terribly surprised to learn that the brain will process music and language in similar ways… Intuitively, I’ve always had this notion that both work by structure, pattern, rhythm, repetition, juxtaposition, combination of sounds, expression and codification of meaning…
This very interesting article by George Tsoulas for Conversation, offers a clear explanation and an overview of the current studies on the subjects – together with a few good links.
So it would seem that, after all, music is a different language. Or perhaps every language is a different music?
Today would be the 128th birthday of Leslie Banks – Shakespearean actor, director, and screen villain – who managed to turn his potentially career-crippling war injuries into an element of versatility…
He played, among many other roles, the unpleasant Uncle Joss in Hitchcock’s Jamaica Inn, and the Chorus in Laurence Olivier’s Henry V. He also played a memorable Captain Hook in New York, and the eponymous Clive of India.
Here you can see him as the Earl of Leicester in the 1937 film Fire Over England.
I’ve always loved to bits this line of Blanche’s from A Streetcar Named Desire:
I don’t want realism. I want magic. Yes, yes – magic. I try to give that to people. I do misrepresent things. I don’t tell truth. I tell what ought to be truth.”
Truth, reality, misrepresentation, what ought to be truth… Are we all Blanche, in some way or other, when we tell stories? One of these days I’m going to have a pendant made with this line on it.