Wednesday, July 26, 2006


There are, of course, many things for a writer to be jealous of J K Rowling for, but high up on my list is her public recognition as the 'number one' fan of Elizabeth Goudge's classic, The Little White Horse. This book made a real impression on me as a child, and I relived and tasted again and again the details in it - the way the orphan Maria got comfort just from knowing she wore beautiful shoes under her long gown, the iced biscuits left in the turret bedroom, in fact so much so that I deliberately laced oblique references through my own novel, Something Beginning With. I didn't expect anyone to pick them up, they were just there for my pleasure! Now I've just heard that The Little White Horse is being made into a film, and there's been a short story competition - for children and young adults - attached to it. One of the winning entries can be found here, and - oh my god - there's even a biscuit recipe up on the site. I should feel pleased, but I feel a little bewildered and plundered. It's happened before when I've really enjoyed a book - half of the time I want EVERYONE to love it too, but there's a little bit of me that wants to keep the experience private because reading it has been such a personal and transformational pleasure. Writing this makes me realise how bizarre this is - anyone else feel it though?
My writing prompt for today is going to be .... biscuits.

6 comments:

Kate Long said...

Gosh, yes. I'm with you here on the general and on the particular! I remember making a Maria doll when I was a little girl (wee boots moulded out of modelling clay), and asking for pots of geraniums on my windowsill.

So, a film. Hmm.

chiefbiscuit said...

I know EXACTLY what you mean - there is something delicious about hugging something SO good to yourself and owning it - wanting others to know, yes - yet at the same time not too MANY people. And then when YOUR book, song, artist or whatever is 'discovered' - it rankles like heck. It's loss, a watering down, a lessening ... I like your word of 'plunder' and its connotations of thievery and treasure. What do all those plebs know?! And you hate yourself and yet ... you know you are the only one whotruly 'gets it.' And somehow that comforts you.
(I love Elizabeth Goudge's writing.)
I love the starter 'biscuits' too! Could do something with that.

Sarah said...

Haha chiefbiscuit - yes, that's YOUR prompt, isnt it? You made me laugh!

M.E Ellis said...

Something like this happened the other day and I actually said out loud, 'That's so unfair!'

Silly cow!

(me not you dear!)

:o)

cap'n birdseye said...

Never heard of this book - or the author! Now does this make y'all feel better or worse, I wonder.

Yet another one for the reading pile, methinks, me hearties...

Sally Q said...

I'm a bit late with this, but I know what you mean Sarah. This isn't about literature, but I remember feeling aggrieved at all the people who decided Queen were the best thing since sliced bread after Freddie Mercury died. Of course they were all correct in doing so, but I felt very possessive about the group.

There is something delicious about being among the few people who appreciate a certain writer or book.