Wednesday, December 05, 2007

A Commonplace Post

I should have identified where I got the rejection slip (below) from - it's A Writer's Commonplace Book by Rosemary Friedman. I picked it up in a bookshop yesterday out of interest, and haven't stopped browsing since.

It's full of all the quotes about writing, love, marriage, publishing that you could ever want. Some are reassuring - a surprising number seem to point at how a writer needs only write for three hours a day at the most, '...full time, which for a writer is three or four hours of creative composition a day ...', Anthony Blond.

- others are funny - '...most of society's rules dictate that man must be central or he will sulk', Erica Jong, or this one which made me laugh out loud - 'Literature is mostly about having sex and not much about having children. Life is the other way round', David Lodge

- while others I have written out straight away and put on my wall so I can see them continuously - 'Every reiteration of the idea that nothing matters debases the human spirit' David Mamet.

I can see that I'm going to have a little while of being that annoying person who replies with a well-judged quote to every question or statement.
Friend: My wife has just left me.
Me: '...the stronger the writer the stronger the suffering...' (Harold Bloom)

But hey let me not be insecure today. I made a bit of a fool of myself yesterday getting into an absolute panic about something I woke up in the night realising I shouldn't have got into a panic about at all, but my friend was kind and didn't laugh at me too much, and there's always this:
'Nervy, insecure and self-absorbed, first-rate writers are all too rarely first-rate people', Francis King.

And at least I'm not taking my clothes off too much in public.

Yes, there is always that.

We've been reading our Your Messages responses and found one that actually gave the number of times 'Sarah Salway Naked' comes up on google compared with 'Lynne Rees Naked'. Lynne and I were worried about this, not so much at the general idea, or that people had been googling us naked (it happens all the time, don't you know) but for different reasons. Me, that I only came up a paltry 505 times, but Lynne is a whopping 150,000 hits. She's always been ahead of me, that girl. I should stress none of the hits ACTUALLY show us naked, and that what is shameful is that we've both spent too much time worrying about this when we should be writing, but, as that wonderful 'source unknown' says:
'Life is in the distractions'.

And a lovely day of distractions yesterday shopping in London with my sister, who sometimes pays a royal visit to this blog. (Hi Mary!)

London lay itself open to us, as can happen sometimes. After a visit to a certain nameless (source unknown) shop, where we enjoyed a lovely piece of coffee cake, got 20% off everything, and found everything we needed, we decided 'we didn't like it there'. Still not sure exactly why, I do what Mary tells me and we certainly 'didn't like it' there, so we hot-footed it to another area of town. On the way we had an excitement - walking across a square we just caught the unveiling of an episode of Pimp my Ride. What made it particularly interesting was that the recepient didn't seem to like his new bright red jazzed up boys blaring etc etc car.
'What was it before?' I asked another gawper.
'A Bentley', he guffawed

Oh dear ....

And we also saw Elvis suits for dogs; two of those little yapping toys that toyshops seem to let loose on floors to annoy customers at Christmastime playing nicely until a bouncing rabbit with mischief on his mind leered up to them; enough gold dresses to satisfy both of us; a copy of the original The Million Pound Note at a knock-down price (yay); Tara Palmer-Tompkinson; the boys from Duran Duran (or so we thought, we weren't exactly sure although we gawped anyway) and, back to dogs - a dog wardrobe and a dog four poster bed (Dear Santa...).

AND my sister got winked at by a handsome young man, which made us BOTH blush like teenagers.

Life was good. And my Christmas has officially begun.


Alex said...

'Shedworking naked' - 442 results

bob said...

Hmmm, "full time, which for a writer is three or four hours of creative composition a day " ...

That's the composing (creative or otherwise) part. But then we have to add how many hours editing, researching, marketing, etc?

Busy busy busy.

Emma Darwin said...

Yes, I can't do more than four hours actual sitting down and pulling new words out of myself. After that my brain's fried. Though given fresh air and exercise in the afternoon and no children to feed, I can do another four hours in the evening. It's talking to my fellow humans that seems to go by the board.

That David Lodge quote is a joy, isn't it. Soooooo true. And, yes, writers aren't very appealing people to anyone except other writers, perhaps. Ah well.

Glad you had a good day, Sarah. I had a similar Londony one in mind, as a treat for having got the last draft off to my editor, but now I'm peering out of the window and it's raining so hard I really don't fancy it...

Sarah said...

Hahah, Alex, I beat you! Bit like the tennis all over again, isn't it, although - wait a minute - you beat me there. Forgotten that.

Sarah said...

Yes, Bob, and the nipping to the kitchen to get a few snacks while we think time. Very busy indeed.
Congratulations on finishing the editing, Emma, but sorry about the rain!