Friday, 23 November 2007
Writing, reading and music
The Black Cab Sessions
Check out the website. One singer, one song, one black cab, that's the theme. BCS are currently presenting twenty chapters on the website. It's an unusual way to listen to music and see some sights around London on the way. The cabbies seem to enjoy themselves too.
The featured clip is by Emmy the Great. Her myspace has more mellow tunes to sample.
I have fallen off the Artist's Way. Oh, I try to read through the weekly chapters and I do try to work most of the exercises, but I find it is distracting me from my other writings. I will persevere and finish the exercises for the end of this year, but the course is receiving low priority from me these day.
The Scottish Association Of Writers is holding its annual conference in March 2008. I have registered to attend for the first time ever. They have a full programme of events, but the attraction for me is the many competitions the conference holds. Entries must be submitted in January, but I have been assured by previous conference attendees, that even though you may be unsuccessful in the prizes, each entry receives a full crit. I intend to make the most of this opportunity.
Yesterday I underwent day surgery. after receiving a full anesthetic in the morning I wasn't up to much in the afternoon, I did my Elizabeth Barrett Browning impersonation, wrapped myself in a duvet and played invalid. I also read The White Bird Passes by Jessie Kesson from cover to cover. This book, set in the 1920s and written in 1958, tell the story of Janie MacVean, a small girl of eight growing up in poverty in The Lane, a backstreet of a city in North East Scotland. The story is semi autobiographical, but unlike the reams of hard luck fiction that fills the supermarket shelves these days, this novel contains some of the best prose writing I have read in a while. her characterisations are alive, the language is filled with poetic imagery and stunning metaphors. But it is the third person narrative of Janie that makes this book a classic. It is heartbreaking and funny without being sentimental.
I now own three Jessie Kesson novels, reprinted by B & W Publishing. These small volumes are a treasure. The front covers are emotive paintings by Dorothy Johnstone , a contemporary of Mrs Kesson. Two of these books I picked up from my favorite book seller, Oxfam Bookstore in Byres Road.
I would just like to commend and thank the staff at Gartnavel Hospital Day Surgery. I have never been in hospital before and was terrified because of all the stories I hear of the British National Health Service. My experience yesterday was unbelievable. The day surgery was run with precision timing, I was processed through a number of well rehearsed steps and made to feel safe and well. All the staff were kind, helpful and friendly. The tea and toast was fab.