And now for something slightly different..

footThere’s so much heavy, disheartening and tragic news around, thought I’d lighten the load for a while.

For anyone fed up to their back teeth with either flippant/kinky, or boring romances/gory, twenty-toed monster killings or utter nonsense all depending on your particular taste of course – here are a few books which promise (dib dib dib) to, at the very least, offer something unusual/bizarre/original to titillate the jaded reader’s palate. (The fact that they could be a load of old codswallop is neither here nor there.)

Forget the proverbial ‘Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman’. ‘LAGOON’ by Nnedi Okanafor presents a rapper, a biologist and a rogue soldier, who walk into a bar…

SLAPSTICK, OR LONESOME NO MORE’ by Kurt Vonnegut. Apparently, it’s about the last President of the USA… (Written in 1976, but could be quite topical!)

THE PASSION’ by Jeanette Winterson –Napoleon! Venice! More web –footed people! And a woman who is trying to retrieve her heart from a locked box…

THE BEAR COMES HOME’ by Rafi Zabor – The protagonist is a walking, talking, saxophone-playing bear. What more could you ask for?

***

I imagine, if you’re a reader/writer, you are as fascinated by people as I am. Here are a few facts about some of our more famous ‘Pensmiths’.

CHARLES DICKENS was a stickler for order and routine and wrote most days from 9 am until 2 pm. He always slept facing north as he believed it better aligned him to the electrical currents of the earth. Despite no formal education, he wrote 15 novels, 5 novellas, hundreds of short stories and non-fiction; lectured and performed: all before he was 48 years old, when he tragically died of a stroke.

HARUKI MURAKAMI is working by 4 am – five or six hours – he then runs for ten kilometres and/or both swims 100 metres. Later, he reads, listens to music and is in bed by 9.00 pm. He says the discipline helps him reach a deeper state of mind.

JODI PICOULT says: ‘You can’t edit a blank page,’ so obviously gets on with it. She never suffers from writers’ block.

KURT VONNEGUT worked from 5.30 until 8.00, then again later. He swam, had ‘several belts of scotch and water,’ and did push-ups and sit-ups in between writing. (It must have helped, he lived to a respectable age of 84).

ERNEST HEMINGWAY wrote every morning, as soon as it was light, ‘Cool and quiet.’

HENRY MILLER advised not to work on more than one thing at a time; ‘to mix work with pleasure, go out and meet people and don’t be a draughthorse.’ He also said you should ‘not be nervous, work calmly, joyously and recklessly.’ And last, but ‘that cliché’…’

MAYA ANGELOU, poet and author, found the comfort of home too distracting, so rented a small, mean room in a hotel for months at a time, taking only her writing materials, a Bible, a bottle of sherry and a pack of cards. She had a calloused elbow from leaning on one side of her bed to write!

So, there you have it, for now. Just a few odds and ends for you to ponder.

 

© Copyright Joy Lennick 2017

 

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3 thoughts on “And now for something slightly different..

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! It is, indeed, interesting stuff to ponder. I have always loved to hear about the writing routines of other authors, especially the greats. I am fortunate to have Summers, where I can get into my favorite writing routine: up at 5:00, make a pot of coffee, write til 8:00, then get ready for the family to wake up. I try to write again in the evenings as well. Now that the school year is about to begin, I will have less of a routine again, ad I will just catch whatever time I can. Do you have a writing routine, Joy?

  2. Thanks, Susan. I envy you your work as I know you’re a music teacher… Ah! And writing too…amazing.I listen to music when I’m working but can’t sing (just as well: dogs would howl and people shun me.,..) Now husband and I are much older (I’m 85 – going on 40 and he’s 89 going on 50, we have quietened down a bit (only a tad mind!) so we try to play it (life) by ear.I WAS more disciplined and can when needs be…but you have to listen to your body more when a little older..I intend to get back to 1,000 words a day and mold my working around what my husband fancies dong at any particular time. Fortunately, he loves shopping and cooking and hates being bored, so that gives me opportunities to work.(He’s making vegie fritters with chillie at present and the aromas are incredible!) Nowadays I work a few hours here and there where appropriate. Very different to when I went out to work and had three lads at home!. Good luck to you in your musical and literary worlds. Best wishes. Joy x

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