Saturday, 28 April 2012

Rainy daze

What is with all this rain?

Old St Swithin seems to be mightily pissed off about something or other.
As for me, I'm secretly liking it - it's the ideal weather for staying indoors, writing, and eating toast. Outwardly I agree with all those who say that the constant rain is awful and terrible. But I don't really mean it - I'm lying. I go straight home and put on my ceremonial yellow slanket and perform a little rain dance. Before making a fresh round of toast.

Besides, it's good for the garden...


Apart from all the rain dancing, I have also been admiring these beautiful rainy day prints by local artist Ali Corder (also my sister!) The first shows pink blossoms, leaky, blurry, spring colours and birds larking about. The second shows rainy paper planes, which are hand drawn on to newspaper, cut out and added to painted board.

So, what with the wet weather and all, I've been writing steadily this week - and enjoying it too. Wordcount is now almost to 70,000 and I've been mooching about on a couple of agent's websites, reading their submission guidelines, looking at moody, black and white photos of the authors they represent...and feeling unaccountably excited.  I'm really looking forward to sending this book off, which is inexplicable, given that my first one was rejected by thirteen different agents and I found the process agonizing, humiliating and soul-destroying. Hmm...maybe I have a masochistic streak...

Which brings me to...'Fifty Shades'.
This is being reviewed everywhere and I keep hearing people mention it - so I bought a copy. Mostly because I can't stand being out of the loop - especially if the loop is surrounding a first-time writer who has become an internet phenomenon and millionaire.

I was expecting to be amused by it, but "Oh my!" (as the heroine says in every paragraph.)
It's a horribly bad book. And worse - it's all about sado-masochism. At least I think that's worse than barely-readable prose. Isn't it? Ok, maybe not.
I took it with me to read at the hairdressers.
Of course, my new male hairdresser asked me what I was reading.
"Fifty Shades," I said, with reluctant truthfulness.
"Oh? What's it about?"
"Um...sado-masochistic sex mostly."
There was a LONG pause, then he murmured, "My wife's reading 'One Day' by David Nichol.'
"Mm..."I said. "That is nicer."

I couldn't finish Fifty Shades it was too depressing. Instead I put it in the bottom of the airing cupboard with a pile of other books that disappointed me. Immediately beneath it, I noticed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - which everyone also raved about - and which also turned out to be all about women being abused. Why are so many people reading this stuff?

I've had discussions with other aspiring writers about what we would be prepared to put our names to in exchange for overnight fame and giant pots of cash. Pretty much any old thing - is the general consensus of opinion. But I think I've finally discovered where I would draw my own personal line. And it's just this side of Fifty Shades.
As one reviewer remarked, "This book sullies the good name of crap."
I just wish I'd read that before I'd paid for it!

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