Sunday 27 December 2009

Christmas books

One of the great joys of Christmas is all those new books, and while I was disappointed not to be given The Road (the only one I'd asked for), the rest look promising. I'd already read The Book Thief (which I found rather disappointing), but the others all look interesting. They include A Confederacy of Dunces (John Kennedy Toole),Brooklyn (Colm Toibin), Mudbound (Hillary Jordan), Burial (Neil Cross) and Olive Kitteridge (Elizabeth Strout). I've started the Strout, and am enjoying it. I was relieved that eldest son has stopped giving me Magnus Mills's offerings. I've read all he's given me, but you (or rather I) can have too much of Magnus Mills's surrealism. Son, on the other hand, only has to hear the writer's name to be rendered helpless with laughter. I must be missing something.

Which books did anyone else receive? And were they what you wanted?

Monday 21 December 2009


Christmas is not going according to plan, and the latest and biggest blip is that the nice small bushy Christmas tree (which in my memory is becoming nicer and bushier and more desirable by the minute) that I chose and PAID FOR and was going to collect, has, in the meantime, been sold to someone else. The people in the shop have been very apologetic, and they have found another tree which they are bringing round for my inspection, but it will not be the same. It will be a sad, end-of-line, unwanted, wallflower of a Christmas tree, and I have a feeling that I won't want it, either. We shan't be here for Christmas, so do we need one at all? Husband (practical, unsentimental) says no; I wail that I've always had a Christmas tree, this will be my very first Christmas ever without a Christmas tree, I WANT a Christmas tree.

So while I wait for the Christmas tree I'm not going to like to be brought to the door, I thought I'd take this opportunity to wish any passing MNWers a very happy Christmas (with or without trees), and special luck in the new year for those who have not had such a good year writing-wise. Here's to lots of positive emails and phone calls from Will in 2010. Cheers!

Saturday 12 December 2009

Advice, please

Aliya recently posted about the use of first v third person, and tenses, and I now have a similar problem. My WIP has three main characters, and each chapter is written from a particular person's POV. But - the three have regular get-togethers, and here I am floundering as to POV and tense. The separate chapters are in the past tense, but I'm thinking of having the all-together chapters in the present tense, partly to differentiate them. So far so good. What I am finding really difficult is that having, as it were, got inside each character's head for the separate chapters, what do I do when they're all together? Get inside all their heads one at a time? Or just do an overview? In my previous novels, I've always written from a particular POV or in the first person (which does away with the problem altogether). Does anyone have any advice, please?

Thursday 10 December 2009

Free to good home

Free to good (or any reasonable) home: 'The Crime Writer's Guide to Police Practice and Procedure', hardly used. I'll even pay the postage.

And I promise no more posts on crime writing.

Wednesday 2 December 2009

The relief of not being a crime writer.

Having spent the last few months trying to fit myself into crime writing mode, returning to my old non-genre-but-character/relationship-based style of writing is such a massive RELIEF! No more research (except that I need to speak to a prostitute), no more I-wonder-how-A-would-address-B or how-long-does-it-take-for-the trachea-to-disntegrate moments. I feel that I've returned home after a rather painful journey. My respect and admiration for the likes of Brian and Len is greatly increased, but I no longer want to be them.