Sunday, 22 February 2015

All mouth and no trousers

It's been the kind of week where lots of things happen but not very much gets done. Re-active rather than pro-active. Sometimes you just have to stand back and watch the days pull themselves loose, float up, up and away.







I'm a professional thinker. Well, alright. A thinker. If I could get paid for my thoughts I'd be richer than Richard Branson. I'd already be on Mars, walking around my colony. I'd have the moon too. And probably Saturn. Yes, I know it's a big ball of gas. But that's kind of the point.

Thoughts are useful things, it's just that sometimes they need to pally up with that old friend, Action. Then together Thinking and Action need to team up with the illusive yet essential Substance. Next week, I'm going to be all over action and substance like a rash (translation: action & substance = actually sitting down/standing up/doesn't matter - writing good words).

I have felt very much like Juliet Stevenson in Samuel Beckett's Happy Days. I took a merry gaggle along last night to the Young Vic to see this desperately sad, black humoured play. Arriving with 20 seconds to go before curtains up, means you get sat in the very best seats, even when you've paid for the high up out of the way ones.

Juliet Stevenson as Winnie in Happy Days, at the Young Vic


My partner said he preferred plays with a bit more action (Shakespeare). My son said he wondered how they'd glued all the gravel on to the set. My daughter and her boyfriend were in turns equally captivated by the existential angst and by the audience's faces. And I felt the resonances of Winnie's stuck in the sand-ness all too much.

One good thing I did do this week, was to go over to Jan's for coffee and cake. This was a very splendid thing indeed. We talked words and pictures and writing and doing, and the Family from One End Street. Amongst all the head stuff and non-writing, it's also crucial to get out and meet real people.

Essential fare at Jan's wonderful Cake Emporium


Real people are the tent-pegs, the guy-ropes to your otherwise floaty bit of cloth that pretends to be a tent sitting nicely on the ground. I felt so much more like a tent after seeing Jan, and eating her very marvellous cake. Thank you, Jan.

Fortunately Words & Pictures is produced by a wonderful team of people who get on and do things of substance very well. This week has been no exception.

Monday brought us K. M. Lockwood's inspirational piece looking at the impact of stories from other cultures and ways we too can spice up our stories.

Tuesday landed a veritable feast of blog highlights from Nick. These really are essential sitting-down-with-cup-of-tea-&-cake reads.

Wednesday Chitra took us by the hand and led us on an inspirational tour around the countries in which her books have found their publishing home.

Thursday brought not one gem, but two! Gill asked Marie Basting, our new networks co-ordinator for her thoughts on the new role. And Louise Kelly asked Nicola Morgan for tips on how to write the perfect synopsis - all to be explored in the forthcoming workshop Nicola Morgan’s ‘Perfecting your Agent or Publisher Submission in Edinburgh on 14th March 2015.

Friday was beautifully coloured-in with another delightful ProCATsination from Jion Sheibani.

Saturday brought us the exciting results of the first Slush Pile Challenge of 2015. Gemma Cooper read all 40 submissions and came up with a shortlist, and two deserving winners.


Oh, and we also had a shed-load of spurious nonsense from the Spam factory. So apologies for having to send your comments for sieving before being published. Hopefully normal service will resume very shortly.









Nancy Saunders is the new Editor of W&P. You can find some of her short stories here, and on Twitter @nancyesaunders


1 comment:

  1. Wonderful Nancy! Always so lovely to see you! #kindredspirits

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