Friday, 16 July 2010

Talk about encouragement

“What is it about writing that makes people put on the blinders and fail to recognize their limitations and makes the talented unable to recognize their own goodness?”
Nathan Bransford certainly puts a crimp in aspiring writers minds with his latest blog. Perhaps he’s just having a bad day. But perhaps he really means it. I have a sneaking suspicion he does. Check out the whole thing at

My preferred view is that those who read a lot divide into two camps: those who simply want to read, and those who read and long to write. Those who never read, or read rarely, probably never contemplate writing a book. Why would they, unless they think it will make money, and we all know most authors do not earn a living wage.

Those who read and long to write sub-divide into those who have a facility with the written words and those who don’t. Many confuse an ability to tell stories, ie to talk, with the ability to write, but the skills are very different and they usually indicate different personalities. This isn’t written in concrete, (apologies for the pun), but often the writer is not good at talking to more than one person at a time, whereas the raconteur, by definition, is.

And then the writers sub-divide again, into those who write well, and those who write but not well enough to sell. Or who write well but are not lucky enough to hit a bandwagon at the right time, who’ve never delivered a manuscript to an agent just as s/he is searching for that elusive something and opens the envelope and cries WOW! This is what I’ve been looking for!

Yesterday was a grey day. Even France has them. The temperature, I kid you not, fell to 23.5 degrees, but today the bright sunny days were back again. Washed a couple of sheets, such a mundane thing to do on holiday, but really, when the nights are so hot and we sweat as we sleep under only the sheet, it pays to wash them often. Otherwise, we don’t smell too sweet.

I keep falling over wildlife here. Small, but here in abundance all the same. The trout are copulating in the stream, tonight a frog leapt out in front of me and crickets and grasshoppers bounce out from under my feet as I walk through the meadow. One tiny grasshopper resided on the bedroom ceiling last night and I almost sat on him this morning when he joined me on the bed. It politely walked onto my hand and I placed it on the window ledge and shut the window so he couldn’t come back in. I'm sure he gave me a most reproachful glance, and he certainly stood there staring at the closed window for several minutes. Dh discovered his big brother in the living room this evening. That one evaded capture until we used the cup and flat sheet of paper method. Only a cup wasn't big enough so we utilised the thing you strain rice in once you've boiled it. Worked a treat.

Tomorrow we’re off to Vergt market for our fruit and vegetables, and then out to Bergerac for an evening meal. Expect some pictures of France rather than the wildlife!

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