So, it’s 2 am and I’m up with a book and I’ve not blogged in a while so here we are. I have opened a beer and there is a Japanese film playing on the TV in the background (not because I am or want to look cultured – it was on after Rudetube, which I caught the end of). Basically, I am just done for the day. I’ve been out to do things and I’ve spoken to people on the phone and I’ve written – and that’s been a lovely change because I’d not been writing too much recently because I’ve been so busy doing other writing stuff (teaching, editing, running my course). Two stories in two days makes me feel happy and more like an actual writer again and, at the moment, I’m not too bothered if neither of them turns out to be any good. Things are moving in my brain and that’s enough for me.
Especially after last week, when I missed a trip to Berlin because I had flu. I’m not sure I’d had that before and I can tell you now, I’d rather not have it again. One thing it did do though, was make me stop for a few days. I’ve not done that in years.
And, what else? Well, as well as all the teaching and workshops and editing and flu-ing and sleeping, there’s been reading. The lovely people at And Other Stories sent me Joanna Walsh’s Vertigo, and I’m glad they did because I’ve been dipping into that (it’s tonight’s book) and it’s excellent.
I also read My Name Is Lucy Barton and that was pretty spectacular too – a real gem from the woman who brought us Olive Kitteridge.
On Wednesday I was with a young writers’ group I co-run and as part of the session I read them some Aimee Bender* and Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut. And, when I think that that was the first time they’d heard those stories from those people it made me fiercely proud – not just to live in a world where that kind of wonderful literature exists and we have access to it (even in the US Vonnegut gets banned in places!) but also that stories like them are still desperately relevant. Often I take that for granted. And, often, I take for granted how lucky I am to be able to work with people of all ages and to teach because it’s a hell of a lot of fun and I get to get excited about things that excite me and I get to see those things excite other people. And affect them. And get them thinking.
So there you go. That’s all from me, for now. But while I’m away, feeling smug about it all, you can watch this – a brilliant adaption of Harrison Bergeron (which even features the brilliant hostess from Airplane – it Shirley does). Watch it, and be amazed. And then please seek out the story, because the story’s even better. (I’m only saying seek it out because this is the only link I can find and the font’s bloody awful and it’s 2 in the morning and I have books to read, and some Samurai has just been stabbed on the telly and he doesn’t look too happy about it.)
*What You Left In The Ditch