picosgemeos: (Montanhas)


A short video about the Creative Future Literary Awards evening at the Free Word Centre last September. I appear right at the start, talking about marginalised writers.
picosgemeos: (Montanhas)
#mg #minasgerais #suldeminas #korggo #corgo #corregodobomjesus #pousadadonamarica

Two days ago, I left for work at 8am (as usual) and walked to the nearest train station to catch the Overground to North London. On my way, I was surprised to find a white and black cat laid out in the middle of the sidewalk. I stopped for a few seconds to pet it. It didn't budge when I stood up and walked away.

In the train, I read a chapter from Rowena Wiseman's novel Repeat After Me. The main character, a teenager called Ivy, had just discovered her grandmother was going to stay with her for a few days - taking care of her while her parents were in America. Granddaughter and grandmother had started off on the wrong foot but, as the chapters progressed, had begun to appreciate each other's company.

Later that same day, on my way home, I found the cat still laid in the middle of the sidewalk. It looked like it was waiting for someone. I stopped again to pet it.

In the evening, while watching an interview with Alan Moore and his wife on YouTube, discussing their collaborative work Lost Girls, I had a quick look at Facebook and found out from an aunt that my grandmother had passed away a few hours before.

My grandmother's wake and funeral took place yesterday, 8th July 2015, in Londrina, Brasil. She was 89 years old.

I called my mother yesterday evening and she told me her mother's death had been very sudden. She had had lunch on Tuesday and gone to the bedroom to take her customary nap. The way she laid down, she stayed; she never woke up.
picosgemeos: (Montanhas)

Stephen King says you should write at least a thousand words a day (if you are a newbie) before moving on to the two thousands that he averages.  I don’t particularly like King’s style even though I devoured his horror fiction as a teenager, but I’ve found myself listening to his book On Writing these past few nights (even falling asleep to it), thanks to a free audio version on YouTube.

His main theme is that you can’t improve a poor or good writer, but you can turn a competent one into a good one. I’m not so sure about that – does he also include storytellers in that mix? – but I agree with him that you need a space of your own to write, to shut out the world, and that you need routine.  Otherwise nothing gets done.

He also believes that plotting ruins a story, stiffens it - kills some of the surprising elements in it. Better to just put your characters in a situation and then watch them try to get out of it. What happens when a mother and son get trapped in a car, attacked by a dog? (Cujo) What happens when a family move into a remote, empty hotel and the husband goes nuts? (The Shining) There's a whole bestseller publishing industry that goes against this philosophy.

The guesthouse is empty this morning and I have the luxury of choosing to sleep in or do a bit of writing. I’ve braved the chilly outdoors to open the front door for our employees (who arrive at 7.30am) and serve a bowl of food to one of our dachshunds, Marcelinho. I’m now sipping on an instant cappuccino I prepared in my room, listening to iTunes on Shuffle and watching the sun creep up against my bedroom wall. My fingers are tapping away, as you know.

It rained yesterday and it was blissful. Our region has been suffering from extreme drought and we had even resorted to using tap water to keep the grass and trees green.  A young couple from Norway arrived last week and will stay with us until the end of May. They heard of us through a programme called WWOOF that connects organic farms with people interested in working exchange for full board. In the first few days they did an impressive clean up job of our veggie garden; now that rain is here (fingers crossed), I can get them to plant winter veggies like beet and lettuce.  At the end of their stay, I plan on getting them to plant two trees – so they can visit us in 20 years time and see how tall they have grown.
picosgemeos: (Montanhas)
[livejournal.com profile] wink_martindale sent me an email yesterday that he'd gone to see Joanna Hogg's Unrelated at the cinema over the weekend, and that he'd liked it.  So I watched the trailer, curious about this Joanna Hogg I'd never heard about:



Then today, Tracey Thorn tweeted that she'd watched a film called Exhibition and loved it. There I went, back to YouTube, and lo and behold it's Joanna Hogg again (also featuring, again, Tom Hiddleston in the cast - from a brief glance at her biog he seems to be in everything she does):



I was just lamenting last night (to myself, as usual) a lack of films to watch. This seems propitious, synchronicitous and just up my alley.

Have you ever seen one of her films? Did you like them?

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Ollie

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