Posted on June 4, 2008 - by MG
I am doing blogging all wrong.
I’ve been reading other people’s blogs and I can see that mine is Not Quite Right.
Well I’m going to do a post that’s more typische. Part rant, part rave, part diary, part confessional.
Rant: Where to start? I’m not much of a ranter over things that don’t directly concern me and over which I have zero control. Not saying there’s anything wrong with ranting, in fact I seem to have voluntarily surrounded myself with people who love a rant; my daughter, my husband, my agent to name only three. Maybe that’s why no ranting. Ranters need to be listened to. And that, it seems, is increasingly my role.
However, I did recently get slightly involved in the age-ranging debate about putting labels like 5+, 7+, 11+ on children’s books, although only in the private e-space of a members-only online writers’ club. But actually, meh. The businesswoman in me dislikes the attempt to stop a perfectly legitimate marketing initiative. Last time I looked publishers sell the books and do the deals. Ifnwhen the sales director at my publishers phones me up and asks me to make sales calls to sell my books to the major chains, then maybe I’ll start to feel I have any place telling her how to run the business.
Rave: Now what I AM is a raver. So many things to enthuse over, so little time. Let’s just divide the things that have recently amused or fascinated me into categories.
TV: All the usual suspects for me: Battlestar Galactica continues to swoop, Lost continues to be gloriously daft-yet-compelling, still laughing over Peep Show’s use of a highly literary reference as a euphemism for erm…well I can’t better it so let’s just say ‘doing a Chesil beach’; reruns of Sex And The City. How I love Samantha. She somehow reminds me of Jessica from Pokemon’s Team Rocket. And a surprise new addition to my highly selective TV viewing is BBC4’s US import Mad Men – set in 1960’s Madison Avenue and the cutting edge world of advertising. The men are urbane, sexist and wear natty suits; the woman are gorgeous, ambitious, under-appreciated, professionally limited and don’t complain when their bottoms get slapped in the office. Everybody smokes and all these macho men wilt the minute one of these supposedly suborbinate women turns her ravenous gaze upon one of them. You can sense the powerplay just waiting to happen. Ah the good-old-days when a pretty secretary could take a powerful man down. Mostly I enjoy the offices though. They remind me so much of my father’s set up at Mexicana de Cobre. Just good ol’ plain nostalgia.
Reading: I’m very busy writing so haven’t read much lately. I bought some books by Cornelia Funke; Inkheart and Inkspell and some books for younger readers that I’ll read to the little ‘un. I have, however, been enjoying reading The Spectator and New Scientist, which I can manage in bite-size chunks. Two Speccie articles made me laugh out loud today, one by Rod Liddle about the Eurovision Song Contest (it wasn’t political; Eastern Europeans just don’t ‘get’ decent 12-bar blues based pop music), one by Deborah Ross, but then she always makes me laugh. Right-wing intellectuals are so much funnier than left-wing ones. And therefore sexier. I’d have PJ O’Rourke over George Monbiot, any day. But then the left does have Naomi Klein. So maybe it’s gender specific?
Geekchic: Loving my Sony Vegas video editing software. Hey I never said I didn’t have some special interests.
Podcasts: The usual trio of Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo’s Radio5 movie review show, Melvyn Bragg’s In Our Time and the Litopia After Dark podcasts continue to equip me with the knowledge and ideas to do my job.
Music: Performance Channel is screening a Beethoven piano sonata every evening. I caught one while half asleep yesterday. It wasn’t one I knew and being on the verge of sleep was struggling to place it – Brahms? Schubert? Beethoven? It sounded very German and very wonderful. I lay there thinking about Wilhelm Meister and Marienbad and Werther and other ghosts from the past, conversations with my mother.
Diary: Well not much to report here. I have been editing book 2 of Joshua; ICE SHOCK. It’s been hard work but I finally made it through the whole script, having addressed all Editor’s notes. Now I need to write two short new sections and then do a continuity check. But I’ll do a separate post about this. And liasing closely with the publicity department at Scholastic to put things in place for a book tour starting next week. Yay!
Confessional: Well wouldn’t you like to know. I don’t dare to be open about such stuff. Would cause a rare old scandal, no doubt.