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Monday 6th Jan


Epiphany. When everything comes together. In a short story it’s the most exciting bit, when all the fragments of the story come together in an electrifying blaze of ideas. Still, it’s a very hard thing to explain. I’m not sure novels have the same thing. In a novel it’s more like a slow gathering of power as events gather together into one big wave. I’m reading Anita Shreve (have I spelt that right?). It’s absolutely gripping…a novel called ‘When We Last Met.’ It’s not my usual cup of tea…a heterosexual love story…but the writing is exquisite, and like all good writing, almost invisible, so that you can really live in the book as you are reading it. It really gathers power and is immensely satisfying to read. Someone gave it to me for Christmas, and now I shall read all her books.

One of my New Year’s Res’s is to read a new poem everyday, and to listen to what poets are saying. There are so many good ideas in poetry. I’m doing it alphabetically, starting with Armitage, Abse and allnut. I am also going to stop watching crap programmes on tv about success and failure, and abandon mass culture. This year I shall do all my shopping in small independent shops, buy books from small presses, listen to music produced in back rooms, and like the novelist Toby Litt said in the guardian, always put humans before inanimate things like mobile phones, tvs, cars, even nice views.

I’m happily working on the novel, lost in the world of it. I’m also writing some song lyrics. I’m not very good at tunes, but I love working with tune writers.