Saturday, February 23, 2008

Gifting, graves and literary terror

Today's trauma has arrived early, so hey at least it's over. Every so often, the good people at the Times Literary Supplement send me a free copy in a brave but ultimately foolish attempt to get me to subscribe. Each time I open this unwanted gift, I can't help but groan. I mean call me an Essex book slapper if you must (hell, I like it), but honestly the TLS is so unutterably worthy and essentially dull that if you read as much as two sentences, you're likely to lose the ability to write altogether. And, dahlings, the font is so dreadful and there are just too many words all pressed together on one page, like the Black Hole of Calcutta. One cannot help but feel sorry for them all really. It's so exhausting.

Anyway, I asked Lord H if he might like to look at it and perhaps subscribe (though please God not in my name!), bearing in mind that it might help his OU degree. He looked almost interested for about two seconds but then he tried to read the first paragraph of an article (which was, I think, so dull that we've both forgotten what it was supposed to be about) and all but collapsed screaming for mercy on his computer. So I think that's a no then ...

It does however rile me that a newspaper which is supposed to encourage writing and reading in all its forms - and let's not forget that writing and reading are amongst the most exciting things on the planet - manages to kill it with ennui. It's a mystery. But how I long for the day when a literary newspaper will be created which doesn't lose or deaden the thrill of the genre it's focused on. One day, eh.

This morning, Lord H and I paid a quick visit to the gorgeous Watts Gallery and rediscovered our inner chill-zone by wandering round the paintings. I do enjoy some of the portraits Watts did of his wife, and what a thing he had about necks too. All very interesting. Afterwards, we had a walk round the Watts Chapel and attached graveyard. Well, we do like to get ideas for the decor of our future abode, you know. I rather fancy the book carvings on the gravestones, where one half of a couple goes on one page and the other on the second - but I do understand Lord H's comment that it's rather creepy if you're waiting around for a long time for the 2nd page to be filled. Hmm, is he planning something?... Anyway, the snowdrops, crocuses and forget-me-nots (I think!) were nice.

For the rest of the day, I've been struggling with Annyeke's last main section in The Gifting but I think I've got it, by George! Or most of it anyway. So I'm now on page 412 of 465. And the next chapter - Simon's last story - will be easier to edit as there'll be no new stuff to write. Well, that's the hope anyway.

Tonight, it's the last episode of "Primeval" and then there's a repeat of "Have I Got News for You" later on. So I'm looking forward to a lovely chilled evening. Well, apart from the dinosaurs of course.

Today's nice things:

1. Screaming in horror at the TLS
2. Watts
3. Finishing Annyeke's section in The Gifting.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers


Jilly said...

I used to 'read' the TLS years ago and I always thought it was me just being thick as I didn't understand half the articles in it. No word under three syllables and every sentence at least 10 lines long! The only reason I bought it was for the adverts - I was a librarian at the time and libraries always advertise in it. I suppose someone must understand the articles but I've not come across anyone yet!

Anne Brooke said...

Glad it's not just me, Jilly! Who on earth reads the ruddy thing?? - and likes it?!?