Sunday, August 23, 2009

Way Up a Mountain

Sorry for the blackout on my blogs at the moment: I'm up the mountain again, this time to help out with decorating work: too busy to blog, and my head's gone dead anyway or rather has been taken over by thoughts about woodfiller and whitewash and paint and drying times and suitable surfaces and - oh you don't want to know. Suffice to say that I'm now on most friendly terms with the staff at Bangor B&Q (literary conversation: what's that?). And if I should ever get a literary inspiration, well, that'll usually be when the signal for the mobile internet goes blank instead: it's much worse when it's windy for some reason - which here, opposite the ridge by the sea, it nearly always is. It's as much as I can do to keep up with my emails (and then I have to use the very primitive server mail platform: can't send block emails, each email takes an age to load through, and the platform doesn't keep a copy of what I've sent). Twitter hardly works at all. (So much for getting all my mates to vote for my book on the new Salt Just One Book poll and keeping up my books's exposure - what this does expose, I guess, is something of a flaw in the blanket contemporary acceptance of a culture of internet-based author marketing). And some days I don't get out in time to get a newspaper, though yesterday evening on my way to a fabulous meal in Molly's restaurant in Caernarfon, I did manage to buy a Guardian, and read an article by Nick Laird bemoaning the need for authors to market their own work and describing all the feelings we all have to squash in order to do it (or I do anyway): 'For one thing, it seems the height of bad manners, like going on about your own children' - which is exactly what I said the other day on the Elizabeth Baines blog. Oh, and a profile of Fay Weldon, who always makes me laugh... No way I can give you all the links, sorry: it would take half an hour at least, and there's a door waiting to be painted.

As for reading, I got quite hooked on a book in ms by a friend, in the half-hour each day I read in bed in the morning - more hooked than by most published books by well-known writers, to be honest. And having left our next reading group book at home (Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus, which I bought years ago but for some reason never read) I sent off for a second-hand copy from Amazon (and that took half an hour!), but it never arrived, presumably due to the remoteness of this location...

Should be back in full swing again by the second week of September (and of course publicising my new book, Too Many Magpies). Meanwhile, I'll blog if I can...

Cross-posted with Elizabeth Baines.

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