Literarily floored

October 29, 2008 at 11:36 am (Doing, Reading)

I went to a poetry reading on the Southbank on Monday night. Man, did I feel out of my depth! I used to be a literary powerhouse, up to my ears in unknown authors, literary theory, discussion groups, and events and loving it, but since I got into publishing, well, I think my brain has turned to mush. Contemporary fiction coloured mush. I want literature back!

So, here’s my plan – stop reading free books from work just because they’re there. Simple, really. I’m also going to join the Poetry Library, which is lovely. I will be literary again by 2009!


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October 25, 2008 at 5:45 pm (Doing, Reading, Writing) (, , )

It’s been too long again – this is why I always gave up on diaries as a kid.  I’d miss writing for so long and then it didn’t feel like a true reflection of my life/thoughts/feelings, so I’d bin it.  Don’t worry, though, lit fans – I’d never give up on you.

I was in Amsterdam this weekend and then enjoyed a few restful (*ahem* lazy) days at home, so I’ve been reading, knitting, internetting, watching bad daytime TV (who are these Gilmore Girls and what the hell is happening on One Tree Hill?), and making lists of Christmas presents.  I went into a toy shop in Amsterdam and bought five presents, none of which were for children…

So, what have I been reading?  I’m still blissfully immersed in Lorrie Moore’s Collected Short Stories – so many stories!  I’m nearly done, though, and I’ve got The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco lined up next.  I’ve been missing my medieval literature lately, so that might soothe me.  Also, the name Umberto reminds me of a Point Horror novel (shush, you!) I read once; the one where the guy is chopping people up and delivering them to his next victims in pot plants.

One week until nanocraziness.  My parents are visiting that weekend, so I’ll get a late start, but I won’t be out of the country like I was for a week last year, so fingers crossed for many words.  I’m lipsty if you want to buddy me.

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To the bitter end – or not

October 9, 2008 at 6:09 pm (Reading)

I’ve been giving up on a lot of books lately.  One hundred pages in, 189 pages in, fifty pages… I give it a commute or two and if I’m not feeling it, it goes back on the shelf.  It’s frustrating and dissatisfying.  So, am I making bad book choices or are my standards too high?  Each of the novels I’ve shelved has sounded amazing from the blurb and I’ve been excited to dive in, but then…  Despite the potential of the last three novels I’ve started to read, the characters don’t engage me, the writing is mundane, and the plot seems stilted.  I think it’s mainly the characters.  I expect a lot from characters; they have to be believable, thorough, intriguing.  They don’t even have to be good or eloquent, as long I believe them.

I think that I might have to lay off the super-new literature for a while and head back to some classics.  At least I’ll know what I’m getting.

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October 7, 2008 at 9:40 pm (1)

I’m feeling a wee bit bummed out, career-wise.  I really like my job and I love working in publishing, but it’s time to take the next step and I’m worried about how I’m going to make it work.  Editorial is still where I want to be, but I can’t afford to start at the bottom again and take another admin job – I’m 26, I’m married, I want to make babies soon, I want a house, security, to get out of England for a week or so every year.  I’ve definitely got a case of wanting-it-all syndrome, I know, but I’ve got to face up to the fact that the career I want is incredibly competitive and not particularly well paid.  It’s not just the money thing, either – I’m fed up of starting at the bottom; admins do an important job, but I need to start progressing.

So, not that I’m giving up on the editorial dream, but what are my other options?  I think I’ll look into bookshops, for a start.  Maybe charity (not volunteer, silly!) work that involves books or literature.  I could head back to my academic roots, either publishing or teaching based.

I’m not going to think about it until the New Year, though.  I’ve got nanowrimo and Christmas to get through first!

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