So, I leave the country for a week and the hits on this blog are higher than when I’m here! Having said that many of the hits found my writer’s blog through search engines looking for my mountain scrambling up Tryfan and down He
bog, and dozens on my failed attempt to replace Craig Taylor as the writer of a Million Tiny Plays about Britain – only for one week – but hey ho.
The Isle of Man is beautifu
l, as ever, even when lashed by a million tons of rain. My wife, daughter and her husband and I found a gap in the nimbostratus to climb up Snaefell and enjoyed a drink at the cafe at the summit. There is a permanent danger that on such perambulations I slip into my past life as a geography teech and point out U-shaped valleys, fault lines and why sheep only talk to horses when humans aren’t watching.
As usual on holidays I go armed with books to read and a laptop to make one of my own. By far the most stimulating book was A.L.Kennedy’s Now thata you’re back, an anthology. I was recommended reads such as Ken Follett’s Whiteout, Relentless by Simon Kernick, and Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist. If only I hadn’t
dipped into Kennedy on the 3-hour ferry crossing, then I might have enjoyed the others more. Sure, Follett is a master of well-researched adventure tales, and Kernick’s book had a neat hook(though so
plodding and predictable I couldn’t bring myself to get past chapter 4). I enjoyed Coelho’s Veronika’s Decides to Die a couple of years ago – an intriguing mystery and exploration of how the mind might
cope with a suicide prevented. However, in spite of, or because the mass global hype about The Alchemist I found it little more than a fable. Aesop meets a road trip. There’s probably depths and twists that eluded me. I enjoyed and found far more depth in Robet Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of MotorCycle Maintenance. Then I read Kennedy. A little sad, but beautifully written. I can’t wait to grab a copy of her novel.
So yes, I want my fiction dream interrupted. Not too often, just enough to make me envious.
An email I discovered among the spam was from the Scottish Book Trust. They are running a literary event where anyone can write about a significant day in their lives. I submitted a piece on when I travelled to Mallorca to do research for my Hot Air thriller. I was arrested and… well it’s all there now as TSBT accepted it and you can read it here.