Friday, 14 March 2014

Anglish, Cat Stevens and Pound Coins

Work commitments have meant that of late I have been a part-time member of the SVA. However...I took Tuesday 11 March off work in order to do a presentation  to a retirement home about the 16,500-mile bicycle ride. The only slot offered by the agency for Wednesday was a 02.00 start so I decided to decline and spend the day writing instead of driving. Less lucrative, but writing and selling books is what fulfils, even if it doesn't pay. And the SVA just happened to be meeting at Annie's flat on Tuesday evening so for the first time since Christmas I was able to attend.

Not all that much, it seemed, had changed. As always it is a struggle to find sufficient time to write. Rob is spending most of his time running the new cinema in St George's Hall instead of continuing work on his latest novel The Petrified Fountain. Although Linda has given up her part-time job at the play barn, credit-union business is taking up more and more of her time and energy and she hasn't found time to submit her latest short story to The Best of British magazine. Annie, whose job as a teacher is keeping her busy, has decided that she will have to do a massive re-write of her children's poem - 199 out of the 200 words need changing. Izzie and Tony had more positive news to report. Izzie's Blog has been nominated for three categories in the MAD Blog Awards and she has been approached by Mummy Hotspot to write 2 features per month. Tony has written another introduction to a Malcolm Saville reprint and an article is to be published in Mental Health Nursing.

Tony read Chapter Two of his novel, set in Angland, a United Kingdom that had never been invaded by the Normans. The principle characters are students. We agreed that the chapter was an excellent evocation of student life - certainly as I remember it in the late seventies / early eighties when Tony was also at university: joss sticks, shelves constructed using planks supported by bricks, cans of beans with rice to eat. We felt that the attention to detail - in particular in the description of the task of replacing a guitar string - slowed the pace of the narrative somewhat. A problem that struck me was the mention of pound coins and Cat Stevens - would either have existed if the Normans had never invaded?    

Posted by Chris on Friday 14 March 2014.

1 comment:

  1. Nice blog post, Chris. You make a good point when you question whether pound coins and Cat Stevens would have happened in a world where the Norman Conquest of England had not occurred. But, who knows? I had toyed with the idea of using pounds, shillings and pence in place of decimal currency. (After all, pennies did exist in Anglo-Saxon England.) Whether or not I'm 'allowed' real 20th century singer-songwriters in my novel is something else to consider. Of course, it's not a historical novel but rather a speculative, alternative version of reality, so there’s no reason why not really. Is there?