Today’s post, dear ones, is a wail of desperation from the uttermost reaches of my very soul.
Writing today’s post has been a challenge.
First, I tried to draft a piece about how I will, in all likelihood, miss a submission deadline today because my brain feels like a pumpkin at Halloween, but I failed to complete said post. In short: I have written five pseudo-stories for this particular competition, and none of them will do. The deadline is tomorrow. Draw your own conclusions.
Next, I tried to draft a few hundred words about how I’m feeling re. waiting to hear from some of the places to which I have submitted work, but I also failed to complete this post. In short: I have no fingernails and very little hair left and I’ve started drinking caffeinated coffee once more, having been on a healthy ‘decaf’ kick for some weeks (but then, this was sort of inevitable.) Again, with the conclusions thing.
Finally, I considered, briefly, writing about the blasted landscape of my thoughts but soon gave that up as a bad idea.
So, instead, I have done something dreadful. I have stolen an idea – brazenly, and shamelessly – which I have seen several other bloggers use, and one which I’ve always thought looked like far too much work to be bothering with. I’ve rounded up some links to the stuff I’ve read recently which I found interesting, hilarious, touching, scary, airpunchingly brilliant, or otherwise emotionally affecting.
Turns out, it’s not that much work at all, and it was rather fun.
First, the emotional stuff.
Foz Meadows is a writer and blogger who I turn to whenever I need a shot of intellectual brilliance, clear critical thinking, and perfectly constructed argument. This utterly incredible, elegant yet rapier-sharp blog post (a response to an infuriating sexist who made the most inappropriate remarks I’ve ever heard to a bunch of schoolgirls) made me want to weep with pride. It’s long, but really worth a read.
In fact, while you’re there, stick around and have a pootle through Foz’s past posts. There’s always something worth reading – and most of her posts are masterclasses in how to write, too.
FGM (or Female Genital Mutilation) is something which exercises my indignation, and I try to follow developments relating to it in the media. This article from the UK Guardian made me very pleased when I read it the other day, and very glad that there are young women like Fahma Mohamed willing to stand up and say ‘FGM is wrong, and needs to stop.’ I am not a fan of Michael Gove, the UK Secretary of State for Education (for so many reasons), but I am glad he’s listening on this issue.
I was sort of torn about the next link, because while I fully and wholeheartedly support the idea that adults should support children’s reading at all times and in all ways, I’m not sure that it’s a good idea to shape what they read. I know the tone of the article is light-hearted (and I think the book choices are excellent, for the most part), and I realise that a child encouraged in such a way would grow up to be a very interesting, well-read and broad-minded person indeed, but still… shouldn’t they read what they want? Plus, I’m not sure I agree with keeping children away from Jane Austen – once they’ve reached the appropriate age, of course.
Anyway. I’m still not sure what I think about this article, but it was interesting, and I’m still thinking about it, so it’s included. What do you think?
I love the blog of Maureen Eichner. She is a wonderful book blogger and reviewer, and a huge advocate of children’s books and the importance of good writing for young readers. I turn to her words at least once a week for guidance and inspiration. One of her recent blog posts about fairy tales, and their retellings, has stuck in my mind because I love fairy tales (as does any right-thinking person), and it’s great to have a resource like this list to hand. So, thanks to her for compiling it.
It can’t have escaped your attention that, in recent days, an article was written exhorting J.K. Rowling to stop writing because – and I quote – her books have ‘sucked the oxygen from the entire publishing and reading atmosphere,’ thereby making life impossible for any other emerging or ambitious authors. I don’t want to link to the article itself because, quite frankly, it’s bonkers – and I can’t understand how anyone who works as an author could write such a piece – but I thought this open letter to J. K. Rowling was interesting, so I’ve included it instead. As far as I’m concerned, Ms Rowling can keep writing until the sun falls out of the sky. End of story.
And now for a bit of fun.
‘Frasier’ was an amazing TV show, as I hope you’ll agree. Recently, I’ve caught a few old episodes of ‘Cheers’, and they’ve aged extremely well. I was a bit too young to appreciate ‘Cheers’ first time ’round, but its spinoff ‘Frasier’ was a huge part of my cultural life. I found this post on Buzzfeed which gives you a list of quotes from ‘Frasier’ to cover any possible social situation – so, you’ll never be stuck for a pithy comeback ever again.
And finally – the best one of all.
I love the work – and the blog – of YA author Kristin Cashore. She seems like an awesome lady with excellent taste in everything from books to holiday destinations to nail polish to TV shows, and she recently posted up some footage of Benedict Cumberbatch on Sesame Street. If this doesn’t make you laugh – or, at least, entertain you even a small bit – there’s something deeply wrong with your insides.
So, there you have it. A blog post entirely pilfered (at least, in principle) from other people. Let’s hope my brain feels a bit less like someone has set fire to it and scraped out the ashes by the time tomorrow morning rolls around.