I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Epiphanies are good for you

Imagine you've come upon me mumbling to myself in a corner.

The word count for the fourth novel, Hand Signals reads 11,233. Steady progress but the title will not survive. I'm presently enjoying an epiphany, proof of why I find writing so absorbing and a compensation for the penalties of old age. A 198-word passage, totally unexpected in content, which informs the central character's situation. She is Francine and her name will, I think, stick.

Why am I so keen to write predominantly about women? For traditional political reasons? Yes, but there's more to it. Women seem born to suffer and then to re-emerge. A fancy, no doubt but then fiction is all fancy. Francine suffers unbearably in the first chapter. Physically and spiritually. Then begins the process of re-creation.

Flushed by the onset of the epiphany I turn on my favourite 2 min 46 sec of  YouTube, many times alluded to: Miah Persson and Anke Vondung, doing Soave sia il vento - beauty combined with intelligence and carefully restrained passion.

Back to the keyboard and the epiphany grows. Another favourite: Bach's Wachet auf, tiny choir and tiny orchestra. The sopranos, a rather cosy housewifely trio, leap out and stab me, St Teresa fashion.

Why women? Because, subconsciously, I believe women's approval to be a great luxury. Likely to be hard won. Approval here carries no hidden meaning, simply "favourable opinion or judgment".


  1. My name is Martha and I approve of this post.

    Thank you for caring so much about women. Your family and friends benefit from this aspect of your personality.

  2. I suspect that like me you prefer the company of women to that of men.

    Present company excepted. But of course there are men who talk among themselves about women as easily as about sport etc.

  3. Both: A well visited post which nevertheless attracted few comments. Retrospectively embarrassed by this (Joe can explain this aspect of my character, Crow) I was on the verge of deleting the whole thing and sending you both private emails of apology (You see what embarrassment can do, Crow) when my backbone became a little stiffer and I decided to let it be.

    Why embarrassed? For reasons similar to those experienced by an elderly man who discovers that after walking pleasurably round one of Britain's greater cathedrals (Let's say Ely) he finds that his flies have been wide open all the time. Multi-tiered embarrassment in fact.

    Apart from the fact that the piece may be badly written and may contain unacceptable sentiments it does sail perilously close to one of those remaining UK taboos. Men who make generalised statements about women are likely to deserve what they get: once I would have been attacked by feminists (whose beliefs, ironically, I try to support). Now it's even more traumatic silence.

    To which, I should of course add, none of us is entitled to comment and this may be the simpler explanation. Stop baring your soul I tell myself, there are millions of acres of moorland in the British Isles more suited to such self-exposure. Find something novel to write about trenching tools

    My mind returns to that sad old man whose relationship with Ely Cathedral will now be forever tainted. I feel for him even though he is a mere fictional example. I myself have never been to Ely (It's rather out of the way) but would like to. Now I suspect I never will.

    Thank you both.

  4. Robbie:

    The old man in the cathedral has my empathy and sympathy. This morning I sashayed around town, especially through my favorite coffee shop, where I felt particularly pleased to notice most of the people were noticing me. I knew I had taken special measures with my clothing and makeup this morning, but didn't realize I had done such a good job of it.

    It was only when I got out of my car to run into my house to get a parcel I'd left behind that my daughter told me there was something caught on the seat of my jeans. I thought it might be a stray fiber or some such insignificant nothing.

    No, it was a huge sticker with my name on it, from a meeting the other day. My butt was branded with my name. I couldn't even be embarrassed incognito.