I used to think that writing a story was like producing a golden egg in my mind and then laying it onto the page in as flawless and shiny a condition as possible. Editing was simply a way of scraping off the dirt, stuck feathers, ego and assorted grime until the story was as perfect on the page as it was in its initial conception.
But no. It’s not like that.
Writing a story is more of a themed, real-time conversation in which we, the story and me, construct the reality as we go. I don’t sit down at the laptop and give birth to a story, I pull up a chair and engage with the story; we throw things back and forward to see what works, and between us we work it out.
Sometimes I have to remind myself of things I’ve already done. No need to carry the weight of them when they’re completed.
Those dictators in Luxembourg or Brussels or wherever they’re based have stopped eating cake for long enough to decree that every website puts in some sort of widget saying that their readers’ details won’t be used for nefarious purposes.
I write short stories.
It’s not quite an online criminal empire.
Reading Lord Peter Wimsey while listening to Stephen Fry reading Sherlock Holmes. You can have too much of good thing.
The book wins.
I struggled with my soprano saxophone, Junko, so in the end I sold her.
Anyhow, a few months passed and I thought I’d get another one, and a new mouthpiece. Not sure of its name yet, but I tried him/her out tonight for the first time, and it was fun.
It’s much easier to play alto or tenor, but soprano is the one.
I asked my girl Ruthie to do a taste test of my three favourite soprano saxophonists, to see which one she liked best.
So I started with Froy Aagre, who has been playing some wonderful choral stuff the last few years.
Then I then played some Branford Marsalis, who I think is probably the best ever technician of soprano sax, and who plays the most wonderful melodies.
Followed, finally, by Steve Lacy, who carried a lone flag for soprano sax for many many years.
‘That one’ she said, as soon as I began playing Steve Lacy, adding, ‘he’s got more.’
And she’s right. He’s got more.
There are stories I need to complete.
They say it’s calmest in the eye of the storm. I dunno, but I’m feeling pretty chilled at the moment. Maybe, in a short while, I’ll be hurled outwards by some centrifugal force.
“a literary punch in the throat’ it says on the blurb.
Free download 20-24 September. Clink image for link, or search for it on Amazon.