Wednesday, 29 July 2009

the view from

my desk (2006-2008)

*This post comes to you directly from the "I have not written anything new or subbed anything or have anything truly writerly to talk about today" side of my brain*

So I will tell you about how, in and around 2006, the view from my writing desk looked like this
(I have been perusing old photos, this one stood out, and I like it. Plus it's from a time before I went digital, so these are actual photographs):

It's out of date, and if it were a representation of my life and those I love, there are many people missing.

However. In this particular collage of a photograph you can see-

-many great friends

-including my cousin, taking centre stage (arm up like Bruce Forsythe)

-my boyfriend, Mario, top right (all the good blogs have a clever name or abbreviations for their other halves, don't they? Not I.)

-old housemates

-couples who sadly (only for me - they've moved on) are no more

-couples who are still together and even made babies (actually, just one such couple)

-family from the past (top centre - the only photo I have of me, my Mum and my brothers)

-the inherited family, that is Mario's family

-two girls I grew up with in school, and one I grew up with at university

-me and a pint (middle, far right) in Covent Gardens

-a piece of paper, on which I copied and pinned up the quotes from the Asham Award judges (2007?) saying what they wanted from their winning short stories.


I still find that useful now, and often reflect on these words. They asked for:
"Originality, ambition, daring, poise, wit, gusto. Wonderful characters. A brilliantly evoked sense of place. Fine plotting. Pitch perfect dialogue. I want to learn something."
(I particularly like those first 6 words.)

So that's that.

It's not the view from my desk now, even though I'm in the same room. I dismantled that board of photos because they started to feel out of date (those broken up couples, and the absences of the missing people) but I'm glad I took that photograph.

I took that little post-it down with the Asham judges ideals too, but it's burnt in me somehow - it's something I often recall when I'm writing a short story.

So, do you have a set of ideals you aspire to? Are they your own inspirations, or from elsewhere?


Brian Keaney said...

What novelists do, Fay Weldon declares in 'Letters To Alice', is to build Houses of the Imagination and where houses cluster together there is a city. This is how she describes that city:
'It glitters and glances with life, and gossip, and colour, and fantasy: it is brilliant, it is illuminated, by day by the sun of enthusiasm and by night by the moon of inspiration. It has its towers and pinnacles, its commanding heights and its swooning depths: it has public buildings and worthy ancient monuments, which some find boring and others magnificent. It has its central districts and its suburbs, some salubrious, some seedy, some safe, some frightening. Those who founded it, who built it, house by house, are the novelists, the writers, the poets. And it is to this city that the readers come, to admire, to marvel and explore.'

Teresa Stenson said...

Thanks for that, Brian.

Wow - that's quite a quote, but quite intimidating too, I have to admit.

Is that something you draw on yourself?