Unlike Stephen King’s book of the same title, this isn’t exactly “a manual of the craft.” You won’t find much about the writing side of writing here; nothing about crafting sentences, forming paragraphs, developing characters or plots.
It’s less about the craft of writing than about the life of a writer; and it shares with King’s eponym the part-memoir approach. Kennedy spends a lot of time describing how writing has been bad for her health in various ways, and how in turn her pathological fear of flying has made the writing life more difficult, (travelling to North America by ship for a signing tour) for example.
The largest and most entertaining part of it was originally published as blog entries on The Guardian’s site.
It’s very good. And not from the book, but with Doctor Who back (and nearly finished) you should read her meditation on it and on the state of Britain.
More autumn light in Clapton Square of a morning. Looking towards the old Police Station, and messed around in #vscocam.
Autumn green. #vscocam
Always good to get a new JK Rowling, of course, whatever name she’s using. I sometimes wonder if she’s got loads of other things out there, under other as-yet-undisclosed pseudonyms; probably not, though.
Anyway, in the second Cormoran Strike book, we have more of the same sort of thing we had in the first. This time it’s set in the world of publishing, with all sorts of rivalries between more and less successful authors, agents, editors and publishers. “Write what you know”, Jo.
But can such rivalries drive someone to murder? It seems so.
My main, and very minor, complaint about this was that there wasn’t enough of sidekick Robin. in it, I felt.
I don’t know how many of these she’s planning to write, but sooner or later Cormoran has to meet — and presumably solve a crime for, or concerning — his estranged rock-star father. who is a recurring offstage character.
Just got into a train. There’s a log lying on the floor. No sign of the Lady. The owls are not what they seem.
In the interest of trying to catch up, I’m not going to say much about this. You probably know all about this already.
Also, it’s been quite a while since I read it, and although I enjoyed it, it hasn’t really stuck around in my head in a way that leaves me much to say. It’s clever in giving us some idea of what it might be like to live with autism. That might be its greatest strength.
I got a card in the post the other day, from my friends Di and Johnny. Regular readers will know Di as one of the most frequent commenters here (ie, she has commented). We disagreed over The Great Gatsby.
Anyway, the card had a post-it stuck inside, with some writing on it that I couldn’t quite make out. Di wrote, “Been trying to get this for you for ages… can you guess who it is?”
I was slow to realise that the “who” referred to the writing on the post-it. But she also said there was a clue on the back of the card.
On the back she’d written “devilgate.org”.
The post-it looks like this:
And I read it to say, “To Martin. Suzi Quatro.”
I mean, if it says that it makes sense considering my origin story; otherwise, not so much.
Thanks Di and Johnny. It’s a lovely thought.
This BBC Music “Greatest Covers” poll has some quite good — and interesting — choices. It has the right answer, of course, but also Hüsker Dü and The Fall (and not even The Fall’s best cover — that would be “Xanadu”).