A few weeks ago, I stopped writing Slice of Life, ostensibly so I could recharge my batteries and return at some yet-to-be-decided point in the future with sharpened pen. And that was my plan. Honestly.
In the intervening weeks
I've thought long and hard about this. And my conclusion is that Slice of Life
has run its course. Sure I could scout around for new subjects, new things to
scrutinise, satirise or eulogise, but why? To what purpose? To raise a titter,
chuckle or guffaw somewhere out there in the limitless void?
think that's enough any more and I don't want to slip into self parody or
repetition. I don't want it to outstay its welcome. In any case, the 3 books are
available through Amazon and other sources and, incidentally, make the perfect
stocking fillers for the discerning reader. They will continue to be available
for the foreseeable future.
So what next?
I have a number of
things to address and I am writing them here as a kind of assurance that they
will take place. When you nail your colours to so public a mask, failure is not
an option. So here is the roadmap.
Poetry - I have long viewed this with
suspicion. Most people, on reading poetry, think "I could do that - nowt to it".
Mostly they are wrong. Somehow the Shakespeare sonnets of their imagination
don't transfer intact to the page. There is no facial expression that matches
the rictus smile of a critic forced to attend an amateur poetry soiree.
Could I do any better? Maybe not but I won't know till I try. If it's
drivel, I'll spare your cringes and polite changing of the subject. Let's just
hope that I retain sufficient insight to know it's crap.
Short stories -
Ever since I fiirst read Hemingway, I have seen the potential of this form. It's
too easy to dismiss short stories as sketches for novels or as failed novels,
lost for inspiration. Some are. But others are conceived for this form. As a
string quartet is to a symphony, so the short story is to the novel. I love the
leanness of the best short stories. No lyrical longueurs - every word has to
count. It's the best mental workout a writer can have.
childhood - I grew up in God''s Country and, though far away now, it still calls
me. I have wanted to write about a 60s childhood for a while. That time is now.
What do all three projects have in common? They have nothing to do with
Parkinson's. I need a break from this illness. And since I cannot shake its
malign grip on the rest of my life, I can at least find refuge from it in my
writing. It's my happy place. You wouldn't grudge me that would you?
website will continue. Some of this new writing may well find its way here but
not as Slice of Life. So there we are.
I'll get my coat.