How did that happen? All of a sudden it’s the first Wednesday of the month and I’m being reminded to link to the Insecure Writers’ Support Group.
I’ve been listening to the revealing diaries of Stephen Fry – or some of them, since these already seem to run to several volumes. I wasn’t totally impressed with the later volume I read (can’t remember the title) as there seemed to be a lot of partying, hanging out with stars both here and in the US, drug-taking, flying, drug-taking… it was like The Great Gatsby and there didn’t seem to have been a lot of editing; there were few highs and lows, just a long building towards an inevitable crash – for which we have to wait until the next volume. However, these diaries, serialised for Radio 4 and now available on 4xtra, proved much more engaging as they cover the years from the beginning of his career to the start of the drug-taking and include an encounter with Stephen Sondheim and a fax machine at midnight and a friendship with Douglas Adams (taller even than Fry) centring on the birth of the Apple Mac.
I have also been catching up with Winifred Holtby’s ‘South Riding’, a book I keep meaning to read but somehow never do: this adaptation stars Sarah Lancashire (‘Last Tango in Halifax’ and ‘Happy Valley’) and features Phillip Glenister and the woman who plays Lynda Snell.
I’ve been following a ‘course’ (though ‘course’ is a bit of a grandiose word for what turned out to be a series of daily thoughts on writing a novel) and finding them interesting. Today’s thought was about the journey of the hero from obscurity to fulfillment and how that usually begins with an encounter. Think Harry Potter and the owl post; Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf; the Pevensies and the wardrobe. There do seem to be universals in these stories – and the readings gave me much food for thought.
You can sign up to the course here:
In the meantime a shout-out to all other insecure writers. Fling yourself off the precipice and fly!