Thursday, 17 July 2014

A “Special” Blog

A special blog is needed since for once I am elsewhere than in Glasgow moping along at a snail’s pace on the various writings I am pummelling onto the page with these fists of fury. I am in Reit im Winkl with my co-editor at Verbivoracious Press, editing the Gilbert Adair festschrift, weeding the shaggier fronds of my story collection and working pell-mell on the more OCD aspects of my novel-in-progress, being intermittently besieged by flies, and rather crankily enduring the heat and absence of solitude. Reit im Winkl is a small village on the Austrian border walled in by modest forests and numerous ski lifts, popular among the snow-inclined in winter, and that is all I have to say on the matter.

This being a writer’s blog about what the writer (me) is writing—let me amuse you (me) with a précis in equal parts boring and factual. The Gilbert Adair festschrift is a selection of fiction and essays dedicated to the Scots-English-French novelist, critic, translator, and film aficionado. One of the greatest all-rounders of the last three decades, Adair died in 2011 without having earned a place in the hearts and hearths of the masses and the chattering classes, so this festschrift aims to correct that error in an entertaining and informative manner. I have been obsessed with writing about writers for as long as I have been a writer and the latest strain of this obsession has fed into the novel, The House of Writers, about which more info in the previous posts, and the collection, The Writer’s Writer and Other Writers. Keen-peepered readers will note the word ‘writer’ in both titles hinting at this obsession.

This brings us to an impasse, since I neither like talking about the banal details of what happens in my real life (these details will be reworked and re-imagined in the fictions), nor about travels and photos of nice scenes (the proliferation of images on the net has rendered one’s presence at the nice view unnecessary), nor about what I am working on in ponderous detail (since the finished work is what matters and one’s thought processes are not something that should be rendered on the page unless one is constructing a neat parcel of bullshit about their creative process). So, once again, futility has prevented this blog update from igniting. I will disclose, however, that the novel is progressing to a pleasing point, having escaped an earlier abandonment and attempt to chisel the thing into an ill-fitting novella. The story collection is nearing completion and only a last-minute paranoia about repeated forms or half-baked prose will prevent this thing from limping into the publish-me queue.