On being a writer...

A celebration of the writing process, of being a writer, of all the weird things that pass through a writing brain...

Sunday, 5 February 2012

black and white

Paul Simon sings 'everything looks worse in black and white' (Kodachrome)...actually, I don't think that's true. I think different, rather. These thoughts on colour are inspired by a weekend in which we saw The Artist - and then it snowed. Snow is so weird the way it alters the familiar so dramatically, but more, is the one thing that grinds us to a halt. Changes lives, overnight.

I liked The Artist, especially the chinking of the glass on the dressing table and other quirky reflections on sound - less convinced by the wallow of self-pity. Hey. You have a beautiful girl and a dog and a promising career, what's to put a gun in the mouth for? (Well, not fond of dogs, myself).

But have been reflecting on colour, in the light of my current read - still A Fine Balance. Such a wonderfully detailed book - and in all the right ways - it's texture, rather than detail, perhaps. There's this entire world buzzing away in the background to the story of two brothers struggling to survive. Their personal lives work on a minute scale - what they eat, what they think. I realise that when I'm dissatisfied with my writing, it's often because it's thin. That wonderful sense of depth and colour and texture is lacking.

Back to work, then. And ultimately, it's about having the confidence to plumb the depths of the imagination. My Evelyn throws a party. I think back to flats I've shared, the dankness of the kitchen, woodlice in the cracks between lino and floorboard, a cupboard which you never really own, as a short-term tenant because there are other people's smells of must and spills in it.

Now, I'm getting there.

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