Automatic writing

The Penzance Literary Festival is shaping up, albeit with a few hitches and bumps. I’ve seen a draft programme and have been working with Rosanne Rabinowitz – a far more prolific and successful writer than I am – on the title and blurb for the event we’re taking part in. It’s still possible that writer and political activist Emily Apple will also appear. I hope so. The festival seems to be growing year by year and is attracting bigger names. Sennen based author and very out gay man Patrick Gale is opening and doing a reading. His novel The Cat Sanctuary is my favourite of his; a beautiful tale, although he’s probably more known from Notes on an Exhibition, which was picked for, of all things, Richard and Judy’s Book Club a few years back. But having a queer author on mainstream tv is as good as having a female horror writer on mainstream tv.

Ravens is progressing nicely. I’m still trying to keep up with myself to get most of it down. I know how it ends but there’s a gap in the second half of the story that still needs to be filled. It will come by the time I get there. I’m still deciding whether the story should leave London, but since much of it is about cynicism and greed, then London’s the perfect setting. I write nearly everything longhand – it’s slower than writing straight onto the computer but lets my thoughts settle properly and I’m less likely to miss things out. It also means I can write anywhere but these days I tend to stay close to where I can play music. Although I’m realising that it’s time I wrote at a sacred site again. I’ve not been getting to these places as much as I’d like recently, apart from a short trip to the womb-like holy well at Sancreed, where it’s said that you can enter a trance state if you sit right inside it for half an hour or so. I have not spent that much time there. It would be interesting to try it. The only similar experience I have was visiting Carn Euny some years ago early one frosty February morning. I had the place to myself, until I was leaving the beehive hut in the fogou. I hit my head on the granite lintel and as I staggered out a cat appeared. It sat next to me for some time while I recovered and then made its way elsewhere. I’d always assumed the cat was real but perhaps should be a bit more open minded about it!

2 thoughts on “Automatic writing

  1. Very interesting to read about your writing process! I used to always write longhand too, and somewhere along the way eventually migrated to writing on the computer. It still gives me great pleasure to write in beautiful, inspiration places, too. Best of luck with your work.

    • I’ve used the computer many times, and it does have its place, but I can’t help but find it impersonal. Of course, a laptop is highly portable, so I could take it more or less anywhere, but I find that I don’t do so. I think that might be a generational thing, too – I’m aware that younger people seem to have gadgets with them at all times. And – same as with the Kindle dilemma – I’m less likely to attract the wrong kind of attention with a notebook and pen!

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