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!