Still taking notes for poems but don't have the mental energy to actually turn them into poems. Doing lots of reading instead.
Just finished a bizarre short book by the wonderful Czech writer Milan Kundera, Identity. As the title suggests the book explores the theme of human identity through the relationship between two lovers. It's quite a psychological book - full of mind-games and manipulation. Kundera doesn't like being referred to as a philosophical writer but his books are definitely books of Ideas, existentialism in this case. One of my favorite bits in the book comes out of the mouth of the character Jean-Marc when he describes a visit to his dying grandfather :
"I had just turned fourteen, and my grandfather – not the cabinetmaker, the other one – was dying. There was a sound coming from his mouth that was unlike anything else, not even a moan because he wasn’t in pain, not like words he might have been having trouble saying, no, he hadn’t lost speech, just very simply he had nothing to say, nothing to communicate, no actual message, he didn’t even have anyone to talk to, wasn’t interested in anyone any more, it was just him alone with the sound he was emitting, one sound, an “ahhhh” that broke off only when he had to take a breath. I would watch him, hypnotized, and I never forgot that, because, though I was only a child, something seemed to become clear to me: this is existence as such confronting time as such; and that confrontation, I understood, is named boredom. My grandfather’s boredom expressed itself by that sound, by that endless “ahhhh”, because without that “ahhhh” time would have crushed him, and the only weapon my grandfather had against time was that feeble “ahhhh” going on and on."
I'm also reading a series of essays on feminism by Virginia Woolf. I've long been a fan of her novels but the essays are excellent, very sharp, insightful, a wonderful writer.
Still waiting (forever it seems) on replies for poetry submissions, some I've given up on.
So on a happier note here are some of the reasons why I love Poetry Scotland:
i They were the first to publish my poems
ii I've had poems in the last two issues and three poems coming up in the summer issue
iii The response time is usually about a week (bliss)
iv It's only a quid an issue
v It's a broadsheet packed with poems and only poems
Some non-poetry news - I'm having a girl!!! This was a surprise - I was convinced I was having another boy! So now I'm dreaming of rows and rows of little dresses and very excited about what having a little girl is going to be like!
I can't resist puting a scan photo up. It's the first time I've had a 3D scan, we only paid for a normal one but the very nice lady gave us 3D pics to take away as well as the normal. My wee girl smirks and smiles in the womb.