World Book Night

23 Apr

Event tonight at the Glasgow Art Club, 185 Bath St – doors open at 7pm for a 7.30 start. Put on your thinking caps as there is going to be a quiz.

I’ll be reading an extract from The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry, one of this year’s giveaways, and also a piece on reading which will appear in the G2 Writers Chapbook, also being distributed tonight. I was asked to write a piece on either reading or writing, but being the overachiever that I am, I submitted one on each. As the writing piece wasn’t used, I’ll let you see it here (On Reading to follow, so check back in).

On Writing: Colette Coen

It’s there, perfectly formed just above my right eye. I can feel it, know the story, plot moving seamlessly, well-rounded characters.

As I drift to sleep the words line up in poetic sentences waiting to be transcribed, but by morning they have buried themselves deep, covered by shopping lists, work priorities and kids’ schedules.

So I sit, pen in hand, pristine notebook open. I know it’s there. I can feel it pulsing in my brain. They are whispering their dialogue in voices just too quiet to hear.

I excavate – dig with my pen like Heaney; like Adams I stare at the page until my eyes bleed. And when the sentences come they leave their perfection behind. Like clods of clay they dollop onto the virginal page. But patience and honing and shaping and expanding and clarifying and finally something that approximates the idea forms on the page, while the perfect story stays in my brain, just above my eye, laughing at my best intentions.

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