Several writing-related incidents have happened to me recently, and now I’ve collected three I feel that that is enough to write a blog post.
People who know me know that I often wear a little pin-badge on my navy-blue v-neck jumper (I’m not sure quite when I got so unoriginal with clothes, perhaps it’s because I admire Neil Gaiman so much), and the little pin-badge says “i write books”. I’m quite proud of this badge, although it isn’t strictly true – it ought to say “i wrote a book once” but that wouldn’t fit so well, and this way I feel like I might get back into it just as soon as I’ve written my masters. (The pin badge came from the wonderful goodie bags that Liam gave out at the beginning of Nanowrimo 2005, second in their wonderfulness only to the penguins.)
Yesterday I was in Beans (a coffee shop in Oundle), the very nice waiter saw my badge and asked me, out of the blue, “so, do you write books then?”
“Well,” I replied, “I’m just an amateur really”.
That is so amateur
Thence followed a conversation about amateur writing (he’s one too – but he’s had a break and is going abroad to write for a bit). It ended with him bringing me coffee and cake and us both wishing each other good luck. I left feeling happier all over. Isn’t it strange that something as small as a badge, and something as crazy and wonderful as writing, can bring people together, even if only for a few moments?
Today Michael Morpurgo was talking at the Oundle Festival of Literature. He was really rather good – the audience was mostly children and the talk was pitched at their level, but he’s primarily a children’s writer, and anyway he had me hooked right the way through. He was in fact very inspiring, and I want to read more of his books now (I read ‘Why the Whales Came’ in P5 with Mrs. Bacon, but that would be going on 12 years ago), it’s a shame I don’t own any of his books to get signed. He talked about journeys, stories as journeys, journeys of swallows to Africa and back to his barn, journeys around the world, by yacht, by boat, journeys to school (not all happy), and as he talked I found myself having ideas. I wish I’d brought a paper and pencil with me to write them down, because now I can remember only one, and it doesn’t seem all that brilliant now outside the aura of Michael Morpurgo.
And the third thing: hopefully Alex and I are going to see Neil Gaiman in Forbidden Planet on Friday. Squeeeeee! If only I could find my copy of ‘Stardust’ to get signed…