Saturday, 28 September 2013

That explains the kraken fixation then

Leafing through the Guardian Review section this morning over tea and toast, I came across this image illustrating an article about the Shunga exhibit on at the British Museum. Shunga, I discovered, is Japanese erotic art and Ian Buruma's piece offered a fascinating overview of this mainstream art form, its links to Shinto and the like. But for me this image, by Hokusai (he of the giant curling waves and images of Mount Fuji) says it all. Titled Dream of the Fisherman's Wife it is surreal, fantastical, absurd, sensual, disturbing and very funny.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Books are my bag

The Books are my Bag day would have passed me by if it wasn't for an early morning flick through the twitter feed. A day celebrating independent bookshops and the supremacy of the book as an unparalleled accomplishment in reading technology? Count me in.

So what is in the fab bag? A hardback copy of Jhumpa Lahiri's new book, The Lowland --last copy in the shop.

There are no new stories (just ways to tell them)

This sobering message is one of the first things I learned when I attended my first fiction writing workshop, way back when. Pen in hand, bristling to unleash tales of earth-shattering originality, I was informed by my tutor that, actually, there are no new stories. It’s all done before, loads of times, and  the only new thing a creative brings to the story is their unique point of view.

Every day I am grateful for receiving this insight early on. It saved me from wasting years at the keyboard trying to be different, or original or clever. It also made me look at stories, in whatever from they take, in a different way. 

Which is a rather long winded way of saying this blog is all about different ways of telling stories. It is where I explore different forms of storytelling, what works, what doesn’t --and why. I am not interested in writing reviews or focusing on only books or film or art. My interest lays in how the story is told.