Friday, February 20, 2009

" A Bit Of A Mishmash!"

It's a cliche, isn't it?? : "I don't know where the time goes!" .... but I don't and it's about time I posted another blog, be it merely a swift one.
SO this is a sort of word ratatouille...hope not as mushy as my soggy vegetable ones.
So here comes a bit of a mishmash!

I've been writing a fair bit since Christmas. Still not enough, but I'm attempting stuff and best of all, I'm enjoying m'self doing it. Perhaps I can develop some discipline..but still...the sheer delight in actually doing some writing IS the essential thing.

What else?? Apart from having good times with family ( new babes included!!) also friends and generally appreciating Life's simple stuff a lot more than usual. After that Christmas flu, even the ordinary glows, if you get my drift....

Two HUGE films seen this week. Most folk reading this have probably already wallowed in them . Both are up for Oscars. Both are very different ( " Slumdog" and " The Reader" ) portraying vastly contrasting worlds, cultures, themes. And both had SUCH massive, strong themes, including horrendous ones.....
BUT both films had one identical theme, that of "First Love" ( no doubt a memory crucial to us all ) and both experiences are told in the form of a young guy's story.

The actors were superb: Dev Patel ( aged 18, born London) was the Slumdog who wins a fortune but never forgets his first love ( Frieda Patel, who...ssh! it appears he may well be dating In Real Life) .... A fine actor indeed.
And here's a snippet: it appears that when Patel took his GCSE Drama, he played the part of a child in the Beslan School Siege SO brilliantly , that his Examiner was moved to tears...

In " The Reader" David Kross ( also 18, born Scleswig Holstein) plays Michael Berg who as a teenager falls in love with Hanna Schmitz ( ex concentration camp guard, played by Kate Winslett)
Kross REALLY must've thought his luck was in... being cast with Winslett.
BUT we too were indeed in luck, to see the talented Kross play this part. ...
I look forward to seeing those 2 guys receive Oscars of their own and I bet it's in no time at all....

2 local writers have visited my class since Christmas. Caroline Smailes called in last year so it was great to see her again this year. She talked with us about her very full writing career; lots has happened since we met. The day after Caroline visited, her book" Black boxes" was out in paperback. Have a look at her blog ( for lots more about her work/publications ( and also the nice things she said on her Feb 9th post about our group!!)

Our second visitor was local poet Clive McWilliam, who is a landscape architect by profession. He shared lots of his work with us and we glimpsed how he creates it and what influences this process. Clive has won several high-profile prizes, most recently, the Virginia Warbey Prize for his poem " One Place Twice", set by the sea on the East coast. As with Caroline, both poets and prose writers alike had a great morning.

A couple of weeks ago Andrew Rudd ( Cheshire Poet Laureate 2004) ran a workshop for Friends of LitFest, hosted generously by/at Chester University's English Dept. This was by arrangement with Senior English Lecturer Ashley Chantler. Ashley also jointly edits an exciting new bi-annual magazine called "Flash"; this deals in short fiction up to 360 words.
Andrew's theme for his workshop was " Finding the poetry in your own voice"; this made for talk about metaphors, their place in language and reading poems ( including " Nirvana" by Charles Bukowski) and also creating off the cuff stuff ourselves.

No more time now but I've enjoyed this splurge in Blogland. And I hope to come back soon.


Blogger jinksy said...

Glad to see you must be feeling better, and presumably the barking alsation syndrome is no more...

9:49 pm  
Blogger Fern said...

Glad I am not the only erratic blogger.

Fingers crossed you get some good walking weather whilst you are in the Lakes. I will be going to see The Maid of Buttermere too.

I am going to see Slumdog on Tues, looking forward to it even more now.

7:34 pm  
Blogger Jon M said...

So that's what you've been up to! Good to have you back.

10:11 pm  
Blogger Sarah Laurence said...

Jan, time spent writing is time spent well indeed. The blog can wait. Your class sounds fun. I enjoyed this update and am looking forward to more.

10:41 pm  
Blogger apprentice said...

ice to hear from you and to know that life is interesting and rich for you just now.

I loved the photography in Slumdog, I'm still not sure how I feel about the narrative though, but I'm hard to please.

11:46 am  
Blogger marlyat2 said...

Hi Jan,

That was the most fabulous compliment, particularly the moon part! Thanks. Meanwhile, you have been doing all kinds of interesting things and also bouncing your babies, which is more than interesting.

Fern says "erratic." That's me, too. I'm definitely as erratic as you are, blogwise. It's not a fault. Life is better than blogs. But I've actually had people bugging me by mail this time! So I finally posted again, and that should take care of me for a while. We should have an Erratic Bloggers Society. Or maybe Seasonal Bloggers Society. With bylaws. And strict membership. Kick out people who blog too much or twitter!

Just came from NC, where my mother wanted to see "Slumdog" but my kids ruled in favor of "Coraline."

5:42 pm  
Blogger Kay said...

My blogging has been a little sporadic too this year.
However I refuse to worry about it ... Lovely to read your catch-up. It sounds like you have been doing far more worthy things than blogging!

6:18 am  
Blogger Jan said...

Jinsky: Hopefully!

Shall try and guess who you are!

Thanks Jon.

I haven't time to blog as much as I'd like ( because it tends to wrap round too many hrs once I start! ) but hopefully I'll improve..

I haven't seen the actual book but the plot idea is great...
all the flashbacks etc and I suppose this technique could well be used in lots of ways..

Three Cheers For Erratic Bloggers!
There's a lot of 'em about...

Good to hear you Kay and hope all thriving with you, your writing and your expanding family...

1:56 pm  
Blogger Lucy said...

An occasional erratic mishmash is just fine, and I'm an erratic reader, which is probably much less acceptable!

3:46 pm  
Anonymous marlyat2 said...

Hey, I thought there would be a bit of that new writing by now...

No worry. I am as inclined to be blog-slothful as anyone!

1:58 am  
Blogger Absolute Vanilla (and Atyllah) said...

So glad the words have been flowing - good for you! Nice to see you out for a bit of a blog splurge - hope you'll be around a bit more - though now it's my turn to be the erratic blogger!

6:43 pm  
Blogger Kate Lord Brown said...

Hello Jan - just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed looking around your blog ('found' you through googling Peter O'Toole images - as you do :)) All the best!

7:46 pm  
Blogger Suffolkmum said...

Lovely to catch up with you again. I sloped off for quite some time; just lost the motivation. Then woke up one day and it was back - and since then I can't stop writing (though still blogging sporadically. Sorry to hear you had the Christmas 'flu too - what a horror that was. Glad you're writing. Slumdog was great wasn't it?

8:40 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

Lucy: Oh good, You've made me feel better!

You, blog slothful!
Not true because they're always well worth waiting for and quality better than quantity..

Hello and glad you returned.
Shall call soon.

I'm wondering why you were googling Peter O'Toole?
Good to meet you Kate and lovely hearing you like my blog.
Ity's a bit neglected but I've been focusing on my own writing stuff.
However I shall be back..

Hello again!
Hope your writing going great.

8:13 pm  

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