Free writing: here’s what I wrote

Spring in London – 6 April 2020

Hello from London where the streets are quiet – no sirens, no laughter, just lonely telephone calls taking their exercise in the sunshine. No shortage of sunshine either, soft and fresh, with a moon that gets bigger each night.

We’re all still indoors, households everywhere living separate ways of life, but hearing each other more loudly. It’s disconcerting – we’re together but apart, each of us caught up in new ways and in not knowing what’s next, while every day the media is full of trauma and courage.

Routine, they say – that’s what we need – so I do still try to get to my desk, to remind myself about the book I’m trying to write. The biggest help is the free writing sessions we do each week.

Last week we had a few more creative prompts from Saraswathi Sukumar. These ones really got me thinking. They weren’t the easiest to write but that can be helpful, and my responses, exactly as they were written, are below. Hope they’ll entertain, and may even inspire you to have a go.

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Free writing: the words we doodled

In memory of a great friend and in honour of Shadow – even though not the Shadow.

Hello wherever you are,

Not so warm in London today. There are patches of sun, then northerly winds full of rain gust in. It’s cold, ruffly weather. Earlier I saw two police horses clip clopping slowly down the street … not bothered by the wind, but I’m sure they must love the lack of traffic.

Anyway … to the free writing, and a guest appearance on The Phraser – a piece that gives my writing soul great pleasure.

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NNTL (No Need To Look) Investment Opportunity (fiction)

Rocky Patch

Rocky Patch

NNTL Investments are proud to bring to market a highly desirable property with interesting prospects, currently experiencing rocky patch.

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Book Review: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Thoroughly read copy of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Thoroughly read copy of The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

I know of slavery, of its shame and horror, and neither makes it my preferred topic when it comes to books. But this was a gift … so I began.

It was worth it.

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Book Review: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

A look back (first published on 30 August 2015): since writing this review I’ve read all four of the Neapolitan Novels – none of them disappointed.

The Phraser

My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

This book stuck in my hands – it followed me from the outskirts of Naples, to Pozzuoli and then to a small boat anchored off the island of Procida.  I didn’t want to put it down.

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Dear Devoted Friend – Reply to: “Dear Elephant, Sir”

Wild elephant

The elephant – “a symbol of purity, a dream of paradise lost” (words of Romain Gary in Dear Elephant, Sir)

In 1967 Romain Gary wrote an article that LIFE magazine described as “a love letter to an old companion”.  The piece was entitled “Dear Elephant, Sir”.  Almost half a century later I, with great nervousness, have attempted a reply on behalf of the elephant.  Romain Gary signed off his letter to the elephant with the words “Your very devoted friend” and then his name.

 

Dear Devoted Friend,

Should you ever read this letter you may wonder what took me so long to reply.  I trust that you did not think that I would forget.

The reason for my letter is of course self-preservation.  I, like you, know that our destinies are linked.

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