Monday, 16 June 2014

Che Faro ?*

Good Afternoon Dear Friends! 

This is a writing hut; I do not have one  - yet! 
Well what a surprise this is; it must be nearly six months or so since last we spoke and I have to say what a joy it is to be able to natter with you again - and with such consummate ease! The old study at Myrtle House has been having a bit of a revolution technology-wise and so now, instead of battling with the vagaries of dear Blogger via the touchy-feely-lovliness of iPad, I can now communicate more directly via a proper keyboard and an operating system that a) I adore even more than iOS and b) this program feels comfortable with . . . I'm so glad that you've managed to trudge across the virtual fields to find me here; the kettle is, as always, singing on the stove; pull up a chair and tea and cake shall ensue ! 

So what has occurred in the intervening period? Well, aside from the continued - and some would say positively fevered - production of a range of short stories, not to mention yet another longer piece that is proving equally as elusive as the one I began some time ago, the greatest step forward is the aforementioned technological leap which should allow for the phoenix that is Myrtle House Creative Publishing to arise and dust itself down from the ashes . . . which means that somewhere, probably in a parallel and more zen-like universe, people (like your good selves, for example) would, when the whim took them, download for a very small, almost insignificant fee, a story or two of mine to while away the lonely, tortured hours of their existence.  A huge problem I have with the process of becoming rich and famous is that the main marketplace for this kind of thing is the Devil known as Nile or Limpopo - or some huge river, anyway - whose marketing and workplace practices I very strongly disagree with and so I am looking around for alternatives . . . in the meantime Twitter continues to present me with some lovely friends, including several in the publishing business, and so you just never know as a dear Great Aunt used to say once upon a time; she was of course quite mad but totally correct in her assertion! Interestingly enough, if each of my Twitter followers were to buy a book from me for 99p I would be a very happy writer indeed  - what price happiness? Well, just under a quid evidently! 

Our Kaff - looking very glamourous!
Another project I've been mulling over for about three years now - and which received an unexpected and most - welcome boost from Twitter, is the concept of a one-woman play with music based on the life of Kathleen Ferrier. I've always been a huge fan of this unique lady whose career and life were so tragically foreshortened by cancer and have been spending the said three years or so trying to find the correct way - and, of course, person - to present it. I mentioned this on Twitter and was contacted by The Kathleen Ferrier Society (@KFSoc) who kindly offered their help and expertise in my researches - a lovely gesture and one I hope to be able to utilise fully very soon . . . as for the right person, well I know a very lovely Mezzo Soprano who I believe would fit the bill perfectly !

Our May - The Old Duchess 7.9.23 - 17.6.11
Another amazing lady I have spent a not inconsiderable amount of time writing about and to whom I owe everything - quite literally - is, of course the Old Duchess who departed this life three years ago tomorrow; time is a very strange beastie and, when I get together with The Uglies (my two older and, it has to be said, quite beautiful sisters!) for our weekly tea and cake sessions, we often remark that it seems only yesterday that she was with us but equally forever since she's been gone. She of course lives on in our memories and there isn't a moment when she isn't in our thoughts ! 

And so the afternoon drifts on and I am lost in the consideration of the lives of all the wonderful people I have known and who have made - and continue to make - life worthwhile; you all know who you are ! 

As Our Kaff sings (and can be heard doing so in the tiny link below):

"What is Life? What is life without thee? What is life if thou art dead? 

well, I suppose the answer is  - for me at least  - a life made richer by your presence and your understanding and your love - and for that I thank you all! 

I hope your week is wonderful and full to the brim with Love and sunshine

'til next time

Be Seeing You ! 

*What is Life? An aria from Orfeo ed Euridice by Gluck and sung most beautifully by Our Kaff

Monday, 3 February 2014

On Returning With The Promised Spring ...

Good Morning Dear Friends!

It has been so long since I've put pen to paper - or, in this instance, finger to touch screen - that I suspect that I've lost all my ever-so faithful followers; if this is the case I know full well that the blame lies squarely on the joint shoulders of indolence and a certain lack of spirit on my part and for that I can only apologise and hope that, as surely as Spring will arrive, so the words will once more blossom forth from this particular room ... Such poetry, eh! 

Many things have happened and occurred over the past two years and a half years that have dulled my creative edge to a point where it was practically pointless and the whole process of writing this blog - a process that once filled me with deep joy - became first a chore and then something of a ghastly, recurring daymare; hopefully, however, I'm in a much better frame of mind and, although there are still a number of clouds remaining, the beautiful blue is not quite as tarnished as it was. Anyhow, that was then and this is now and here you are visiting me for the first time in a veritable age and I haven't even offered you the slightest sustenance - you must forgive my manners; they have been, like the rooms here in Myrtle House, shuttered and unused for many a month but now pull up a virtual chair and I shall spirit up a beverage of your choosing and we'll see if we can't have a good old chinwag.

Actually, in terms of creativity, I haven't been totally idle,  with three or four short stories a month being produced. I must confess, however, that in terms actually doing anything with them I have been most remiss; the poor old Myrtle House blog which I originally set up to promote my work,  hasn't seen a posting since August 2011 and so that's another matter that needs attending to ... but, back to the stories, I am looking at ways of trying to get some income from them; there are opportunities via Amazon of course, though it has to be said, I'm hardly at one with their company ethos and working practices - the curse of a conscience I'm afraid - and there are also things worth investigating over at a Project Gutenberg which, of course, is one of my favourite repositories for old writing on the web. In any case, it's time I put my shoulder to the wheel of fortune and got it rolling ! 

I've recently spent quite a large amount of time working with some very fine musicians and revisiting the world of my youth; I should point out that I haven't been forcing my music upon these people but merely helping out with a word or two for newsletters and the like ... On that front it looks like I have to venture into the world of website building too which is something of a novelty for me; "it's just like doing a blog" they said - I can report that it isn't and, although not exactly a slouch when it comes to things technological, I have  been left feeling quite stupid and clumsy ... still, with good friend Percy Verence, I hope to have at least conquered the basics soon ... another technological thrill is writing this blog on iPad - poor old Blogger doesn't seem to like it very much and I'm having the devil's own job actually seeing what I'm writing - a blessing in disguise as I'm sure you will agree and one I'm expect you wish were heaped upon your head. If I may add here a small techno postscript as it were: the blog was written on iPad but had to viewed on my ancient iMac in order to format it; it seems Blogger doesn't like iOS, OSX or Safari very much at all - I have spent a good hour now trying to get it to a vaguely recognisable appearance . . . hmmm, not very good at all; I have been considering a move to Wordpress - mind you, will that like my system any better? Oh hum  . . .

Ah well, the day calls and I must about my business ... No, there's no need for you to stir yourself if you're comfy; why not have a look back through the dusty old archives and see if anything tickles your fancy - or at least irritates your mucous membrane to the point of a sneeze! It's been lovely chatting to you again; I hope we meet again very soon and, as always, you are more than welcome - nay, encouraged even - to leave comments below, just so that I don't feel too much of a Miss Haversham, left in my decaying finery and talking to myself !

Until next time  - which I hope will be very soon -  I wish you a simply wonderful week

Be Seeing You

PS: If you though that the somewhat bizarre photographs appear to have very little connection to the writing you would be almost exactly right; they are in fact odd little items from my time at the Writers Lodge on Jura where if you recall, I spent a week in 2011