Friday, April 3, 2009

going clubbing


no, not seals, but books: i was at my first book club this week, whereat it was my book being clubbed.

it felt vaguely like someone had got hold of my diary and made photocopies. all stiff and starchy, new books look like preserved corpses or waxwork novels. they seem happier when they're bent and stained, with pages dog-eared and crumpled. they look individual, then, as much the owner's as mine.

at one point, a clubber asked me why evie did such a thing, rather than something else. i momentarily panicked, thinking i would be revealed as a fraud: i made the whole thing up! she did it because that's how i wrote it! she's not real!

i had a sip of wine, and provided a psychological theory to explain her motives. maybe it's even true. characters are born like frankenstein's monster. you take an arm from this person, a psychological flaw from someone else, add in your uncle's sense of humour and step back. if things go well, lightening strikes, and the creature walks off to a life of its own. if things go badly, you're left with a stitched-together corpse staggering around your book.

i was at the kick off of tall ships 09 for metro yesterday. i happened to sit next to some very friendly chaps from pugwash, who promised to give me the guided tour of their town should i make it there this summer on my hitchhiking trip. i may have secured a spot on a tall ship this summer - the organizer is going to try and embed me on board!
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