I was thinking about how writing dovetails with our wider lives, the lives we may lead outside the tiny cramped space in which we sit for hours hunched over a screen that slowly eats the cones and rods from within our dark-shadowed eyes, perhaps even the sanity from behind our knitted brows, lost amid a precarious landscape built from stacked pizza boxes and empty wine bottles and other far less wholesome things. You know… that place outside we call “the world”? I ventured into my corner of it recently (Vancouver, British Columbia) and even there I began to notice the marks and stamps left by other writers. Either that or I’m now so delusionally obsessed with writing I’ve reached the point of developing a serious pathology.
Vancouver’s most acclaimed literary figure was probably Malcolm Lowry, who wrote Under the Volcano here. William Gibson and Douglas Coupland also spring to mind. But I don’t really mean that. I’m not so much interested in the indisputably famous and lauded, but more the quieter language moments we sometimes stumble on by accident. Continue reading “Found Words, Waiting”
Letter writing has always figured in my portfolio of life. I write for the joy of fine paper, crisp envelopes and the walk to the post box. There is a certain satisfaction in writing a good 5 pages in one’s own hand. The rules are simple. Chatty, don’t give too much away. Stay away from the weather, unless it pertains to your circumstances, and ask questions.
Recently I have been reading biographies and it seems the research for these interesting tomes is gleaned from letters. This began a train on thought that could only end in one word; narcissism. If I were to become a famous author one day, or should I say, when I become a famous author and someone will want to write my biography, then my emails will be of no use in the trash, my twitters just memories, my facebook just a dull reminder of what I did and didn’t like, but my letters will be a treasure trove. Continue reading “A Letter for Posterity – Hettie Ashwin”