Saturday, 22 December 2012

Morphine Blues!

Still trying to write...

I don't normally take photos of my legs and my laptop but there was a specific reason. A call went out by the Notes from the Slushpile lot of photos of us writing for their 12 Days of Christmas blog....it seemed a good idea at the time. Check it out here: http://networkedblogs.com/Gg1yz

Anyway, in case you hadn't guessed, I have just undergone some surgery and because of the amount of pain I have been taking huge amounts of drugs including morphine. I kept thinking of all those amazing writers who produced incredible stuff whilst consuming vast amounts of laudanum and wondered when my moment was going to come. When were these amazing words going to fall out of my fingers onto the screen? They didn't, they have stayed resolutely buried within my grey matter, which has got greyier by the day.

I have been reading (and rereading as the drugs seem to make taking anything in an impossibility) an essay by Zadie Smith entitled 'Rereading Barthes and Nabokov.'  It is a good essay and I intended to write a highfaluting response - again mega fail on my part - one day I will but not yet. What I did keep getting attracted to was an idea of Milan Kundera's that she mentions: 'Great novels are always a little more intelligent than their authors.'And I believe this is no less the case with children's books when you write them. They should take the author beyond what they know and understand in the same way. My great friend Foucault talks about this too when he says 'it would probably not be worth the trouble of making books if they failed to teach the author something he hadn't known before.' This flies in the face slightly of 'write what you know' but if we only wrote what we knew a lot of books would never have been written - how may of you went to Wizard schools, have ridden on the back of polar bears or have fallen through the back of a wardrobe to find a Narnia....

Writing is in fact all about challenging everyone - not just the writer but the reader too. Taking them to all sorts of new places. Opening the reader's eyes and giving them a chance to dance in new worlds.  The point with children is they often understand far more than they can articulate so the books you write for them need to be a challenge too. 

...and that's as far as I can go with my response to the essay. And my dreams of amazing words dissolved in the morphine blues. Maybe next week will be better I will see the world clearly again and in the meantime something for me to escape into:

12 comments:

  1. Dance in a new world - how I love that! Worry not about the morphine. It's there to numb the pain so it's probably numbing the grey cells too. The writing will wait. You need to get better first!
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Sue. It is proving to be more of a struggle than I thought but I will get there XX

      Delete
  2. Hope you have a pain-free Christmas and a creative New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, very kind of you. I hope you have a wonderful New Year too.

      Delete
  3. The writing will wait and meanwhile the thoughts and ideas will be stewing in the great cauldron of the unconscious and will emerge ready-cooked once you are through the pain and the morphine. Here's to a fabulous 2013 filled with all sorts of creative possibilities! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such wise words Nicky, as always. I hope your 2013 is full of creative possibilities too. xxx

      Delete
  4. I can't quite believe you wrote this erudite post through a morphine haze! The power of your brain is unstoppable :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post, Vanessa, who says you're not writing!? You'll be back on form in no time. Love your Ry Cooder selection. I have one song from that same album in my iTunes. Love "Get Rhythm" from years ago, that's what got me hooked on his music though I only have a few songs. Take good care of yourself over the holidays and we'll read you in the new year! Colleen :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Am pleased you enjoyed the music too. xx

      Delete
  6. I love Nicky's cauldron of the unconscious, I was in the bath last night and suddenly the solution to the beginning of a book I'd written years ago came to mind. That particular thought must have been stewed. You have no idea how much is bubbling, Vanessa, so give yourself a break and let your head get on with stuff without you. Hope you get better soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how wonderful. I hope you have fun writing the new beginning. Many thanks Maureen

      Delete