Saturday, 16 October 2010

Curved Ball

Have you missed me? I've been gone a while. As from my previous posts you may be aware that things with my PhD were going well, as was teaching, and as was life in general. Did the alarm bells ring? No, I was happily complacent, secure in enjoying my life. But as I've learnt in the past things like this can't last and often it is my body that decides it is going to rip the rug from under me. It did it again. This time with an inflamed and infected gall bladder...and I've not known pain like. I would give birth any time in comparison to that.

Anyway enough of that. It has taken me away for a while but I am back possibly moving at a slightly slower pace and less complacent. I haven't touched the PhD for a week and it has been agony. Ideas kept popping into my mind, thoughts and moments of inspiration that I wanted to act on immediately but I did as I was told ( a rare thing if you ask both my children and my Director of Studies who all ganged up on me in hospital). But, and this is so hard to admit, it has been good and served a purpose. I have been able to step away and think things through. I have come away from the week with loads of thoughts for both the novel and the critical piece.

I have been contemplating meta-narratives and micro-narratives, representation and just the creative process in general. This last part was partly because I have been dipping in out of a book called 'Home at Grasmere' which was extracts from the journal of Dorothy Wordsworth. It was given to me by said DoS, I think in an attempt to shut me up. I expected detailed insight into how her brother William wrote. It wasn't to be instead it offered tantalising exerts of their day to day lives. It made me think, do we as writers share our processes with anyone or is it something that is so individual that we keep to ourselves for fear of lack of interest from others? As a lecturer of creative writing I must share some of my processes but am not sure I share them all.

I probably should also point out the week wasn't all a bed of roses. Strong painkillers and antibiotics can do dreadful things, allowing all your daemons out to haunt you night after night. I am glad I am off both now perhaps I can get back to some form of reality that isn't as a complacent as before but is looking to the future not backwards.

Stay well and oh how I wish I could drop in some music here...sorry you will just have to imagine your favourite song of all time


  1. Just wanted to add this as an after thought. Whilst I was in hospital and morphined up there were some wonderful laughs. One reason being that a good friend Kate Wheeler had sent me a great short story a couple of nights beforehand which she had written and was based on a hospital ward...there were so many characters from her story on my ward it was wonderful. My children were frequent visitors as were several members of the uni. Particularly on the Saturday when I found myself surrounded by a Professor, a Reader and a Lecturer. Though the one thing that will go with me for a long time was a visit by Liz. Liz is the wonderful lady who conducted the amazing service at my Mum's funeral, she is also a member of my supervisory team and most importantly my BIG boss! Only she could convince the staff to let her in outside visiting hours by informing the staff she was my personal priest. I am not sure whether they thought she was going to administer last rites but they let her in. And I am still laughing at it. Thank you Liz and thank you everyone (and that includes my fb friends) for caring so much about me x

  2. An enforced break giving you time to think about the PhD, or about any creative work, ought to be a must. I just wish you could have done it in a less dramatic way!
    Anyway, good on you Ness, turning something so utterly awful into a positive. Keep it up, girl, you can do it!