I don’t totally understand how, but different types of post definitely have a different sound. A pile of bills, bank statements and direct marketing will always sound as dreary as it actually is.
This morning we had a good post day. The journey from letterbox being prised open to mail landing on floor was reassuringly long. It sounded good, and it was. MBH beat me to it, and declared Something For Me had arrived. It was most probably one of two things – The Creative Writing Coursebook, edited by Julia Bell and Paul Magrs; or The Ninian Plate.
It was the latter, which I’m lucky enough to have been asked to review. Now I’ve not finished the thing, and I will before I review it. You’ll be able to read it in the next Northwords Now. I honestly thought it would be about oil exploration, but it’s not. It’s about Picts (or at least the beginning is). I think it’s a massively brave thing for a writer to do to immerse themselves in a completely different time.
The one thing I get from the little I’ve read so far is how hard life was. It’s set in the seventh century AD. There are no creature comforts, and a great deal of physical strain. And it occurs to me that neither the former nor the latter would have changed much until about the 16th or 17th century, and the kind of life recognisable to us is much younger than that.
Now I get hacked off with things. Things get too much. But if I compare life in early 21st century Glasgow to 7th Century Shetland, I’m very fortunate that generations of my forebears struggled and struggled to keep human life, well, alive.
Apart from that, my writing focus has been on an application to register for the Scottish Book Trust’s Live Literature Database. It’s forced me to think about what I’ve done, what I do, and who I am. All three of these change, but the more you know, the more you’re in the driving seat I think. I’ve enjoyed it, and I’ll keep you all updated.