Archive for October, 2010

Remnants and hope

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

roses in snow2

Snow overnight. Even before I pulled up the blind I knew. I think it is the sound. Or rather the silence, it’s as if a soft duvet has been draped over the the city. But this is is just an early teaser, probably gone before the end of the day. Still, it makes me sad to to think that I am about to leave. I have a perverse love of the kind of weather most people call ‘bad’. This time of the year in this part of the world is my element. My most creative environment.

I have now handed over a good portion of my new book to my Swedish publisher. It felt momentous: firstly it’s far from complete and may yet undergo substantial rewrites, secondly it’s the first time I have tried to write simultaneously in English and Swedish. But so far, so good, apparently. I am grateful for the response and feel more hopeful about this novel than I have in a very long time. So, time to dive into the world I have created and live with it, inside it.

I am reading a very interesting novel by Swedish author Sigrid Comb√ľchen, ‘Spill’ (The title is hard to translate. The Swedish word means scrap, pieces that never came to be used, wasted bits. Still, I think ‘Remnants’ would be an appropriate translation). The author is a character in the novel and here is what she says about the process of writing fiction:

‘The long upward slope of springtime that belonged to the novel I was working on was about to reach its cusp or critical mass. This means that the story is about to become a self functioning world, and no longer needs to be recreated every morning. Soon it confirms itself in everything you see and do. You exclusively note affirmations. You exaggerate and restrict your impressions and transform them into something suited for the novel.’

Like with so many of my reflections, someone else has expressed them better than I ever could.


Ngqauza: Be still!

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010


My daughter in law, Linda, has returned safely after filming in South Africa for a month. I can’t wait to hear first hand, but meanwhile I have taken joy from watching some of the early stills. Click on the image above to share them. And wish the team luck for the post production. More about this later!


Tuesday, October 5th, 2010


Today, my old grandfather clock came back from the clock repair man. It’s like new, with a soft, even ticking and a delicate peal. My home has a heart and I am not alone anymore. I have cleaned the house. There is no clutter on my desk. I have even defrosted the freezer. And, with the support of my new agent I have finally managed to lay worries about my representation to the side. It is a huge relief. I am finally ready to focus on my work. Wish me luck. No, better, wish me discipline.