Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Too much for Henry James, I fear

My circadian rhythms are shot to pieces.

Several months ago I began rising at 6.30 am to start “messing about upstairs with your - ie, my - writing” (courtesy one of my daughters twenty years ago). I tell myself my mind is brighter then. Also I feel smug doing something as trivial as writing fiction in the dark. But there are problems.

Once the computer is on I inevitably check my blog and others. Often the two hours of added “brightness” are dissipated in comments and responses – all of which now seem to be longer. Nobody appears to have noticed that any of this stuff is the product of a brighter mind.

But that’s mere impulsiveness. The other problem is physiological. Technically early rising doesn’t affect me since, like other gerontocrats, I no longer need eight hours’ sleep. Try telling that to my brain. Once I’m done at the keyboard I go downstairs to eat dinner and/or read or watch telly. Both these latter activities are severely circumscribed by heavy eyelids. Please don’t recommend any more hard books. They’re probably beyond me.

But the photo says it all. How dedicated it makes me look.

A MUST! Charles Rosen, concert pianist and academic, is the best writer on music I know. I will kill anyone who disagrees. He mentions a double concerto for piano and harpsichord with two chamber orchestras by the modern composer Eliott Carter. Could be tough. Here’s part of Carter’s description: In addition to being isolated in space and timbre, the antiphonal groups are partially separated musically by the fact that each emphasizes its own repertory of melodic and harmonic intervals. Instruments include metallophones and lignophones. Doesn’t matter; Rosen says it’s OK so I’ll love it. Going to download it right now. More later.

NOVEL (Blest Redeemer) 21,540 words


Julia said...

Dreamweaver CS3? Are you coding web sites these days?

Barrett Bonden said...

Julia: Yes. But if you crank up to the next title you'll see Dreamweaver 3 Bible. That's me.

Lucy said...

'Nobody appears to have noticed that any of this stuff is the product of a brighter mind.'

Oh but I do.

(Sycophantic attempt to compensate for watching Morse and drinking Sauv blanc and Beaujolais. Sometimes. You want sophistication look elsewhere.)

Julia said...

I like Morse too; he certainly tops most shiny American detectives. I do suspect the beer he swills is tepid, which makes me shudder.

RE Dreamweaver Bible - if you are in the industry you have to keep reading as the technology changes. That's a very techie thing to do!

Rouchswalwe said...

O Dedicated One! Messing about is a good thing in my book. I've just spent the better part of an hour looking up old Sumo matches on youtube. Oi veh! Have you ever heard of Chiyonofuji?

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: I don't seem to be able to sell Morse's phony accent to anyone: perhaps I'm far more class conscious than my commenters. As to the booze, just hand the wine list over to me the next time we eat and I promise to come up with bottles twice as expensive as the ones you've secretly chosen. I do it by osmosis. It's my only saving grace at the table.

Julia: I see Lucy's set you off too. Look, antipathies define the person, enthusiams say very little. You want proof? Compare these two statements: I love Mozart (Oh blah). I hate Mozart (Let's hear more from this crazy).

I do keep reading as the technology changes. But not software manuals. If I need to know anything I have this guru. Lives in Prague. A true omnivore.

RW (zS): The only bit that fascinates me is the salt throwing. How many points does a good throw get?

Lucy said...

Thanks for the support Julia, but in truth and between ourselves, and I am not just saying this because I am a pusillanimous toady, I don't really need much convincing on the phoniness of Morse's accent. I was always rather less than sold on the charms of both character and actor (could never understand how he was supposed to pull all those women in such a totally unprofessional manner, though they had mostly disappeared off the scene by the next episode), and I was often dubious about the consistency of the writing and dialogue - Morse sneers at James Grout (possibly one of my favourite characters, matey...)for saying 'quote' instead of 'quotation' then later uses 'infer' when he means 'imply'. For example.

However, eventually after being asked numerous times please just to stop picking and griping and watch it or at least let others do so in peace, I did learn to lie back and think of England in the matter and as such it wasn't so bad. Looks nice, nice music etc and the plots are complex enough to exercise my tiny mind quite rigorously. I suppose I find the whole business of suspending disbelief in detective stories such that suspending other critical faculties isn't too difficult.

As to critical faculties in the matter of wine I really don't have any; the Quiet American has been known to look at me drinking Loire rosé disparagingly and mutter 'Déclassé!'. In fact I didn't think I cared for Sauv blanc (cat's pee on a gooseberry bush etc) but have found I can happily often drink it with food, and am quite surprised by how much variety there is in it. I think Plutarch once remarked that he'd come to like the Beaujolais crus, so I feel somewhat vindicated. I've certainly regaled him if not you with the tale of how we drove a couple of Japanese oenophiles all around the Beaujolais and lower Burgundy region for them to buy one bottle each of Moulin à vent and one of Pouilly-Fuissé, no more.

I still reckon The Children's Book and the first two of the Frederica Quartet are good novels. But I'm not going to grovel and witter on about that.

I seem to have caught your prolapsed - sorry, prolonged - comment syndrome. All a ploy to distract you from your writing, of course.

WV - don't usually do this but it's 'abook', which seems to be what I've written here.

Rouchswalwe said...

I wish I were able to follow the wine conversation, alas, I am but a mere ale wench. But the salt!! Ah-hah! BB, here's your answer. The points for a hefty salt throw are not to be measured in numbers or points. What the Sumo Wrestler is saying by throwing a handful instead of a pinch of purifying salt is that my salt pile is bigger than yours so get ready to go down in defeat! Hah! And who says the Japanese are a subtle people?

Barrett Bonden said...

Lucy: In one jump you're ahead (Come to think of it, you started ahead anyway. Always do.) I don't know James Grout and I won't Google. It's too demeaning.

Second para.I know, I know. I was far too brutal. I actually liked Emergency Ward 10 and that surely pre-dates your conception. It's just that too many people referred to Morse starry-eyed. And I can't pretend I watched them all to the end. On the arrival of new posh dolly bird Mrs BB used to say "There's another for the chop" and I'd leave the room to commune with Sankey

Let's get this wine thing straight. My dad knew the five Bordeaux biggies like you know tap-water.Thus Latour, Lafite, Haut Brion, etc, were my primary school. When I lay down the law those are the reference points, and what's happening to you and others is the backwash of my bitterness at not being able to fork out. Although The Grim Reapar's progress and my tendency to spend more and more now go hand in hand (no, you fool, step by step). It's all a question of finding yourself in propitious circumstances (dinner, a reasonably sized table, no great ride by taxi, egging me on into something half-witty) and all of a sudden my credit card will split asunder.

Byatt. The gulf remains.

As does the prolixity.

RW (zS): Now stop that drizzling; I'm an ale man myself. In fact if I were allowed a pint of Butty Bach I wouldn't mind watching Sumo with you commentating.

Plutarch said...

Does the key board suggest an inclination to augment the writing of novels with the odd symphony?

You should give Beaujolais and Gamay a chance. I am glad that Lucy agrees. I used to be toffee nosed about it I am afraid. Perhaps it has got better.

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: Honestly it isn't snobbism. I dislike the quite distinctive taste of the gamay grape. It crops up in the red wines of the Loire (Chinon, Bourgeuil) where it is equally repellent. A contradictory impression of fresh mould.

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch - part 2: I have blogged about the keyboard. I play the simplest of tunes, mainly hymns and old-fashioned pops. It's the perfect diversion when I'm having a verb tense problem.