…flying over mountains

54. Sometimes you read a book that you sink into so completely you don’t want it to finish, and when onward time means that you reach that final page, you want to hang it around your neck on a simple strap so you can wear it always against your heart.  So it is with JackContinue reading “…flying over mountains”

…books in formation: 6 to 10

6. Winter Journal, by Paul Auster Auster writes his journal in the second person.  He is the you of his own story, but the reader is also the you of his experience, living with him and inside his mind.  And so my own you is born, a you who is both me and not me,Continue reading “…books in formation: 6 to 10”

…books in formation: 1 to 5

1. Becoming a Writer, by Dorothea Brande Brande taught you how to think into your stories.  She explained the strange alchemy between movement and creativity, a cocktail of circumstance that is both individual and universal, and, if the measurements are right, as potent as morning light on a sunflower.  Still now you think while washingContinue reading “…books in formation: 1 to 5”

…a bed of many things

‘Then here again are two lovers, flesh pressed to flesh … their bed heaves as with the swell of the sea, whispers and sways, as if it were itself alive and joyful because it was seeing the consummation of the rapturous mystery of love.’from Le Lit, by Guy de Maupassant 47.The bed is a placeContinue reading “…a bed of many things”

…fishing for books

46.Today the river that runs through your town is high after days of rain, a fine mist rising from the weir.  Her water is brown and thick, the currents and eddies rippling the surface as she seeks out a favourable path, finding pleasure in her intimate relationship with the land. You and your sister haveContinue reading “…fishing for books”

…spelling isn’t everything

44. ‘you can’t help respecting anybody who can spell TUESDAY, even if he doesn’t spell it right; but spelling isn’t everything.  There are days when spelling Tuesday simply doesn’t count…’Rabbit, The House at Pooh Corner (A.A. Milne) words you can’t spellphy…psch…psychology; calander… calendar; consious… concious… conscious; contentious… contientious… conscientious A baby begins to learn languageContinue reading “…spelling isn’t everything”

…soon you will write

23.Books on your coffee table: — The Philosophy of the Bed, by Mary Eden & Richard CarringtonYou found this book in a strange kind of thrift shop, a greenhouse beside a garden cafe, its glassy walls housing furniture and crockery, paintings and books. The book has a tattered dust jacket bearing a reproduction of GrandeContinue reading “…soon you will write”

…the golden ratio

‘The golden ratio is one of the most famous irrational numbers; it goes on forever and can’t be expressed accurately without infinite space.’Live Science 21. You are reading the scene in Elizabeth Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things when Ambrose Pike discovers the garden at Alma Whittaker’s grand house, and asks ‘what mad genius tookContinue reading “…the golden ratio”

…things people say

20.—Your Grandad lived by the phrase Moderation in all things. His garden contradicted this with its abundance of fruit and vegetables, but any excess found its way to the kitchens of friends and family. Mostly you remember the black grapes hanging like jewels from the ceiling of his greenhouse. They were full of pips andContinue reading “…things people say”

…a life in libraries

18.— From the age of 8 to 12 a mobile library stops outside your house. You remember the smell of dust and rubber and paper, and the ridges of wood that edge the shelves to stop the books from sliding out. You borrow a book about boys marooned in the jungle who survive by buildingContinue reading “…a life in libraries”