Friday, November 21, 2008

natcherl born traveller, me

Bizzarely, I'm at my happiest writing-wise when I'm on a moving train. There's something about being rocked by the motion and locked in my own little applemac bubble. Works for me, every time. Which does rather nake me think that should I get another suicidal urge to write another beast of a novel, I'll probably have to acquire a railcard and spend a year travelling on the great iron road. Which is all very well if you're Paul Theroux with little in the way of family committments, but totally impossible if you're moi.

The only way it could work for me would be if I shuttled backwards and forwards between Dunbar and Edinburgh in the hours when I'm not having to do the school run. I think one of the true joys of travel is the fact of being surrounded by one's fellow citizens without any of them having any earthly idea of who you are. Sure, you can do some covert detective work and assess your fellow passengers by virtue of what they carry, but other than that, anonymity rules.

So - a combination of close physical proximity and the alone-ness of being utterly unknown. Seems to free up some synaptic pathways and allow the words to flow. And flow they must because I'm off to another book festival - this time the Northern Children's gala day in Newcastle whic is always good for meeting my colleagues and having a good moan. Writers can moan and moan and moan, but they tend to do it in flowery language, and even their most vitriolic outbursts are couched in wonderful prose, so tonight should be a blast. and it's always helpful to know that we're all in it, all of us wallowing round in the post-Potter aftermath. 

The wordyhurricane came, it flattened our little world and we're now picking ourselves up out of the wreckage. And, oh, the stories we could tell....

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