Friday 24 September 2010

I love Woman's Weekly!

Any women's magazine short story writer will know this name. The Woman's Weekly submissions address must be one of the longest to fit onto an envelope ever. Even so, after you've dropped that story into the postbox you put it out of your mind, so it was a slight shock to me last week to actually visit it and discover that the Blue Fin building really does exist!

It's fabulous. Tall, sky-piercing. All glass and angles and huge reception space and roof terrace. So it was really lovely to discover that the fiction editor's desk is about the same size as mine and only fractionally tidier. And the knitting editor's desk is surrounded by wool and part-finished garments. And there is a test-kitchen where they make the food featured in the magazine and which smelled heavenly.

And best of all, the art editor had MY ARTWORK on her screen!

So thank you, Woman's Weekly for my nice day.

And if everyone could go out and buy this month's WW Fiction Special with my story in, I'll be even happier.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Poetry of place

Having been discussing poems recently, I thought I'd post one of mine. (If it looks familiar, I put it on the Transita Authors blog ages ago)

I write poems for myself, to capture a moment or a mood or a person or a place. I find when I look at them again sometimes years later, they bring to mind exactly what I wanted to remember - a very handy brain-transportation device for a writer!

As I blogged last about Lady Mary Stewart and the way she brings her settings so vividly to life, I'm presenting you with a 'place' poem. This was written while sailing on the Norfolk Broads one time. Many people go there on holiday to enjoy the water and the scenery, but the landscape is so ancient and brooding that I always get the feeling we mortals are merely tolerated as we scull across it.

No Postcard by Jan Jones

Pretty? You couldn’t call this pretty
This land defies the roundness of the Earth
Grey-green under grey sky
Archaic in its horizontal heaviness
When man falters, stumbles to nothing
The land remains.

Incomers live on the surface. Try too hard. Never see
That line of mud around the ankles. Never notice
Those eyes the remote grey of the sky. Just
A micrometer of pulled petroleum.

Driftwood tree, taut amongst summer reeds
Grey water with a purpose of its own
Inexorable. Unremitting.
This land is no postcard.