The sky is yellow. When I was a boy, I had (and it still is somewhere in a box full of memories) what was a pamphlet or chapbook about, without exception, fictional disasters at sea. One of them has always stuck in my mind because one of the authors spent a whole page writing about how, in the southern oceans he was sailing, a yellow sky presages a typhoon, so whenever the light turns the sepia-edged shroud-yellow quality it is now, I always expect the worst of the wind and rain, and to be floating around an endless ocean on a shattered plank of wood. And right now, with weather warnings in place again and the forecast talking of another two weeks of storms, it doesn’t just seem like it’s a metaphor. The world is at the brink of war once again, with mutual destruction seemingly assured. The only funny thing right now is that the UK government pretends it’s a big player in all this, when it’s really an irrelevance.
Yesterday I had lots of messages asking me to carry on with this morningly exercise. I am going to. The point I was making was that it often seems to me, feels to me, like I’m creating ever-decreasing circles for myself by talking about myself. R called it writing about minutiae, and she’s right, S calls it the continuing battle, and she’s right, too, and what I’m pointing out is that there’s a difference between creating a work (ie writing personal experience into a poem or short story or essay and turning it into universal truth) and just writing about myself without turning that into a universal truth. And the self-reflection can be counter-productive and self-destructive. That’s not what I want this to become.
As for giving away a novel, we’ll see if this works out at all anyway. The story might lose its way, Aggie might run out of energy and run away out of my mind to some more fertile landscape. Or she’ll be an immense success, and I’ll delete it all and put her behind a paywall on Patreon or something like that. You never can tell.
AGGIE’S ART OF HAPPINESS – CHAPTER 2
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