Monday, 7 May 2012

Birthday Celebrations

Whilst all the above organising has been happening, I managed to find time to celebrate my birthday, courtesy of Lindsay, who took me to the South Bank for the World Book Night event.

The first 20 minutes or so were taken up with thank yous and a general introduction to World Book Night. Margaret Atwood was followed by the very funny Hardeep Singh Kohli who was our host for the evening. There were readings from some of the World Book Night titles by authors and celebrities including Mark Haddon, Mark Billingham, Meg Rosoff, Iain M Banks, Martina Cole, and the brilliant Hip Hop Shakespeare Company. Olympic poet Lemn Sissay woke the audience up when he read Shakespeare and other writers read some poetry, Kathy Lette on Dorothy Parker, and Geoff Dyer on Billy Collins. David Nicholls read from WBN book, Great Expectations with a fabulous impression of Miss Haversham. Owen Teale literally became Brian Clough when he read from David Peace’s The Damned United. Colin Salmon gave a powerful reading from Remains of the Day.

Some of the authors read from their own novels Mark Haddon read the opening of his new novel The Red House and the audience were captivated by Turkish author Elif Shafak reading from her new novel Honour.
My favourite was Andrea Levy’s reading from Small Island, the dog shit scene, brilliant.
And when I heard Jon Ronson’s hilarious piece of writing about trying not to teach his son the worst swear word of all, I was spellbound. This, I thought, was how to write a short story.

Apparently, some people said, that compared to last years event in Trafalgar Square, the event lacked some of the excitement. Presumably, because, we were all sitting down behaving ourselves and listening and we were warm. However, I thoroughly enjoyed myself and it was the perfect literary treat for my birthday, so thank you to Lindsay.
There’s more?
Looking back at all the interesting things I have been doing recently, I notice a theme. I may not have been sitting writing, but I have been reading, editing, brainstorming writing exercises, speaking to authors and attending literary events. And all this is without the various Greenacre Writers groups, Finish That Novel 1 and 2, Short Story Group and Memoir and Autobiography Group (MAG) that meet up monthly and are often hosted by myself, so of course I have to hoover occasionally, and dust and clean bathrooms, scrub floors…my life is pitiful really. And there’s the day job – three days a week as a Senior Library Assistant in a medical library. Oh and of course, nearly forgot (am about to have a nervous breakdown), the Greenacre Bicycle Rally!! But that as they say is another story, and another one, and another one….

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