Date Archives June 2013

On showing up

There’s a quote I remember hearing years ago, one of those quotes that really resonated with me and has stuck with me ever since. It was by Woody Allen, I think, and he said something like “90% of life is about just showing up”. I may be misquoting slightly, but that’s the gist of it. Woody Allen said he wasn’t any more talented than a lot of other people, but what made him successful was that he kept showing up when others didn’t. He kept writing even when he was… Read More

A Primer of Freudian Psychology by Calvin S. Hall

The main thing I learnt from Calvin S. Hall’s lucid summary of Freudian theory is that Sigmund Freud is quite badly misrepresented. Mention Freud and most people think of the Oedipus complex, penis envy and the Freudian slip. The ‘ego’ has entered our language, too, although in a very different sense from that intended by Freud. After reading Calvin S. Hall’s 1955 primer, I can see that there’s a lot more to Freud than being neurotic, selfish and obsessed with your mother. Freud describes the human personality in terms of three components:… Read More

If you liked my book…

I just found out that A Virtual Love has been shortlisted for the People’s Book Prize. The winner is determined by popular vote, and I’m up against some stiff competition, such as Taiye Selasi’s highly praised novel Ghana Must Go. So if you’ve read my book and liked it, please take a minute to cast a vote. You have to register on the site, but it’s free and very quick, and as I understand it they only ask for your email to ensure the votes are genuine. If you haven’t read… Read More

Bottled Air by Caleb Klaces

I read this book twice in quick succession. It’s only a short collection, 70 pages of generously-spaced poems and a few pages of notes, so it didn’t take long. Interestingly, the two readings were very different. The first time, I didn’t really understand the poems, but loved the way they made me feel. The words washed over me and I enjoyed them for their rhythm and arrangement. It was a bit like listening to a pop song in a foreign language. The second time I read it with the benefit… Read More

Catching up

It was good being away from the internet for a while. Not only did I enjoy the extra time exploring Crete and spending time with Genie, but I also had some pleasant surprises when I got back. Instead of watching obsessively for things to happen, I stepped back as things I’d put in motion before I left England continued by themselves. First, a short story I’d sent off months ago in the February snows was accepted for publication in Volume II of Spark: A Creative Anthology. The story’s based on the King’s Cross… Read More