Flitting. The word suggests transience: quick, uncertain movements. Not lingering. And maybe that’s what posts should be: snapshots of where your head is, nothing over-thought.

But ‘flitting’ is also the word – in Scotland anyway – for moving house. That suggests a stay of a much longer duration, of certainty and purpose.

The things that interest me, and which I’ll write about here, I move between. I obsess over them, drain them dry of interest, and move on. But I return – re-read, re-listen, re-view. These things provide a form of sustenance. And new interests are added to this core, over time.

They include:

  • Clive Barker. Into the Gyre is a chapter title from his 1987 novel Weaveworld, my favourite book.
  • The Nouveau Roman: French avant-garde fiction from the 50s and beyond, whose proponents included Alain Robbe-Grillet and Marguerite Duras.
  • Daphne du Maurier. “Rebecca? Frenchman’s Creek?” Yes. “Old lady fiction?” No, no, no.
  • Hauntology/Folk Horror/time -slips and -loops, labyrinths temporal and spatial: gyres, in fact. Robert Macfarlane’s 2015 essay The Eeriness of the English countryside tied together lots of things I was into, and showed me a world of stuff I hadn’t come across before. I’m still following that particular thread.

I’ll talk about my own writing, and share some with you too (see Fiction). I’ve been writing for over thirty years, since my friend Will and I jointly wrote and illustrated (not to mention acted-out-in-the-playground) Star Battle. It was in no way whatsoever inspired by Star Wars. Not. At. All.

Since then I’ve made plenty of mistakes and fallen into all the traps that are a necessary part of becoming a better writer. As long as you learn how to get out of them. “Fail again”, said Samuel Beckett; “fail better”.

Thanks for dropping into the gyre. See you around.

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