Diversionary tactics

Because this month is a month of waiting, of waiting it out and waiting on response, of biding and tholing, I have little to share here. The circus is in town – the book festival in full swing, but I’m not going to much until the horror event much later. So for now, I thought I’d share some interesting links with you. So at least I might direct you to other, more intriguing places.


1. Matt Bell’s Tumblr. For writers it is a valuable collective of motivating quotes (sans sentiment) and interesting snippets of fiction. His new book, with a very long name, The House upon the Dirt Between the Lake and the Woods, is out, and is something I have a mind to read, once the current mountain of books is climbed.


2. For Scottish writers and artists, this mountain residency in Banff, Canada, might be an appealing prospect. From the site:


The four artists will be resident for the period in the Leighton Artists’ Colony studios, which are located in a secluded, wooded area on The Banff Centre’s 43-acre campus, providing an ideal space for creativity and intense productivity. These independent residencies offer artists the ability to work independently, as well as to engage within the larger artistic community of The Banff Centre. The successful artists will thus also be able to work collaboratively should they wish.
Each residency will provide:
•    Board & accommodation in a residential artist’s studio
•    All travel expenses
•    All Banff Centre fees
•    Advice, support, expertise and access to sites, curated by the Banff Centre, appropriate to the resident and the project
•    A stipend of c.£1,200 (exchange rate dependent) for the 5-week residency.


3.  ‘Pictures of Lo‘, A thoughtful take by Mary Gaitskill on the problems of designing a cover from one of the 20th century’s most controversial novels, Lolita. While I don’t agree with Gaitskill’s argument that Nabokov was writing a love story (for how can obsession with the image, constructed by oneself and pursued until recognised be love?), there are some brilliant lines:



“For Humbert’s aesthetic infatuation is based on a tyrannical ideal, and cuteness is a kind of ideal — one that is heartless, breathless, timeless, and ageless as Bambi, static and hard-edged, perfect in its way, with all excess flesh and unseemly feeling cut out”


4. Would you like to read the journal of a woman migrant passing back and forth between America and Japan? What if her writing is lovely, full of aches and lyricism, psychogeographic takes, haunted senses of place, slipped moorings and meanings? Here, On The Border.


5.  Maybe you are just hungry. Looking for something that will make you smack your lips, a peanuty gingery warm salad with kale. Tried and tested, multiple times.  That sounds terribly scientific. It is not. Munchy leaves and a slick, satisfyingly complex sauce that takes hardly any time (or measuring) at all.


6. Last of all, and to keep you going into next week, the supremely talented writer Cari Luna has an engrossing – and important – series of interviews on her blog, called Writer, With Kids. Put a pot of coffee on, peer at your children as they watch cartoons or doodle or study for their exams, and read.





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