biscuits and lies, books i've been reading, films, girl meets cake, holidays, other writers, telly

Paris, je t’aime

Paris 7/1/09

<!– @page { size: 21cm 29.7cm; margin: 2cm } P { margin-bottom: 0.21cmSurefire way to avoid the post-Christmas blues: go on holiday. OK, so the part where it was -7°C wasn’t entirely part of the plan, but Paris in the snow turns out to be absurdly lovely. And it gives one an excellent excuse to drink the utterly decadent hot chocolate at Angelina while thawing…


book_mini  Georgette Heyer, wheeee! And Russell T. Davies’ A Writer’s Tale, which (being about both writing and Doctor Who) was clearly cooked up in the ‘things which exist purely to please Susie’ cauldron. TARDISes aside, Davies has been responsible for some of the most cheerfully thought-provoking telly of the last 10 years – and he’s every bit as entertaining and insightful on the page as you’d hope. I’m finding his reluctant commitment to prevarication until utter terror forces him to start working deeply reassuring, though he’s emphatically wary about assuming any writer’s method as a template. Always have an ending in mind! Only write in the mornings! In pencil, on the backs of envelopes, while drinking nothing but squid ink! He’s right: we all want to have our hands held, to believe there’s a secret trick to it, but sometimes the best advice really is to ignore whatever anyone tells you and just get on with it. Though of course you’ll have to take my word for that…


pencil_mini  Next Book* is at the vertiginous decision-making stage. There are so many ways to write this story: whether it works depends entirely on me picking the right one. Actually, that’s rubbish. No decisions are final: sometimes you have to write it ‘wrong’ before you can see how to write it ‘right’. (If you’re me, anyway.) It does help if you can spot the ‘right’ early on, though: Girl Meets Cake got to 55,000 words of Mostly Wrong, which was a bit wearing to sort out. Speaking of which: look! OK, so you still can’t have it until April – but magnificent cover, no?

* Next Book (ie not the Next Book for you lot, the one I haven’t written yet but hopefully might come out in 2010) needs a ‘Biscuits & Lies’-style working title.  It’s got a working working title, but that tells you the whole plot in one go, so we can’t have that.  Hmm…bear with me?


rocrastination_mini  Drinking gallons of tea from my Christmas Blake’s 7 mug; seeing in the New Year with Spaniards and grapes (twelve of ’em); pondering the many ways in which The Other Boleyn Girl is terrible; plotting a Prisoner marathon in honour of the *sniffles* late, great McGoohan.


7 thoughts on “Paris, je t’aime”

  1. Woohaaa return of Susie!

    I share your Prisoner grief. I will embark on the Prisoner marathon right after mine and Mrs Rarg’s combined Monty Python and The World at War marathons which are running concurrently.

  2. Yes, I have been shockingly neglectful (or rather, quite predictably neglectful). Must Try Harder.

    World at War???

    Still gutted about McGoohan. I was looking forward to him making scathing comments about the remake: now it’s going to be even more useless and depressing.

  3. Yes. You heard me. The World at War. Got a problem with that? Eh?

    Actually, it’s a pretty awesome series. What’s more astonishing is that Mrs Rarg has become a willing accomplice in my war-watching. Either she’s suddenly revealed a hitherto denied fascination with military history, or it’s pregnancy hormones doing something disturbing and bizarre.

  4. I am not sure when baby rarg is due to appear and I dont want to be negative about the joys of parenthood – but I suspect that the Prisoner marathon may have to be postponed……. Jess may back me up on this (if she has time to read a blog never mind watch a box set!)

  5. Oh, there’s plenty of time for the Prisoner. Breastfeeding is extremely time-consuming, and watching the telly is one of the few things you can do simultaneously. So Mrs Rarg is OK – Rarg may well be asleep. Or at work. Or doing all the housework and cooking some nutritious food. Or something. I got through nearly four whole seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer when SP was very small – on loan from Susie to save me from the Doom of many daytime property TV shows.

    I know I’m going to get something chucked at me here, but I never quite got it with the Prisoner. It all looked very cool, but then that’s just Portmeirion, so nothing all that clever, and once I’d discovered that you never do find out what’s going on I just got bored. Though the bit where he gets chased by the big bouncy ball is quite good, thinking about it.

  6. In twenty years’ time, someone’s going to write a fascinating study on the impact of infant exposure to the World at War, vampires and spies being chased by giant evil bubbles… I’m sure it’s all quite educational, actually (cheerfully stimulated mother = similar baby, hopefully?).

    A huge chunk of the credit for The Prisoner’s iconic status lies with Clough Ellis, yep, because Portmeirion is just stupidly pretty. But oh, it’s such a sustained amount of bonkersness. And that sinister quality, making the ordinary and mundane and even quite bright and perky-looking into something terrifying. And it does have an ending! Granted, an ending that’s still bizarre, but then it was never the kind of show that could be made to make neat and tidy ‘sense’ and still fit together. Have you ever seen the Western episode? Scariest thing in the entire world.

  7. Well, you have to worry a bit about the breastfeeding-sucking-vampire thing. Especially when SP went through a phase of latching on to anything in sight and gave me a couple of smashing lovebites on my neck. But she was definitely facing the wrong way to see any of the fighty bits.

Comments are closed.