Archive for the ‘starts’ Category

Someone sent me a link to BBC Radio 4 – On the Ropes: Max Moseley. Since sadomasochism is one of the threads in my new novel, I thought I’d share these thoughts.
Overall, Moseley came over as thoughtful, articulate and rational. The interviewer, John Humphreys, came over as a moralistic twat. Amazing how sexual moralism can make a wealthy Tory son of fascists seem progressive compared to Humpreys’ reactionary spouting. Moseley pointed out that what consenting adults do in private is nobody’s business but their own. How can it be ‘in the public interest’ what people do in private, if nobody is being harmed? Public figures are surely allowed a private life. Isn’t that a universal human right?
The interviewer made great play of the fact that the women involved in the orgy were being paid. Moseley pointed out that these women, in their private lives, with their chosen partners, did the same things unpaid. Humphreys snorted derisively: they would say that. I know a few pro dommes and all of them do it because they like it. Of course they like getting paid too! But getting paid for something doesn’t in itself make that activity disreputable. I like writing and would do it whether I was paid or not, but it doesn’t mean I wouldn’t like to get paid for it. Indeed, I’m sure Mr Humpreys, in private, likes to pronounce moralistically. I’m sure he’d be the first to argue that doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be paid. The reason for calling these women prostitutes and making much of their being paid is to make a connection in the listener’s mind between their activity and the image of street prostitutes, trafficked women and vulnerable teenagers forced into selling themselves. But it’s an illegitimate connection. Those women are coerced not consenting. It is the absence of consent that is key, not payment.
Moseley was interesting, too, in that he’d kept this side of his sexuality secret from his wife of fifty years. As a novelist, what a stunning idea! Secrets are always powerful in any drama. They create motive and mystery and suspense. When you have trouble plotting, it’s always good to give your character a secret. My heroine comes from the other end of the political spectrum. She’s an anarcho-eco- erstwhile feminist, and her reasons for keeping her secret are to do with the repressive moralism espoused by some ‘progressive’ people – especially a certain type of feminist. One could contrast Moseley’s “It’s nobody’s business but my own” attitude with that of Tommy Sheridan, who also took on the News of the World.

Months are rooms and the first of the month the doorway. I always like to make a new start at the beginning of the month. But where to start?
The answer is, of course, wherever. But that’s no help at all.
I had some homework from Kath Kenny: threshold. So how about start with that feeling of standing on the brink of something, reluctant to commit. Like starting a new novel, or restarting an old one. The blank page always feels perilous, but there’s nothing to do but do it.
I’d started a kind of poetic word association string – I was inspired by the poems I’d written at the weekend – and that threw up ‘threesome’ and then I was off…
which resulted in this piece:

Like most writers who aspire to be better, recognised, worthy (whatever it is you think you’re not at the moment), I devour descriptions of other writers’ lives. sometimes I even mythologise my future self – you know, that self who effortlessly bounces out of bed and gets to the task they set themself, whether it is finishing Chapter 3 or free-writing 5k words. I know I’m not like that (or only for very brief periods) but somehow the belief still persists: tomorrow we will be somehow different, more focused, more energetic.
Why would I believe that?
Because today, in its particularity, is different, more random. Tomorrow selves are idealised, free from the binds and chafes of contingency, clean and clear of the accidental, the just-happens-to-be-so. Let’s drink to them in their imaginary world. then get back to our own messy one where we have to operate in the midst..

new start

Posted: September 7, 2008 in Plans, starts, time management

Today I think is the start of a new season. start as you mena to go on.
It’s a wet, dull day, sop plans for long walks are probably out but I can grab a couple of quick wal;ks in breaks in the cloud.
Also that foolishness of waiting for swathes of uninterrupted time are nonsense – start where you are with what you want to do.