True Grit by Charles Portis. Oooof. What a brilliant book. It tells, all from her perpective, the story of Mattie, a fourteen year old girl who launches a pursuit of the man who killed her father. It’s a Western, I suppose. Mattie is wonderful and the writing is spare and tight and perfect. This is a crap bedtime book though. Save it for the next time you have a long journey and read it on the train, ith a big coffee. This is a book that deserves you at your most alert.
The entirety of Flesh and Bone in a day. Secretly I LOVE dramas about ballet. I don’t know why. I did ballet when I was five and I hated it so much I used to be sick in the car on the way there out of dread. Maybe I like these dramas because they are so negative about the ballet life, and I feel vindicated? Anyway, this is okay but extremely bleak, so approach with caution.
Stupid teen romcom The Duff. Stupid teen romcoms have come along a bit actually! This is pretty much exactly the plot of She’s All That, but it’s the girl who decides she needs a makeover type affair, there’s n creepy tricking her bit going on, and she ultimately finds redemption not by “becoming hot” (she doesn’t have a “taking the glasses off” moment, which I loved) but by embracing herself and writing a viral online article. A girl after my own heart!
About 30 bloody metres of bunting. Unbelievable. So much bunting. Fun though – and more fun the further through the process you get – the cutting is so incredibly boring, but the final sewing up in fun, because it involves using a noisey, dangerous seeming machine. And now I have made enough bunting to mummify myself and I feel like Queen of the Textiles.
Lego Marvel Superheroes for Xbox One. Paul and I were looking for a co-op to play and it had to be basically for children because I didn’t have a console when I was little so I have the controller-dexterity of a beered up baboon and also it really stresses me out if my character dies in any kind of serious way. I would love to be able to play heavyweight games – I love the worlds of stuff like Fallout and Bioshock but I just don’t have the skillz. This is a really nice accessible way for me to build up a bit and also do gaming together. Each episode of the game takes about as long as an episode of whatever we’d be watching on Netflix instead, and it’s really fun and silly and engaging, but not too hard. I approve a lot.
On Saturday I was a judge at the Oxford Anti-Slam. It was so bloody fun! People always really bring their A game to these events and it’s joyful to watch. Look, this is me in my judging get up – I am pretending* to be a dim but pretentions Theatre Studies graduate.
*not pretending, just literally am
Another big chunk of version 80000000000 of my novel. It’s fun spending time with it! I can’t tell if it’s any good or not, but that’s to be expected I think. I’m glad I’m still enjoying this bit of the process.
Another week, another rejection. Standard. But also, a not-rejection. A bit of a signpost forward. I’m feeling hopeful.
An application for a week-long run of a spoken word show. Then, immediately, a withdrawal of said application. It’s a distraction. I’m a novelist. I need to FOCUS. And I think I always knew deep down, less than six months really isn’t enough time for me to do a full length show any kind of justice. Maybe next year.