Plague Diary #11

Categories: Blog

Monday. I missed a few days. The trouble with blogging daily like this, when there’s this kind of lockdown going on, is that…well, nothing happens. Nothing interesting anyway. Nothing worth reporting in a blog. At least not as far as I’m concerned. Some people are good at introspective writing, putting their thoughts down on the page – I’m not really, at least, not in a non-fiction setting. As someone who writes fiction that is heavily internalised, I’m terrible at actually putting my own thoughts and feelings into words. Something about the vulnerability or something. I think Burroughs wrote somewhere about how it can be dangerous, can make you less real or something, I can’t remember. But that’s how it feels, like I’m giving too much away, and that’s threatening.

Speaking of giving too much away, I was interviewed recently by the writer C.R Dudley for the Orchid’s Lantern Writers on Lockdown series. I’ve never been interviewed about my writing before, or anything else for that matter. It was an interesting experience, and got me to think a lot about my own writing, what it means, how I see it, etc. Once again, that feeling of giving too much away, or sounding like an obnoxious asshole. Anyway, it’s there now, for good or bad.

I have started/re-started work on a potential new novel these last few days as well. I began writing something a few months ago, a first line came to me after reading some Welsh folklore. I’ve not merged that with some work I started last year on something that got abandoned, and I’m slowly adding to it. It is all very disjointed at the moment, and who knows, maybe it will remain that way. But there’s something brewing anyway.

I’m avoiding news about the virus. There’s nothing really good coming out. Yeah we can get food from the shops without difficulty now, but every time I leave the house I come back feeling ill, like I’ve picked up a cold or a sore throat. Maybe I’m imagining it, but it’s weird and unsettling.

Our film viewing habits have altered slightly these last few days. Francesca suggested we watch some of the film adaptations of the works of the Brontes and Jane Austen. I have never read any of the books, and have always viewed the films with suspicion, completely borne of my position as a man, I know. So we have picked out a handful: Jane Eyre (from 2011, with Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender), Sense and Sensibility (1996, the Emma Thompson script), Pride and Predjudice (2005, with Keira Knightly), and Wuthering Heights (the 1992 version with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche).

So far we have watched Jane Eyre and Sense and Sensibility. I really, really liked Jane Eyre, definitely could see me reading the book. Sense and Sensibility was very much like how I imagined it would be, but I can tell that the story is very complex and has a lot of layers of satire and critique that the film only slightly touches on, while leaning into the romance plot a lot more. Still very enjoyable and funny, a great cast of course. So next will be Pride and Predjudice, which Francesca expects me to like more. So I shall report back with my impressions.

I’m washing my hands.