Literature Requires Silence

Hmm, not sure that I would classify what I write as ‘literature’ – but I agree with the sentiment.

American author Philip Roth says, “Literature takes a habit of mind that has disappeared. It requires silence, some form of isolation, and sustained concentration in the presence of an enigmatic thing.”

Ooh, yes. He’s right.

But isolation, silence and the ability to concentrate are 3 things that I’m going to be lacking over the next week because tomorrow I’m off to Caerleon Writers’ Holiday with my bestest buddy, Chris.

Hurrah! (Yes, I’m going a day early, in case any of you are also going and are now in a PANIC! It doesn’t actually start until Sunday evening but you can get there on Saturday if you want – and WE WANT! )

So, I should be ironing and finishing my packing but as usual, I am procrastinating! I hate packing, so I always leave it to the last minute. I am determined NOT to take as much as last year (most of which I didn’t wear and brought back in a pristine state).

Today was a ‘first’ for me – my first Skype call and interview! Ooh, get me. You may remember, many moons ago my story ‘Singing For The Terrified’ won the Short Story Radio competition

I highly recommend that site, by the way, for doing the ironing. Listen to a couple of short stories while you’re beavering away and it doesn’t feel quite so tedious.

Anyway, today was the day that I had my ‘author interview’ which will be turned into a podcast for the site, to accompany my story which will be read by an ACTOR. It’s exciting!

I enjoyed the interview in the end although it was a palaver to get it sorted. I am not ‘technically-minded’ and trying to sort out sound on Skype was a bit of a nightmare:

“Just tell them you can’t do it!” (long-suffering OH)
“NO! I feel stupid!” (me)

Amazingly, I pressed something and it all worked!

Now, last year, you may remember, I blogged while I was at Caerleon. I cannot promise to be able to do the same this year because it’s HECTIC! What with the quiz on the first night and my ‘after tea’ talk and the male voice choir on the last night… so I might just make notes and tell you all about it when I’m back….

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12 Responses to Literature Requires Silence

  1. Hope you have a great time, Helen and come back feeling inspired!

  2. Yes! Rather than tired and … errm, a bit hungover, which is the usual state that I’m in!

  3. I’ll be arriving on Sunday, my first Caerleon!!!!!

    Soooo excited lol

    Xx

    • Ooh Vikki, how exciting! Come to the quiz on Sunday night and say hello (I will be slightly ‘dazed’ probably – but this may also be to do with the wine!). Hope you enjoy it x

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  4. Jackie Sayle (Brown) says:

    I haven’t been to WH for some years now but it was always great. Have a good time (and make sure any kitchen parties are held in the ‘Noise after Midnight’ block. (Though someone will probably still complain, if you’ve left the window open.)

  5. Have a great time Helen, can’t wait to hear about it when you get back.

  6. Hi Helen, your author interview sounds great and how fantastic to have your story read out by an actor!
    I’m also going to Caerleon tomorrow – my first one and I’m very excited too 🙂

    • Alice – how lovely! Make sure you come and say hello at the quiz- if we don’t meet up before! A little tip for you (if you get this message in time!) – bring a few coat hangers (they never give you enough)! Do you know anyone else who’s coming? I’m here now and it’s supposed to be getting really hot this week – hurrah!

      ________________________________

      • Thanks, Helen, that’s a great tip – just doing some last minute packing! Looking forward to meeting you. I don’t know anyone else going – being brave and going alone! So glad it’s finally going to be sunny 🙂

      • Alice – that is brave but you’ll find it’s very friendly and everyone will talk to you if you talk to them! Looking forward to meeting you! Bye for now

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  7. Silence is so important for me when I read, I guess I’m easily distracted. So I even use earplugs from time to time. I mean, sometimes I want to be in the same room as my family when they watch TV but still read – then the earplugs come out.

    I guess you have already left and the packing is done, otherwise our Furry Elba the Cow has some great advise on packing:
    http://furries-happyclub.com/blog/?p=264

  8. chloefb says:

    How exciting about your short story! I entered one of their competitions last year for a bit of a laugh (it was for romances and I don’t write romance but needed a two-day project to give my brain a break from novel writing) and I came second! Couldn’t believe it. I love the idea of having a story recorded by an actor – much better than a cash prize in my opinion!

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