Sunday, 4 December 2011

More to Say

Life is an interesting place.

One minute, I write a blog post about writing being the least important thing in my life. A few stresses and upsets later, and it feels as if writing is all I have left. I should have been more cautious about slagging it all off. Life has a habit of biting you on the arse when there's something you need to realise.

Here I am sheepishly and a little painfully admitting that I got a lot wrong. I still need to retreat from parts of the writing world for various reasons. But, as someone said to me recently, in the face of difficulties, 'write Clarkson, write write write.'

So, I am writing 'A Brief history of Wrestling', a conversational story about an amazing friend of mine who was a pro-wrestler in the seventies, taken directly from interviews with him about his wrestling days. I've written a strange story about friendship. And I have a story in the stew-pot that I'm waiting to write, exploring a difficult subject that follows me everywhere through life. I'd forgotten how much writing can focus me, drive me, comfort me, how sometimes it can be as essential as eating.

And this week I was interviewed by the Manchester Evening News, about my latest publication, a short story called Toby, which was published in Lemistry and launched this week in Manchester. The article explains the background to the book. It is a collection of short fiction and essays celebrating the life and work of Polish science-fiction writer Stanislaw Lem, published by Comma Press.

I've pasted the article here, but am not sure whether it's readable, so here's a link to the the interview online.

The launch went well, I think. Madlab in Manchester was packed with people, and the readings and discussion were widely diverse. Trevor Hoyle read part of his short story from the book. He's a lovely man, and I love his re-creation of an actual meeting with Phillip K Dick in his contribution to the book. Polish writer Wojciech Orlisnki, read a brief section of his story set in a Las Vegas style casino where people go on a virtual trip to nineteen eighties New York to try and win money. He gave us a very entertaining and illustrated guide to all things Lem, and although I would love to try and recapture a flavour of his discussion, I was a little nervous waiting to read so wasn't 100% concentrating. Sorry, Wojciech. This is what happens to me when I'm asked to read last. I sit at the back of the room, wondering whether my legs will take me to the front of the room when it's my turn to read. Thankfully they did, and I read an excerpt from my story about adoption, mixed relationships and damaged childhoods. We all answered questions at the end, and it was good, I think. I was able to kind of enjoy it in a strange nervous kind of way.

All in all, I feel reassured that I might possibly maybe have a small contribution to make to the writing world after all. And my plan (hopefully) is that instead of talking so much about writing on the internet, I will just write write write.


Sarah Hymas said...

Annie, I saw you were reading at the launch. Am so glad it went well. And big congratulations on your inclusion and your forthcoming collection!
write write write!!

sonia said...

So lovely to see a post from you. Well done on reading and publication. And yes please write,write, write. Only you will write things in that particular way. We need fallow times to get fertile ones - remember that. x

annie clarkson said...

Thank you x