July’s featured writer in my calendar is Ernest Hemingway with the quote:
Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.
Facts you may not know: he committed suicide in 1961, won both the Nobel and Pulitzer prizes, married four times, ran with bulls, went on safari, and survived several car accidents and two plane crashes.
His most famous works are
A Farewell to Arms The Sun Also Rises For Whom the Bell Tolls The Old Man and the Sea
‘All my life I’ve looked at words as though I were seeing them for the first time.’
Notable dates in July:
2nd July 1977 … Lolita author Vladimir Nabokov dies
3rd July 1883 … Metamorphosis author Franz Kafka is born
9th July 1951 … The Maltese Falcon author Dashiell Hammett is sentenced for refusing to testify in the McCarthy hearings
11th July 1960 … To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee was published. It would be banned in several American schools
16th July 1951… Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger was published. It would be banned in several high school in both USA and Canada
18th July 1817 … Jane Austen dies
20th July 1933 … Cormac McCarthy is born – No Country for Old Men author
21st July 1899 … Ernest Hemingway born
26th July 1894 … Aldous Huxley born – Brave New World author
31st July 1965 … J K Rowling born – Harry Potter author
And finally, as she is to be the face of future £10 Bank of England notes, a quote from Jane Austen:
The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.
The next stage – the start of the OU Creative Writing Course, on 1 October to be exact. Having just spent the last three weeks in British Columbia, Canada, I came back to an overgrown garden, there are pounds of beans and tomatoes to process as well as courgettes. The grass is a mile high and the apples lying all over the ground. The Student Cafe for A215 is open and going like a fair, 16 pages of comments already. I can see I am going to have to be very organised and strict with myself.
However, with the nights already drawing in, it is pleasurable to have a project for the winter months … and beyond.
Apart from all the garden produce to be dealt with, there are instructions and advice to print off for my course and books to read. I also want to write something about Canada and post a few photos. I have old family photographs to scan in and send to relatives in Canada, Open Days and Workshops to attend and prompts to write. Where to start?
I also came back to find that my yellow photograph, entered in the Truprint Colour competition won a prize. I haven’t won anything since I was at school so receiving £100 worth of credits was a great surprise. I might get some of my photos printed. I thought it would be nice to have some calendars made too.
I was pleased with my final mark for the Digital Photography course (88%) particularly as I only had a small compact camera. It did take good photos, though it has since let me down and has lens problems; so I can’t use it at the moment.
You know that feeling, when in a rush of enthusiasm you sign up for something and then the full implication of what you have committed to hits you?
I seem to be overdoing the enthusiasm rush these days. Having signed up for A215 Creative Writing with the OU, I am now beginning to doubt. I have read so many good pieces lately and not produced anything startling myself, so am wondering if I am not getting a bit above myself. Am I really going to cut it in A215? I have several half thought-out stories that require development and commitment. Ah yes, that’s the word, commitment ….. and planning. Instead of the wisps of creation that flit through my head, I need pen, paper and planning. The three P’s.
The other commitment that’s slightly worrying me at the moment is this: (and bear in mind that I don’t like heights!):
We are visiting relatives in Canada at the end of the month. It’s the first time I have been to Canada and am really looking forward to it. We have a couple of days first in Vancouver before we travel to stay with cousins and looking for things to do in Vancouver I came across the Capilano Bridge walk and the Cliff Walk. Thought my other half would enjoy it and reserved a couple of places on the tour – and then I watched the video. What was I thinking of?
My mother’s youngest sister, now in her 80’s lives in Canada and my four cousins and their families. Some I have met once or twice and some I have never met so this will be in the way of a family reunion. If I survive the cliff walk in Vancouver we are travelling by Greyhound bus to Kamloops and then by car to my cousin’s house. We stay with them for a week before taking the train up to Prince Rupert in the far north of British Columbia. The return journey is by ferry through the Inner Passage to Port Hardy at the tip of Vancouver Island. A bus trip will bring us to Victoria for a couple of days and then back to Vancouver and home, just in time before A215 starts!