Friday, 30 January 2009

More happy tweets

Oh to be eight, as my daughter is today! A "cosmic light scooter" (it flashes when you switch it on) and her life is complete. "The best birthday ever!" - just like that. Tomorrow I'm taking her and two friends to the movies and lunch at Frankie & Benny's afterwards. I have chocolate cake and terrific party bags. At the weekend I bought two chunky, stitched, linen-bound notebooks from Paperchase. One is graphite grey, the other drab olive. They're the size and weight of serious novels. Although I do most of my writing on a computer, I love to have notebooks like this in the house; they make me feel serious about my craft.

Speaking of which I've reached a point of perspective on the crime novel. Do other writers experience their work this way, I wonder? To start with it's a working draft, then you fall in love with it and cannot see its faults (a little like a new mother) then gradually, over a period of time, you gain the distance needed to see what works and what doesn't, you dare to find fault in a way that doesn't make you despair but rather empowers you to make it better. That's the place I'm in now, and it feels good.

In addition to the beautiful notebooks I have Origins Night-A-Mins face-cream (a pun that only works in the US where they produce vitamins with a hard vi at the front. Over here in the UK we say vit-amins). It smells of oranges and I love it.

Last night's episode of The New Avengers on BBC4 was the one where Purdey poses as a shop window mannequin in a pair of skyblue satin pyjamas that slowly slip off her hips, giving her away to the villains. The New Avengers was a fairly awful show (terrible writing!) that lacked the style and charm of The Avengers, but it has nostalgia value for me as I was in my teens when it was first on the television and I had a huge crush on Joanna Lumley as Purdey. They don't make crime shows like this anymore and that has to be a good thing, by and large. Still, I wish there were more female leads in today's crime shows like Purdey, who always knew when to deploy her feminine charms to best effect. I know she was invented and scripted by a man who wanted to give us regular glimpses of stocking-tops, but on the other hand the diet these days of tough female crime fighters blending seamlessly into a 'man's world' (so seamlessly they may as well BE men) does tend to defeat my appetite for a lot of contemporary crime TV. We get it, they've got balls. But let's see a few feminine strengths, like compassion, intuition. The ballsy female lead is as tiresome (to me) as the ex-alcoholic divorced male lead with 'personal demons'. Get an exorcist and move on, chaps.

Channel-hopping last night I found a tender scene in a soap opera that tickled me. Having got themselves into a bit of a bind by dint of the sort of selfish dim behaviour with typifies soap opera characters, these two were making speeches worthy of a Nobel Prize nominee, about how they could never be together because something born from the terrible pain they had inflicted on those around them was destined to wither and die. Now if only they had deployed a little of this staggering compassion (and commonsense) prior to finding themselves in the awful fix..!


Nik Perring said...

Happy birthday to the little one (Tigger bright?).


Sarah Hilary said...

Thanks, Nik!

K.C. Ball said...

I get that sort of perspective when I have been away from something for a time. Otherwise, it is all dreck.

Sarah Hilary said...

I came to this place, KC, by way of the "it's all dreck" route. First I love it, then I hate it, then (if I'm lucky and patient enough) I'm able to fix it. Funny how it goes, isn't it?

Gay Degani said...

Happy B-day to the Mite-ster!! Wish I could go to the movies and get a goodie bag! Wahhh!

Sarah Hilary said...

Wish you could come, too, Gay!