So here we are in week whatever of lockdown. I think we’ve all lost track, haven’t we? As I said in my last post, for a writer it’s weirdly the same as ever, except one has no income and is periodically swept with great waves of grief and panic for those people who either have no work or who have to brave public transport to get to work. And then there’s the great howling terrifying void of what’s going to happen in the future.
And one misses children and grandchildren horribly, and one can hardly get any work done due to spending half the day going on WhatsApp to look at jokes about our ghastly and inadequate government. And so on and so on. You know the picture because we’re all doing the same thing and we’re all in it together. Well, some people more than others…
On which point, those of us who’re addicted to the news might be thanking God for our fearless journalists. My favourite description of their job is “to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted”. It’s so very true, at the moment. And thank God for the BBC. The only good thing to come out of all this is that its future is now secure, because who could attack it now?
“The Carer” has meanwhile come out in paperback, and needs all the help it can get, so do buy a copy if you fancy. It couldn’t be more topical, dealing as it does with those underpaid and unsung people who do such essential work and who are only now getting the respect they’re due. Besides, the novel is rather funny and we all need a laugh, don’t we? We’ve been getting a lot of that from social media already. The standard of so much of it is staggeringly high, and often incredibly funny. The one thing that keeps our spirits up.
Talking of online stuff, there’s a rather marvellous project called “A Writer’s Desk”, which consists of interviews with a whole raft of writers. They’re not just talking about lockdown and their latest book, but about the craft of writing in general, and it’s got a link to the Society of Authors’ Hardship Fund. I’ve just done an interview, and you can see it by logging on to https://www.facebook.com/writersdesks/?modal=admin_todo_tour
Then of course there’s the Hay Festival online, which looks pretty great.
Meanwhile I’m just sending all my best wishes to you, wherever you’re stuck, and in what circumstances. If you want the most wonderful few moments, go online and find the actor Andrew Scott reading the poem “Everything’s Going to be Alright”.
And do email me if you fancy, email@example.com