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Reflections of a working writer and reader

 

 

Five Questions: Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God

1. Why do you blog?
For me, blogging is democratic journalism. You get your own little corner of the cyber universe, which is the equivalent of the comment pieces in the Sunday supplements. Okay, you’ll never reach the educated masses like Julie Birchill or Jon Ronson, but if you are erudite, eloquent or witty enough your blog will receive enough hits to justify its existence. Even if you’re literary or observational skills fail you, your friends and family will probably pop by for a look-see.

2. Which author and/or book has most influenced you?
Herman Hesse, especially Steppenwolf and Siddhartha. Hesse was the first author I really couldn’t get enough of. I read all his books, with the exception of The Glass Bead Game (which I just couldn’t get into) in my late teenage years. Also influential was Alasdair Gray’s Lanark. It was written by a Glaswegian and set in Glasgow (my home town), and it opened an imaginary door for a flood of Scottish authors who previously couldn’t have conceived of a contemporary Scottish literature scene. Prior to Gray’s emergence Scottish literature was all about Robert Louis Stevenson, Robert Burns and Walter Scott; and all we had really was a wallowing, tartan-kitsch nostalgia. Now, there’s a mighty array of Scottish novelists, including Iain Banks, Janice Galloway, James Kelman, AL Kennedy, Irvine Welsh, Alan Warner, Val MacDairmid, Ian Rankin and Alan Bissett; and every year new Scottish writers appear. Alasdair Gray inspired me to try my hand at novel writing; and I’m sure he was the inspiration for many others.

3. Which three blogs do you most visit?
As it is, I spend way too much time on the computer. Most of this time, I’m writing rather than reading, so my eyes are on the keyboard rather than the screen. When I do look at the screen for more than a few minutes at a time, my eyes start doing weird aftertrail shit, which is not unlike tripping, but a lot less pleasant. The limited times that I have to do concentrated internet research for hours on end I get really bad headaches, not dissimilar to having a hole drilled in my forehead. So, I don’t like staring at a computer screen unless it is strictly necessary. That said, if pointed in the direction of a blog, I will usually go and visit it out of curiosity . . . and if it is sufficiently interesting I will continue reading it until my eyes start bleeding. I don’t bookmark or revisit these blogs, mainly for the sake of my eyesight, but also because I keep hearing about new ones.

4. Why do you read fiction?
I think the main reason I read fiction is that it stimulates parts of my brain that other forms of entertainment don’t reach. As an artist as well as a writer, I especially like novels which stimulate my visual imagination, sending me off on vast, polychromatic journeys. If they can also stimulate my ‘what if?’ gland, all the better.

5. What makes you laugh?
Bitter-sweet asides about human frailties.

Dee Rimbaud blogs at: Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God, which can be found here: http://deerimbaud.blogspot.com/

3 Responses to “Five Questions: Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God”

  1. Ninglun says:

    I love this blog title! I too “spend way too much time on the computer.” John, this series is proving a real winner. Such a variety of interesting ideas.

  2. Carey Clark says:

    I like this concept of introducing people to others’ blogs. Interesting!

  3. Rebecca says:

    I, too, am enjoying this series of posts. It’s nice to get to know the person behind the blog a little as well as what motivates them to blog in the first place.