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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Presque vu IX

In these early pre-text days my story has more promise, more beauty, than I have ever seen in any novel ever written, because, sadly, this novel is not written. Then the time comes when I have to begin to translate ideas into words, a process akin to reaching into the air, grabbing my little friend (crushing its wings slightly in my thick hand), holding it down on a cork board and running it though with a pin. It is there that the lovely thing in my head dies.

Ann Patchett


In this YouTube video (now withdrawn) the Congressman from Georgia, Lynn Westmoreland, the man who co-sponsored a bill to require the display of the Ten Commandments in the House of Representatives and the Senate, struggles to remember what those commandments were.
He gets close to remembering three of them. Watch a politician squirm. Oh, and if you voted for him or intend voting for him again, please tell me why.


Books and Coffee, a bookseller, has some words of wisdom from inside the industry:

Here’s the news I hate to break to you: Books are a numbers game. 4,000 books a week–some of them are good. Some are better than yours. Some are a hell of a lot better than mine. Some suck. You’ve seen the sucky books, I know you have, so you know i’m not lying to you. But those books will sell more than yours and the ones that are better than yours if they get the attention. Book buyers are bombarded with new books–we’re the frontline when it comes to selecting books, but great ones miss us if, you know, their five sentences in the catalogue didn’t capture the essence of the book or if they weren’t in booksense or if you didn’t make an ass of yourself on national television.


The pressure group, Landmine Action, are hoping to swamp Des Browne, the British Defence Secretary, with letters calling on the Government to agree to dismantle Britain’s stocks of cluster bombs and back a global ban. The group, who fear that Britain is blocking attempts to ban cluster bombs, warned that civilians in southern Lebanon were being killed or maimed at a rate of two a day by hundreds of thousands of the fist-sized shells, which failed to explode during an intense Israeli bombardment at the end of this summer’s conflict.


One Response to “Presque vu IX”

  1. the narrator says:

    That video clip says all you need to know about US politics. I do not think America can right itself until it becomes a multi-party democracy with coalition governments. Unfortunately, only New York and two other states legally support the idea of more than the two existing parties.

    jb says: Not only America, Ira. Many people here in the UK have been fighting for some kind of proportional representation for a long time. But the big parties have always opposed it because they fear they wouldn’t be able to get away with so much.


    Books do seem perfect before you sit down to write them, don’t they? Ah, then the effort begins.

    jb says:  Perhaps if they didn’t offer the prospect of perfection we wouldn’t bother?