Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

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I Thought it All Out Twenty Years Ago
Today is my ten years anniversary of being on LJ/DW. Looking back, I see that my first ever entry was about someone who'd covered some Beatles songs in Cornish. There's a now-broken link to the site. "Ah, so many links have been broken!" I sigh, more or less automatically. But as many new ones have been forged, and reforged, through being on social media. I'm grateful to everyone who's been here (both online and off) in the last decade. It's definitely enriched my life.

On the other hand, I suppose I have to admit:

Number of novels published in the decade before I took up LJ - 6.
Number of novels published in the decade since I took up LJ - 0.

Correlation is not causation, though, and there were other things going on in my life that got in the way of novelling. I officially transitioned 5 years ago last month, almost exactly halfway through my LJ career to date, and of course a move like that doesn't come out of the blue; it was preceded by years of anguish and drama of a kind that I had and have no wish to splurge abroad. Still, even if social media is considered as a symptom of my spiritual condition rather than a cause, it's a striking statistic.

Or perhaps writing novels in the first place was the symptom? One of its functions was certainly to act as a kind of safety valve (a role currently played by learning Japanese), a place I could go to when other things became a bit grim. And it gave me opportunities for expression otherwise denied me: it's no coincidence that all my first-person characters were female.

Anyway, taken as a whole, I think it's worth celebrating these ten years, and in that spirit I made an impulse buy yesterday, at a children's-book art exhibition. It's Paul Howard's cover art for the 2008 edition of Tom's Midnight Garden, which I've always liked but is far more beautiful without the writing and bar codes. It's in pastels, and has a depth in reality that my crappy camera struggles to convey. I particularly like the combination of wonder and forlorn vulnerability in Tom, dwarfed as he is in this wider perspective by the house and its trees. (It would be idle to deny that I also like his pyjamas.)

Tom's Midnight Garden

book cover


I'm embarrassed to say how much it cost, but arguably I couldn't afford it.

You did absolutely the right thing. Sometimes we just have to spoil ourselves with something special. Enjoy your beautiful purchase!

Thank you for the reassurance!

Happy LJversary! And thanks for sharing your new purchase. I think it's great, and agree with your previous commenter that you were right to buy it.

Thank you! I've yet to regret it, much as I shiver when I look at the gaping hole where my current account used to be.

That is a beautiful picture! Even in your photo you can see how much more subtle the original is compared to the book cover, nice though that is.

Imagine that much difference again, and you have the original.

Oh that is beautiful. It reminds me a little of Sendak. (Like maybe some of the pages of 'Outside Over There' And I am so glad to have found you on LJ.

And I you!

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It's interesting and perhaps surprising that you should find poetry impersonal, though on reflection I think I see what you mean. I on the other hand may need to find a way of being more impersonal, or at least of putting greater emotional distance between me and the matter at hand, before I can write novels again.

Happy LJ-birthday!

I would never have guessed at that picture from the book cover. It's a lovely thing.

And I hope that you will write more novels - though this may be selfish of me.

If it's selfish, it's a selfishness I share! I'd love to be writing novels, and certainly haven't despaired of it, but I decided a while I ago that I wouldn't beat myself up for not doing so - at least for the time being.

The picture is rather beautiful, isn't it?

And I hope that you will write more novels

Seconded.

Anyway, taken as a whole, I think it's worth celebrating these ten years, and in that spirit I made an impulse buy yesterday, at a children's-book art exhibition.

Happy LJ-anniversary! It is absolutely worth celebrating. And it's a much more beautiful drawing than cover. The space is different.

Edited at 2016-10-15 08:22 pm (UTC)

Thank you! Yes, there's much more sense of depth, for one thing - and the composition is quite different, of course.

I'm glad you splurged, especially on something so beautiful and meaningful to you.

It's been very helpful to have my decision endorsed by so many people!

Well, thank you for being on LJ. You are always thought-provoking and sometimes even vital. Your relative's rabbit-eating poem may be the best thing I have ever encountered on social media :) Affordable or not, a reward seems well-deserved ;-)

Thank you for sending me back to that entry! The poem stands up rather well, doesn't it? (I think I was a bit harsh in my comments on it at the time.)

I mean, I think it will always be the case that that particular poem fits my family background and personal interests so well that I can never judge it objectively, but I love it.

O my. That is perfectly beautiful. Clearly it needed you.

We rejoice in your company.

Nine

And I in yours.

That is a very fine picture.

Isn't it? It captures something essential about the book, I think.

Happy LJ anniversary! You have bought a lovely thing.

Thanks! :)

That is a beautiful picture, I am glad you have it :-) Belated Decade-on-LJ congratulations!

Thank you!

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