Ouija boards are frustratingly slow.
Apparently the sprawling gothic castle does not come with the job.
Ectoplasm is a bugger to get out of the keyboard.
There is zero sympathy available if you start rattling your chains in the middle of the night.
There are whole new definitions available for the term ‘deadline’.
Wailing is not as cathartic or effective as you thought it was going to be.
Stained sheets are not a good look.
Once upon a time, many years ago, I wrote an 80k novel in six weeks. It nearly broke me. This time I’ve written a 50k novel in three weeks, managing to take weekends off and keep other things – like this blog – going. I’ve learned a lot since that first go at writing a novel to order.
Without inspiration, I don’t tend to write. However, one of the things most likely to motivate and inspire me is someone needing me to do something. The things that made this book problematic and technically difficult were also the things that set my brain working and enabled me to find a way through this project.
Ghosting for Beginners is a poetry collection by Anna Saunders. I first encountered Anna about a month ago when she read at Piranha Poetry in Stroud. So I put up a hand to review her new anthology.
There’s great delicacy and precision in Anna’s writing. I very much like that about her work. If she talks about a walk, a day, a bird, it doesn’t seem like a generic one conjured up to make a point, but something specific and individual. She writes a lot about encounters between humans and nature, or humans in the context of nature.
There are a lot of ghosts in the collection. The title of the anthology comes from a poem of the same name about the modern oddity that is ghosting – when people disappear out of other people’s social media lives, usually in a dating context. It’s not the bravest way of breaking up with someone. Many of the other ghosts are more traditional hauntings. These, set alongside poems about extinction and climate change meant that for me, the collection had threads of loss and grief all the way through it. I read it as a deeply haunted piece of work – and I think the title of the collection is an invitation to do just that.
There’s also just a whisper of humour running through these poems. A ghost of a smile, if you will. A feeling that this is an author who can laugh at themselves and who has a keen sense of the absurdity in many situations.
If you hop over to the publisher’s website – http://www.indigodreams.co.uk/anna-saunders-gfb/4594255832 – you can read a selection of poems from the collection. What’s here is a good representation of the book as a whole, and if it speaks to you, you can dive right in and buy a copy. Which I can certainly recommend you consider doing.