That may not be true – it may simply be that I meet writers, and as a result, know how nice they are, but – as a swingeing and ugly generalisation that I will not be able to defend in any sensible fashion – I find writers to be nicer, on the whole, than executives in charities, which was my last real job, or than people running ethical businesses, which was my last but one real job, and much nicer than academics, with whom I worked for years and who were generally funny, devious and not people to turn your back on.
And that was a sentence of horrible proportions. I shall try not to do it again.
The point being that Joanne Harris is a busy, accomplished and thoroughly famous writer, who had no reason on earth to drop into my blog and express her concerns about my concerns about a contest she’s judging. But she did. Isn’t that really very nice indeed? I am humbled.
And my good friends Bunny Goodjohn and Mary McCluskey have been keeping my spirits up by sharing, honestly, their own ups and downs as writers, which not only makes me feel better about my own ups and downs but also reminds me what a wonderful ocean of talent there is out there, how wonderful it is to be part of it, and how lucky I am to know such great people who make the world a better place, word by word.
And my rarely met, but often emailed, publication twin, Daniel Kaysen, has been emailing me back and forth about comics (okay, you can call them graphic novels if you’re feeling insecure about reading them) and reminded me of the joys of the bargain bin, where you get five comics in a plastic bag so you can’t see the middle three and they could be rubbish, but could also be gems. And not only does it turn out that we both love(d) Swamp Thing, but I’ve been on a real comic jag, discovering and rediscovering old favourites and realising that they are often my primal writing sources, and loving the reminder that deep inside my literary persona is a teenage Goth, chewing on black fingernails and planning mayhem.
PS The picture is a Hellboy cover, if you’re not a comic reader, or even a reader of comics.