Blue, the second book in the Lavender Blues trilogy, was based on my experiences in the 80s as a member of a feminist-led collective – but shaped and adapted to fit the logic of fiction. The words and the characters were my main guide, taking me to places I hadn’t expected. The themes were feminism, marriage and open relationships, but only as they developed in their own sweet way. What I had to establish was the ebb and flow of feelings as an authentic experience, and this meant that the beginning was seminal. Like the first few bars in a symphony, the opening paragraph signposted the key, tempo and mood.
So what did I hear at the start?
Blue begins with a quiet, observational figure – with moments of unease and the word ‘enough’ running through the mind of my protagonist, Richard Lavender. By contrast, my second subject, his wife Vanessa, sails in noisily with a messy exchange with her children and her close friend Ruth. Then the narrative voice kicks in, taking us back through the first ten years of Richard and Vanessa’s relationship. The emerging pattern is: intro – smooth exposition – back to theme, using the word ‘enough’ as leitmotif. Continue reading AND THEN THERE WAS BLUE→
In the third part of her lyrical essay exploring creativity, Michelle Payette-Daoust examines the personal stories we tell, using pieces appearing over the last three years on this site to illustrate her ideas.
‘Reading through the posts on this blog, I’m reminded that there are as many stories as there are human beings. And then some.
In the second part of her lyrical essay exploring creativity, Michelle Payette-Daoust writes about ‘otherness’ and ‘opening the door to suffering’, using as illustrations, blogs published over the last three years on this site. As in the first part, Michelle also looks at my creative role as link-man and commissioning editor.
Sue’s introduction: Once We Sang Like Other Menis a new short story collection by award-winning Irish poet, playwright and novelist John MacKenna. I found it compelling, bleakly beautiful, sometimes disturbing and often deeply moving. The blurb says:
‘These wide-ranging stories follow the disparate disciples of the Captain – a mysterious, powerful and magnetic figure whose violent and chaotic death at the hands of the army radically alters their lives in myriad ways. From rural North American farms and dive bars to the suburbs of Ireland and the sands of Palestine, we witness their struggles to find a place, a peace, in a world that is fractured and incomplete.’ Continue reading JOHN MACKENNA INTERVIEW – THE THINGS UNSPOKEN→