In which I have a book out and undertake the pondering of various things

Ahoy.  Good afternoon and howdy there. I have been remiss of late in the tending of this little bloggy corner of the internet. I’ve been gadding all over the shop writing blogs for other people left (What make’s a hero? for Choc Lit), right (Letters to my younger self for Serendipity Reviews), and centre (Adapting Shakespeare for The Romaniacs), and my first novel has come out.

Waaaaah!

Yes. Indeedy. It is true. Much Ado About Sweet Nothing is now out there in the world and is all buyable for your kindle (or your kindle smartphone/tablet/PC app). So you could buy it if you wanted. I’d be delighted if you did.

All of which explains why my head is a bit all over the place, but does not excuse the lack of good blog maintenance. Now I’m back at it, I can see that there are cobwebs in the corner, and the occasional table needs its doilies freshening. Yes. My blog has doilies and an occasional table. Please feel free to make up your own jokes about what the table is the rest of the time.

So in order to get up to date on the blog I’ve done a whistle stop tour of the internet to identify the main concerns of the day, generated some arbitrary opinions on them and arranged the whole thing into a numbered list. Here we go:

 

1. Tom Daley is dating a guy. I have two opinions on this. Opinion 1: Lucky guy. Opinion 2: This shouldn’t be news. I’m slightly sad that it so clearly still is. Tom Daley is famous for being unusually good at jumping prettily into water. That would seem to be an activity that can be achieved equally competently whether the jumper in question is gay, straight, bisexual, asexual or entirely undecided. So it’s nice that he seems happy. If there are kids who are questioning their own sexuality who gain strength or a sense of solidarity from his announcement that’s brilliant, but really really sad that it’s considered Big News.

 

2. Men and women’s brains are wired differently. No. No. They’re not. Firstly nobody’s brain is wired. I know this. It’s why as a freelancer who goes into lots of different organisations I am required to have professional indemnity insurance, but have never had to have my head PAT tested. The study the headline is based on is here. Just from the abstract you can see that the study only looked at people up to age 22. The study also noted that differences are greatest during puberty but reduce during adulthood. So interesting stuff medically for anyone studying neurological conditions that are more common in one gender than the other, but not a reason to sack your female CEO and hire a man or vice versa.

 

3. The University of Kent were tad rude about children’s and genre fiction. Clearly what we have here is what used to be known as a storm in a teacup, and is now just known as Twitter. Having said that, university level courses in creative writing have expanded massively over the last few years, and if you’re serious enough about writing to do a BA or MA then you do need to think about choosing your course carefully. I did the sort of broad covers-a-bit-of-everything course that Kent so obviously don’t offer, and it was brilliant for me. I started off thinking I was a playwright, and left as a rom com prose writer. If I’d done a narrow playwrighting MA I would never have known.

 

4. Michael Gove still doesn’t understand how education works.

 

I think that’s all. Presumably some real news has also happened while I’ve been distracted, but you know better than to look for coherent thoughts about serious things here. Ta-ra for now.