The Bell Jar: Jo Bell's blog

"She lives the poetry she cannot write" – Wilde

Hi honey, I’m home

Did you miss me? Come on, you didn’t even notice I’d gone – you were all pissed on brandy butter and Bailey’s. Back in San Francisco, my hosts Ian and Junehee will

 

ian-and-junehee-drinkingwill be glad to have their spare room back. They were unbelievably kind, especially as they have other guests coming soon and Junehee is having a sinus operation this week. Ian remains as blunt and brilliant as ever, and was disproportionately joyous about the Christmas cake I brought him.

It was a brilliant but slightly unsettling time. San Francisco is an interesting and attractive city, and I was escorted to wineries, beaches, museums and oodles of  nice restaurants. little-rock-towers-by-the-bridge I got plenty of sea air and sunshine, which is what I went for, but the breakfast cereals are a bit weird….cafe-fanny-granola especially this biblically inspired version.

Has a tendency to stick in the throat...

Has a tendency to stick in the throat...

 

However, I have learned once and for all that I don’t write any better just by displacing myself to a different location. The problem lies in my own bloody laziness, and of course whither I go, that goeth too. Solitude and silence do work, if I can discipline myself to seek them out. I’ve prescribed for myself Dorothea Brande’s exercises from her 1934 classic Becoming a Writer. Short of having someone actually kick me up the arse every hour on the hour, this is the next best thing. For the future I must balance the friends and trips that make me happy, with the quiet sitting down to write that I also need.

 

 

Tinker was solidly iced in when I got back but lovely chum John had set a fire so it was toasty inside – and considerably tidier than when I left home, thanks to friends Derek and Dolly who stayed over while I was away. Someone had also broken in and laid a new carpet in the back cabin… my guests next year will be travelling in style.

Canal still crunchy, not wet

Canal still crunchy, not wet

I’m back to work tomorrow, so for those of you wanting a bit more meat in your blog, it will be business as usual. Meanwhile have a look at two different versions of Christmas. First, here are the glories of Macclesfield and the white Christmas I missed…. and now, put your hands together for the Cornerstone Nondenominational and Non-Gender Specific Choir. Only, as they say, in California.

Hallelujah! Yes, they do sing

Hallelujah! Yes, they do sing

 

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This entry was posted on January 5, 2009 by in Writing exercises.
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