Freedom From The Mundane - A Writer's Blog

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Wheelie's Nightmare

I caught Ian Rankin being interviewed about his new book, Rebus's Scotland on BBC Breakfast this morning. The interview was very short and rushed and he was asked the usual questions; inspiration, history, etc. He was definitely wearing make-up; he's much paler in real life.

I worked a lot on the Fringe chapbook; deciding on chapters, organising the poems to fit the headings, running through and editing all the poems. I messed about with the publication tool to see how it will work and it seems quite simple yet flexible anough for me to do pretty much anything I want with it.

I still think I can do more with the poems though. The collection I have so far is good and I like them. Most aren't tradition poems; more like slam poems, but when the photos go in along side, which I'm positive I can do cheaply, I think it will make for a great wee book.

But I still don't think I'm expanding and stretching myself enough within the thought process of the poems themselves. I know I have done some good work, but there is a darkened door in my mind that I have still not found. Behind that door lies the path to enlightenment and lots of envelopes being pushed through doors. I have to find a quiet time and expand my mind. Perhaps I should get drunk and do it that way.

Speaking of the Festival book, I still need a proper title. The working title is Fringe Fantastic, which is quite good, but I want to make sure I get the best one. I have put together a selection of the best ones I could think of. Some are off the top of my head, and some are named after actual poems, which I feel reflect the focus and feel of the book. So, as a challenge to all my readers, I have decided to put the title out to a public vote. You can choose from the list here, or suggest your own. This list will be on the left hand side for a couple of weeks then I'll count the votes.

Send your suggestions here

Fringe Fantastic
Snipping the Fringe
Tearing up the Fringe
The Masterplan
Sunshine Fruit
National Portrait
Doggy Style
Fringe Verse

I found a couple of really good blogs, quite by accident.

Belle in the Big Apple - Belle, a Southern Gal, documenting her life in Manhattan in a fresh and funny way.

Procrastination Station - Colorado based bloke with a fine interest in literature and music. Very witty blog.

Back home after work I got stuck into painting the second coat on the ceiling of my office and glossing the skirtings and window frames. It looks a treat now and on Saturday I'll paint the walls. Ian is coming round on Sunday to finish off the plugs and lay the carpet so by Sunday evening I should be able to get the desk and furniture assembled. If it all goes to plan, I can start to move in Sunday night or early next week. Yeehaah!

Gail had Chinese food last night with her pal who came round and there was loads left over, so I had a plate of spicy beef with egg fried rice for my dinner. I was so tired after it though that I gave up any thought of writing and went to bed. I started to watch a programme about the artist, Marc Quinn, who today saw his sculpture, Alison Lappar Pregnant, erected on a plinth in Trafalgar Square.

It's a controversial piece because the subject is disabled, naked and heavily pregnant.

Of course the debate is raging of whether or not it is suitable or not. Personally, I don't see anything wrong with it. It's challenging and makes you think about something in a new way. It says something about disability, art, motherhood and humanity. It says something about personal courage, discovery and truth.

But there is one thing that struck me more than anything. Alison was talking about the distinctive similarities between Marc's sculpture of her and the sculpture, Venus de Milo. Both are female, both are naked and both exhibit the same disability; that of having lost both upper limbs.

The question here is, why should the Venus de Milo be accepted and revered as a classic, simply because it is assumed the sculpture lost it's upper limbs but had them before, whereas Alison Lappar, who was born with her disability, be regarded as a "freak" and "totally unacceptable", to quote a couple of recent art reviews.

Venus de Milo

Alison Lappar Pregnant

It's a fascinating question, which challenges all our opinions and thoughts on how we treat the disabled in this country. The fact we now have a statue celebrating Alison's body as beautiful and not as a freak of nature to be ignored, says something about how far we've come in accepting. But have we done in enough in reality for the disabled? You only have to look around you to know that's not the case.

This is all getting quite serious so I shall leave you with this thought. My Uncle Bill is disabled; lost the use of his legs many years ago and as a result is in a wheelchair. He told me the worst thing about being a "wheelie" was the "wheelie's nightmare". When asked what that was, he said, "when you're going down the street and your wheel goes through a dog turd, then comes back round on the wheel and you put your hand right on it."

Colin 10:34 am


Hey - thanks for mentioning my site.

I guess I missed that fact that you are in Edinburgh.

I LOVE Edinburgh. We recently visited Europe and hands down Edinburgh was my favorite place.

Too cool - Ben O.

Thanks again - later.
Dude, I downloaded you poetry e-book. I Love it! You explanations at the bottom are so cool... a window to your soul. Rock On!
Max Cameron
Hey Colin,

Thanks for stopping by my site and leaving your kind words! I also read your poetry (Brick by Brick). Wow. Beautiful, accessible, and really quite lovely. Truly a good read. [All who are reading this comment, go ahead and download his ebook, because it will be time well spent.]

I need to go through your site more thoroughly because I think you mentioned somewhere you have more poetry. ?Maybe? Since I have been skimming sites recently due to lack of time, I may have imagined that. Hopefully not.

Lang may your lum reek.
(Long may your chimney smoke.)
Scottish Blessing

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