I had my copy of Ribbons today – the magazine of the Tanka Society of America. I jhave three poems in it, so I am happy. Slightly less happy that it will be reducing to two magazines a year instead of three, but if it relieves some of the workload on the committee you can’t really argue with it. I know from previous volunteering how hard and thankless it can be. The loss of one hance a year to publish is a small price to pay for the continued smooth running of the society.
I’ve been watching a documentary on TV – David Harewood’s F Word – and it was quite interesting. He interviewed some successful actors (including Brian Cox, Olivia Colman and Damian Lewis) and it seems that they are all just as susceptible to worries about success and failure as I am. Admittedly, we operate t different levels and I’m way behind in terms of wealth and global recognition, but we all seem to think pretty much the same.
Brian Cox, for instance, says a bad review is just the opinion of one person, who might be having a bad day, while Olivia Colman told of her experiences after winning awards and still finding herself out of work. Having said that, I expect that being an out of work Oscar winner is probably still better than being an unemployed non-Oscar winner.
Most actors who have any moderate fame seem to fill their time quite nicely with writing books for children. It seems all the rage at the moment. This is an interesting article on the subject. I’m not sure how I feel about some of the comments, particularly the ones about being careful bout what children read at an early age. One of mine was a poor reader until he started reading Pokemon cards to his younger brother and then moved on to sports journalism. By the time he wrote his first essay at University he was miles away from having a good academic style but he quickly learned. The other one just read graphic novels, or comic books as I always think of them. A local librarian told me to be grateful that he ws reading anything voluntarily.
The problem, as mentioned in the article, is that there is a touch of snobbery about what kids read, just as there used to be when libraries removed Enid Blyton books. Personally, I read a lot of classics in Dean & Sons junior editions. I still remember ploughing through Jane Eyre and similar stuff when I was far too young. having been taught to read by the time I was five I was skilful enough to read a lot of novels that I was far too young to appreciate. It was only when I moved on to Biggles and William and Enid Blyton that I actually liked reading and I haven’t stopped since., though I have rarely gone back to fine literature after my early experiences.