Book report, week 11: Porgy and Bess and Strout

Three blog posts. That was the extent of my writing week, three blog posts. Two were author interviews with excellent writers – Laura Besley about her debut flash fiction collection The Almost Mothers, and Nicola Cassidy about her third historical novel Adele, based on the life of Fred Astaire’s fascinating sister.

I also entertained myself with a list of lighthearted book recommendations for these troubled times. And that was during the one time in the week when I had actually shown up at my desk to write. Concentration is in short supply for everyone at the moment, isn’t it? I certainly lose the run of myself very quickly when there’s an opportunity for a list.

No doubt you’ve all been doing odd things during your confinement within your four walls. I dug out all my cassettes and started listening to them one by one, to the delight* of my daughter. One of my old forgotten favourites, a sumptuously romantic recording of Porgy & Bess by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, has given me an idea for my WIP. The cogs are finally starting to turn.

My reading material too has provided food for thought. I’ve just finished Elizabeth Strout’s Abide With Me on the Kindle box. It’s a deceptively simple story about a clergyman who is grieving for his wife while trying to care for his troubled young daughter and guide his congregation. It touches upon aspects I’m also writing about, and she has sparked some ideas. Here is a particularly moving passage:

Now all I have to do is get myself to my desk and not allow myself to be sidetracked by lining up paperclips or something.

*To be confirmed

Want to read more? The next book report is here (there are no numbers during a pandemic. Time is measured in box sets).

Missed week 10? You can read it here. Or start from week 1 here


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