Saturday, August 18, 2007

What's Your Poison?

I've been in bed most of yesterday and today - where possible, with so many small kids needing to be fed and watered - suffering from a dreadful cold and sore throat that's left me weak and lethargic. I had been intending to post up something on Raw Light this weekend about my recent reading in children's fiction - most notably the new Harry Potter novel - but I find myself too weak to do so with any conviction. So I shall leave that for another day.

I get a large numbers of hits every day to this blog, from all over the world, which is very complimentary and I thank you for your visits. But I do sometimes wonder whether people reading Raw Light come for the poetry or the prose or just the occasional Holland stingers. It's such a mixed bag on Raw Light - which genuinely reflects my own inability to specialise - that I'm not sure sometimes whether I'm getting the balance right in terms of entertaining my readers.

So if you have the energy, do please leave a comment below this post letting me know why you visit Raw Light, if it's helpful to you in any way - as a reader or writer, for instance - and whether you have a marked preference for blog posts about contemporary poetry or reviews or children's fiction or writing techniques etc.


Bo said...

Jane, quite frankly I find everything you say interesting, so get well and keep it up!

Jane Holland said...

You sweetie! I don't know what I've ever done to deserve you as a friend, Bo, because I've always been so ... well, you know ... dark. And you are massively smarter and better educated than I am. But I am extremely glad to have you about all the time. Don't ever dare stop blogging.

I must come down to Oxford and see you soon. Properly. It's been too long.


Bo said...

Oh, give over. You dark?! I don't believe it.

Do do come down - we're moving at the end of next month so before then is good.

I have no intention of stopping blogging. I could sell my posts by the yard at the moment.

Emma said...

Hmmm... I know that virus. I still can't shake it off.

Personally, I read your blog
a)because we've met, and I found you both interesting and entertaining
b)I'm interested in how you're progressing with your novel
c)I like the 'Holland stingers'

Jane Holland said...

Thanks too to Emma. The novel is OK. It took me nearly ten days though to rewrite the first chapter. So much for a white-hot draft. But now I'm moving towards the third chapter and beyond what I'd written before going on the Arvon course. And the plot is expanding and becoming more complex to fill the 70,000 words that Malorie Blackman suggested should be my target. So everything's still simmering nicely.

Bloody hard work though ...


Ben Wilkinson said...

Hi Jane, I usually visit Raw Light for your reviews of poetry collections (enjoyed your views on Polley's Little Gods that I also reviewed for, and for your general poetry chitchat: mentioning magazines, good reads, etc etc. I particularly enjoyed your discussion of Raine's views on Paterson from the latest issue of Areté: I'd read that magazine more often if you could buy individual copies online. That 'On Bad Poetry: Daljit Nagra' article sounded to be particularly interesting, too (by which I mean acerbic and hilariously vicious).


Jane Holland said...

It was hilariously vicious, Ben. Absolutely. But I bought my single copy of Arete by sending a cheque to CR in Oxford. Not online, granted, but it's only a small amount of effort required.

You know, if you don't want to go down the cheque line, you might be able to pick up Arete in Waterstones or order it from there. Where are you based? I know Blackwells in Oxford always stock a copy of the current issue, and probably major London booksellers like Foyles would probably keep copies too, but elsewhere?

Thanks for your feedback re reviewing. I am behind in my reviews and have a cluster of new books of poetry to look at. My house move has set me back at least two months in my reading, and I've been ill recently, which hasn't helped.

Feeling better today though. I've got to write a commissioned poem this week, and do a critique on a novel that I promised someone, but then I'll be free to start reading these new collections ...

Come back soon!


Sorlil said...

Hi Jane, I've enjoyed following your blog for quite a while now.
I love being able to peek through blog windows into writers and poets lives. I admit a preference for posts about poetry as it is my personal passion and I'm especially greedy to borrow any tips on writing techniques, for poetry that is!

Jane Holland said...

Hi Sorlil, good to see you here again. If that's what rocks your boat, there's usually plenty of chat about technique and other poetry-related stuff on the Poets on Fire forum if you fancy joining - though do read the registration guidelines first, as we've been suffering from spamming recently.

I was meant to be writing something this week on 'how I write poems' - for a magazine - but it hasn't happened yet. Perhaps I'll try to sort something out along those lines for the blog instead.


Sorlil said...

thanks for that, I'll look forward to you post!

Andrew Philip said...

It's the poetry posts that draw me here: reviews, opinions, general poetry-related musings. Not that the other stuff isn't interesting, like, but I'd still be reading if it wasn't here.

Like Ben W, I very much enjoyed your post on the Arete critique of Paterson. I was thinking of going to hear Raine on the Edinburgh Book Festival, but I couldn't manage. I heard Daljit Nagra read with Nick Laird. Good reading, I thought.

Jane Holland said...

Yes, it's good to get out and hear people read occasionally. I've just been looking at the brochure for the Aldeburgh Festival and thinking I might book me some events there!

New poetry post up today (Wednesday 22nd August 07) by special request, so I hope that feeds my poetry-hungry browsers for a few days ...