Do you listen to the radio? I was weaned on “Listen with Mother” at home on weekday mornings and progressed to “Music and Movement” a weekly treat at infant school. Although we did have television, there was more variety on the radio, as I recall. Nowadays, the only time I tune in is in the car and, since the pandemic, I’m in the car less often. It’s a pity, because I’ve discovered some fabulous music through the radio and, despite the competition from podcasts and the like, there are still some excellent spoken word and magazine programmes on BBC Radio Four. But even in during the old normal, my radio regime was flawed, as I couldn’t always dovetail my journeys with the broadcasts that interest me. I find it frustrating that, stuck in queueing traffic after a choir rehearsal, it’s Hobson’s choice between stabbing rap (no thank you), up-your-arse philosophising and choral Evensong (love the music, hate the prayers).
Where once it was religion that kept the poor downtrodden, now it’s capitalism as expressed in the Great American Dream, that we can all be winners if we set our minds to it. Both these novels transport the modern mind to a time and place where characters are conscious that not everything that happens is under their control. But that doesn’t stop them from trying to appease the superpowers or exercise free will. In the first, we meet a group of thirteenth century pilgrims sacrificing earthly pleasures for an easier eternity; in the second, a young woman in modern secular India grapples with the ancient Hindu concept of fate.
If it’s irritating for novelists to be told by friends and acquaintances that they too could write a novel if they weren’t so busy doing more important things, then think how it must be for poets. Anyone with even a passing interest in words, or emotions, is likely to have composed a poem at some point, whether inspired by a sense of occasion or adolescent angst. You don’t even need a pen or a keyboard when you can juggle those lines in your head.
finding truth through fiction
Annecdotal is where real life brushes up against the fictional.
Annecdotist is the blogging persona of Anne Goodwin:
slug-slayer, tramper of moors,
author of three fiction books.
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Anne Goodwin's books on Goodreads
Sugar and Snails
ratings: 52 (avg rating 4.21)
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ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.56)
GUD: Greatest Uncommon Denominator, Issue 4
ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.44)
The Best of Fiction on the Web
ratings: 3 (avg rating 4.67)
Read Shall I show you what it’s like out there? my latest short story hot off the press.
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