Saturday, October 13, 2007

Searching For Promise

What I'm listening to:
The Promise by Tracy Chapman. This is set to clips from Harry Potter and even though I have not followed Harry Potter at all and have no idea what it's all about I do rather like this compilation of scenes.

(I'm on a bit of a Tracy Chapman spree - just ordered two of her albums LET IT RAIN and NEW BEGINNING from Amazon since they do not seem to be available for download from iTunes).

What I'm reading:
(A pre-publication copy from her publishers, Canongate. It is about Freud's latter years. According to the start of this book he suffered from mouth cancer and was in such great pain that in the end was put out of his misery by his friend and doctor ). The writing, so far, is clear, interesting and utterly absorbing. Since this is from the author of MISS GARNET'S ANGEL I am not surprised.

What I'm thinking about:
The apparently smooth surface of a quartz crystal; how close up it must be uneven with caves and hollows. Then I think of gas molecules hiding there. How sticking there may cause their electron clouds to shift and they sit there poised, ready to react. I used to study the surfaces of quartz. I used to use changes in concentration and temperature to find out how water stuck to its surface. Nowadays there are more sophisticated methods and the German chemist Gerhard Ertl has won a Nobel Prize all to himself for his work (see The Sceptical Chymist via Petrona for more details). By finding out how solid surfaces interact with gases we can discover all sorts of things about catalysts, or in my case, sensors.

What I'm writing:
My plan for my next novel.
(I'm looking forward to next week: on Monday I meet a consultant virologist who is going to discuss with me his working life, and on Wednesday I am going to Manchester again to meet potential supervisors for my PhD in creative writing).


Blogger L.M.Noonan said...

I never tire of tracy chapman. I haven't heard her latest stuff though. no time, out of the loop etc.
I've just been over to your website for the first time-shame on me; and read the extract from 98 reasons for being. I am blown away with your writing. It has been a very long time since I have been so moved. Thankyou Clare.

Tue Oct 16, 02:05:00 am  
Anonymous Clare said...

Thank you so much IM Noonan. I've been thinking of your comment all day. That is so very kind of you.

Tue Oct 16, 10:06:00 pm  

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