Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Eight Random Facts.

Anne Sydenham of Cat Politics tagged me while I was away at my retreat.

Here are the rules:

1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each participant posts eight random facts about themselves.
3. Tagees should write a blogpost of eight random facts about themselves.
4. At the end of the post, eight more bloggers are tagged (named and shamed).
5. Go to their blog, leave a comment telling them they're tagged (cut and run).

Eight Random Facts:

1. This morning I had to send a letter to my agent ending our contract. It is the second time I have had to do this and once again it hurt so much it was like losing a friend. Which is stupid. Agents are not friends they are business acquaintances. I have to remember this.

2. So far I have spent three and a half years writing a novel but it is not finished yet and needs more work. This novel may never be published but I try not to think about this.

3. In order to write this novel I went to Patagonia, caught a bus which took me over the desert and I interviewed about 50 people about their lives and the lives of the ancestors. During this time I was cold, scared, tired and irritable. At the end of this trip I had big arguments with a waiter at a coffee bar, a woman at a till and the man at the airport desk. Thinking back I wonder how I managed to get out of the country - or more likely they couldn't wait to get rid of me.

4. Also for this novel I learnt to become a shaman and made many shamanic journeys while lying on the floor of a flat in west London. In order to make a shamanic journey you generally either need to take drugs, not sleep for several days or listen to a hypnotic drum-beat. I chose the drum-beat. When I reached my underworld (which was in the bole of a tree) I discovered I had a spirit helper which turned out to be a big turtle.

6. I am not religious any more although I used to be. When I was young I used to belong to an evangelical group of Christians because I was lonely and it made me feel part of a community. We used to spend a lot of time trying to convert people until one day I realised that the person I most needed to convert was me. Then I left.

7. Also for the novel (in point 2 above) I tried to learn Welsh which is the most illogical and also the most beautiful language in the world. After a fortnight of immersion in the language I felt so sorry to leave Wales that I experienced hiraeth - which is a special sort of homesickness unique to the Welsh.

7. I am an expert on the folk lore and culture of the nineteenth century Tehuelche Indians (northern tribes).

8. Sometimes my sadness incapacitates me for days at a stretch and all I can do is sit at my desk and write lists like this.

Now I have to tag 8 people so I tag the following people I encountered while on my retreat (I have come back early):

the inebriated member of the cloth who had the room below me and listened to the TV with the volume on max;
the wealthy landowner who told me I had no right to stand where I stood;
the builder who hammered at wood all day and every day;
the man who operated the cement mixer;
the god of rain;
the over-enthusiastic bell-ringer who decided that three hours was insufficient time to practise;
the slight, meek-looking woman who somehow irritated me for no good reason whatsoever;
and the cleaner who came into my room at the unearthly hour of 9.30am this morning and remarked that I was not one of life's early starters (even though I was dressed).

If they had blogs I would tag them, but unfortunately I suspect that they don't - so I won't.

(Additional Note) So instead I tag the following:

Susan of In Over My Head.
Lori of Chatoyance;
Crystallyn of Creator of Circumstance
Susangalique of Shedding the Inner Dialogue
Aydin of Snails Tales;
Jeremy of Peake-o-matic
Gordon of McCabism
Jonathan of Connaissances

Only if you have time and inclination of course!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, Clare, I love you! Even your crankiness is endearing.

Wed Jun 27, 07:58:00 pm  
Blogger Gordon McCabe said...

Oh, so that's what a tag is.

Wed Jun 27, 11:04:00 pm  
Blogger Crystal said...

These are awesome random facts!!!

I'm sorry about the agent stuff. I fear I would feel the same way. I tend to connect with people on a more personal level than I should in the business world. Which is both good, and as you noted, also bad.

I rose to the challenge, btw!

Thu Jun 28, 02:51:00 am  
Blogger AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

I will see if I can come up with 8 random facts about myself.

In the meantime, can you tell us more about those indians?

Thu Jun 28, 03:12:00 am  
Blogger Susanna said...

wow! you really go the distance for your writing.

YOu know about that book, you some babys are just take time to birth. Maybe you just need some more experiences with that harrowing thing called life. Its such a biotch sometimes!

I loved your 8 things. They were very honest and candid. I posted some but they are silly and things I have been thinking about lately and might have already said.

The one thing I left out that was like number 9 would probably be when I got my hair caught in the drivers fan on our church bus. May Dad drove it and it was parked in our back yard. Me and my friend was playing and I stuck my head out and the fan pulled my head up to the scalp. My mother could hear me screaming inside the house. I had to be cut out.

oh oh hears a good one...once I me and my mom went for a night drive and I stuck my head out the backseat window and she rolled up the power window and I had to kick the back of the seat to get her attention. Yeah, dont really do the ole head out the window things anymore.

Thu Jun 28, 05:58:00 am  
Blogger Lee said...

Writing lists like this is also writing, and wonderful at that. And stop being so hard on yourself, so impatient: for a really fine novel, 3 1/2 years is nothing. Pay absolutely no attention to the fools who urge a book a year.

Shaman, eh? I'll have to pick your brains/soul at some point - shamanistic elements in Corvus too.

Thu Jun 28, 08:59:00 am  
Blogger Andrew said...

It's always useful to have a big turtle as a spirit-guide, Clare.

Thu Jun 28, 02:04:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was when you were learning Welsh that I first discovered your blog, I believe. The very first post of yours I read was about a walk, and it still sticks in my mind, even a forgetful one like mine. You must be a good writer ;-)

Thu Jun 28, 07:15:00 pm  
Blogger Ellie said...

Hi Clare,

Have never posted here before but absolutely loved your eight things. Am also intrigued to know the plot of a novel that requires such weird and wonderful adventures. It sounds absolutely fascinating.

Ellie, Hesperus Press

Fri Jun 29, 02:41:00 pm  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

That book you are writing, and have spent much blood, sweat and tears over, is - I can feel it in my bones - going to be a winner. A winner. Please keep believing in yourself - the writer of these random eight facts has a drawing, gifted voice. You, Clare, are a writer of maximus talents.
I love your creative tagging. I must remember that method for next time I am tagged. Yes!

Sat Jun 30, 02:03:00 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks Susan!
Gordon: I think some people call them memes. I just go with the flow.
Crystallyn: Yes, important to keep these things separate I feel. Very difficult though - and I love your list.
Aydin: I shall keep checking!
Susangalique: That an incident sounds scary! And that window thing...ugh. Once I heard about someone losing a finger through slamming the car door shut on his hand. You don't expect cars to be dangerous in quite this way.
Thanks Lee - that's reassuring.
And yes, Andrew - the turtle is best.
Ellie - hello, thank you for dropping by and saying such things. That is so kind. I much appreciate it.
And CB: Another kind person...and yes, I have to go on. We all do, don't we? I keep saying that in some ways it is an affliction...this urge that we have to write.

Sat Jun 30, 10:02:00 am  
Blogger Anne S said...

Clare: A good list and enlightening too.

The occasional hints you give about your book make it sound fascinating.

I was also amused by the persons you wished to tag who disrupted your retreat, especially the "meek woman". I too get irritated by such types and want to give them a push or shock them or something. I don't though.

Sat Jun 30, 12:20:00 pm  
Blogger dhamel said...

What a great list, Clare. I was tagged by Susan, so you're my grand-tagger. But I'm stuck on three so far. Can there be so little to know about me? Clearly, as I have never been to Patagonia and am not a Shaman. God, I'm boring....

And yes, Maxine, she is a great writer.

Sat Jun 30, 01:33:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Debra: Aha, a grand-tagger! I feel so proud. I going to take a look at your list now before I go. And thank you for your very kind remark. Much appreciated I assure you, particularly at the moment.

Anne S: If only my book were as fascinating as it sounds! I find it so but unfortunately other people do not. All I can do is keep going - I've done too much to stop now. And yes, meek women...I know I shouldn't find them irritating but sometimes I just want to give them a good shake - and me too.

Sun Jul 01, 12:27:00 pm  
Blogger dhamel said...

I still haven't posted. This is pathetic. But I'm now stuck at five. Surely there are more things about me, but I don't know.

Sun Jul 01, 02:22:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


What a list: heartfelt and adventurous. You give more of yourself here than most people do anywhere.

I send you a bouquet from my garden and a jar of balm. Both are ethereal, so I hope you will know when they arrive.

Between computer disasters and camp-ferryings and so forth, I haven't been around much. But have thought about you. More anon.

Mon Jul 02, 03:10:00 pm  
Blogger AYDIN ÖRSTAN said...

Here are my 8 facts

Mon Jul 02, 06:45:00 pm  

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