It was certainly a wet and wild start to the year on the island, tempered by the fact rumour that Robert Plant, the original stormbringer*/hammer of the gods, may have visited our rocky shorelines on vacation as the rain lashed down. Apparently, he has family in Hong Kong and comes over from time to time. As a female friend wondered if either he or she were too old for groupiedom, I pictured ‘Percy’ on the balcony of his room at The Warwick (our only respectable hotel) screaming at the rolling seas as the latest band of low pressure hit the island; the cargo of concrete contained in the wreck of a vessel that ran aground here recently shifting slightly…
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!**
Alternatively, he might have just been just enjoying an ice cream from our local gelateria-cum-bar.
*I know this was Deep Purple but it fits here and in so doing enhances the deeply unreliable nature of this post
**The Immigrant Song from Led Zeppelin III (play LOUD)
So my significant relationship is dead in the water and now an author who helped inspire me to start my own stuttering writing career tells us that the novel is heading the same way.
How do I feel about this double blow? Strangely elated. Why? Because these kinds of personal and professional disappointments often take a lifetime to achieve – I feel fortunate to have plenty of time left in front of me to waste on brand new pursuits.
Perhaps I also retain a little more hope about the novel’s future destiny than Will. While I agree that ‘difficult art’ has become fair game for a populous frustrated with the deception and doublespeak of those who govern them, and that for new generations any form of entertainment lacking some form of interactive connectivity may become taboo, Young Adult Fiction is HUGE right now: get ‘em young and we might yet keep ‘em reading.
Relationship-wise, us single writers can only hope that the trade’s cultural cache continues to attract beautiful crazies until we find that bookish partner of our dreams…
If you would like to hear me talk (non-intimidatingly!) about writing in Hong Kong and/or listen to an extract from The Parachutist, please download the latest Hong Kong Writers Circle podcast here.
If you’re looking for an accessible way into Will Self’s canon I would recommend sampling the surreal stories in his collection Grey Area.