Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Okay, I'll play

Take three blog entries into the shower?

Not sure if this is a busy day or not, but it's definitely not my usual Tuesday news shift at RadioTimes.com so I admit it, I am intrigued: Piers Beckley just tagged me to copy what he's done and list five things about myself that "other people might think lame, but which make me who I am". He's preceded in this by Helen Smith. (Hello, Helen Smith.) Who's next depends on you.

But in no especial order, here you go: me in five lame point.

1) Just so stories
When a piece of writing is just so, just exactly right, it can and regularly does move me to real tears. Can't define what's right but I know it when I get that tingle. Dar Williams's songwriting does it to me repeatedly; Christina Rosetti; Alan Plater plays. It's almost endless.

2) I'm scared of paper
Strange, but true: I have papyrophobia which is strictly speaking a fear of paper. I know you think I'm joking, being a writer and all, but while I think fear is a strong word, it's about right. Small pieces of paper, especially, can make me shake. Consequently the BBC's habit of using post-it notes a lot does give me problems, most particularly because I regularly hotdesk there and can be using other people's computers instead of my own paper-free one.

3) I'm a nut for cartography
'Course, I gave that away about an hour ago, but still. Mapping, GIS, all this stuff, arrests me. I am in no small way excited by the Maps application on iPhones.

4) Pilgrimage
When I went to Los Angeles, I made a pilgrimage to Pershing Square where the exterior of the Los Angeles Tribune newspaper offices were in Lou Grant.

5) I like typing
More than writing, sometimes. The feel of the keys under your fingers; I'm a self-taught touch-typist, once clocked at around 120 wpm, and writing is a tactile thing for me; I like the sense of kneading words together with my fingers. I think a lot about how we can think of keyboards in different ways; right now, for instance, I'm not looking at mine and all it means to me is the next letter, the next word, yet in a word processor I can in the very next second be using those same keys to save, to print, to email. I also think a great deal about word processors; I used to write about them. A friend recently complained that it was ridiculous that Microsoft charges hundreds of pounds for Word, "it's only a word processor", and by God she regretted it - or she would have done if she hadn't glazed over a few seconds into my "Ah, but you say that..." speech.

Am I allowed a sixth? You're the only person I can think of to send this to and suggest you do one yourself. No telling me that you have already. This is primarily because every bleedin' writer on the planet has already done this business. I am late to the table, again.



Piers said...

Pershing Square?

Isn't that a level in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3?

William Gallagher said...



Piers said...

[pushes coin across the table]

I fear senility has addled your mind, Baron.