Monday, August 24, 2009

Ouf, I've been memed

Diana at Elephant's Eye has very kindly awarded me a "Blotanical Was Here" Red Gerbera for getting her involved in the Blotanical world. It's a great honour to feel that I've inspired someone else to do something - usually I'm looking for people to inspire me. She's also asked me to list seven things about myself and to tag seven other people. Goodness, I'll have to think about that one. It might have to wait until after my garden opening.
I've also been tagged by VP at Veg Plotting with a writing meme, which seemed an easy option in comparison.

Which words do you use too much in your writing?
I did a Wordle of my blog, and it said the word I used most was "Eeeek!" I think that's pretty accurate.

Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
OK, I'm going to turn into a pompous sub-editor here. I hate it when interviews with people in gardening magazines (or any magazines, come to that) say ' "Blah blah blah," she laughs' or "Blah blah blah," he smiles'. What someone says is either funny or it isn't, and I don't think "laughs" or "smiles" works as a synonym for "says". It's a personal prejudice.

What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?
I liked writing
The Legend of the Pinging Frogs. I love the idea of telling a story and yet being able to inform at the same time.

What blog post do you wish you’d written?
Anything controversial and hard-hitting. I'm far too soft-hearted and always worry that I'll upset someone.

Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?
When I sat Higher History, I wrote "Yes" in answer to the first question (something about did the unification of Germany lead directly to the outbreak of war in 1914) and "No" in answer to the second. (Can't even remember what that question was.) I was having a bit of a protest about being forbidden to sit Higher Art, but in retrospect it seems a bit childish. (I wasn't allowed to do art as I was already doing music and the school thought I ought to do something "useful" instead.)

How has your writing made a difference?
It's probably annoyed the readers from time to time.

Name three favourite words...
Eeek, eeek, eeek.

…And three words you’re not so keen on
Eeek, I can't think of anything.

Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
I've never had a mentor, I didn't study English at university and I've never been to a creative writing class. When I was a trainee reporter in Edinburgh, I had a fearsome news editor who shouted at me all the time, so that nearly put me off ever writing anything at all. As far as he was concerned, I'd committed five major sins: I was female, Catholic, a graduate, I had an English accent and I didn't attend one of the posh Edinburgh private schools. I escaped to the subs' desk with a sigh of relief.
My favourite sort of gardening book is one that you can read, rather than one that has lots of pictures. I love Anna Pavord, Vita Sackville-West, Anne Scott-James and Christopher Lloyd for their ability to show you the world through their eyes, in words that will make you remember that particular vision without the need for an illustration. None of them uses particularly complicated or difficult words or ideas; they write simple, straightforward prose. Yet each phrase is their own - there are no cliches, just what appears to be an effortless originality.

What’s your writing ambition?
I've never had the slightest ambition to write, which I suppose is rather eccentric considering that I'm a Fleet Street journalist. I find the idea of writing a novel absolutely horrifying. What's always interested me about newspapers is physically putting them together, which is why I'm an editor rather than a reporter. However, in the past few years I've written more and more, and now I would even consider writing as an alternative career if I ever decide to downsize from full-time newsroom mayhem.

Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about:
My next post?