Friday, 21 December 2012

A piece about a piece

Giles Emerson on Wwword 201212

Having spent many years interviewing other people I found myself at the ‘receiving end’, just the other day. Someone actually wanted to interview me about my work as a – wait for it – “writer of anything!”

The night before this extraordinary experience, arriving home at a little before the dear little sparrows awoke, I’d returned from Scotland, via a nine-hour-in-one-go drive from the Western Highlands. And that morning I’d waved my talented photographer-brother, Charles Emerson, away so that he could rejoin his family in Bristol. The Scottish, short weekend, had involved two days of driving and one-day of hard work and a lot of jabber from me – but then I don’t get out much.

I was absolutely blathered with tiredness and somewhat annoyed to boot because my Broadband had failed big-time, courtesy of that corporation of Britishness that underpins much of the UK’s telecoms.

So I snuck to a neighbour’s house with my laptop and gratefully set up in their kitchen for said interview.

Once the extremely attractive woman in New York, Lucy Sisman, and I were up and communicating (grainily but in lickerty spit audio), I suddenly found myself the gamekeeper turned poacher.

I was being full-on interrogated by a very sharp mind. I felt myself dither and pother away in the way people who should really be in bed or sucking out the contents of a bottle of wine, sometimes do just smoffle along. Yap, yap, yap.

Here I was talking about my work as a professional communicator for government and business and a self-styled ‘hired pen’ (what unutterable plonkerishness – you can see the likeness between me and Clint Eastwood on; and all I could muster were near-fatal banalities. But the blessed Lucy is sharp enough to catch the thread of a story. And she makes it all sound quite interesting. Honestly.

This said, I wished I could have said something like…er…The great thing about writing is that it is very difficult indeed. The marvellous thing about words is that one placed in an appropriate sentence can change the world, suddenly, in the eye of a beholding reader….Or…

You see I really didn’t want to be the subject; I wanted the subject to be words. But then, with joyful hindsight, what I have learned is that here is a website that does nothing but celebrate words. And it’s very moreish. Visit and learn about a planet of possibilities.

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