Posted by: Corri van de Stege | September 23, 2007

The next week(s)

The next fortnight or so will be swallowed up by a lot of travel.  Pretty soon I will be leaving my current job, nevertheless the diary is as full as ever.  Belfast is on the route Tuesday and Wednesday, and then I will be spending two days in Bristol, preparing for my new job, which I will start on 1 November.  The week after I will be spending two nights in Glasgow and all this moving about will distract from the blogging, the reading and the writing so bear with me! 

My mind is working overtime as far as ideas for my book are concerned.  Up till now I have written haphazard chapters and approaches, besides the blog, of what will some time or other become my novel, it’s been brewing for years.  My challenge is of course to write the stories for my granddaughter.    Whilst doing so much thinking and reflecting, I had ideas for another book and so wrote down the outline, safely tucked away in yet another notebook. 

Finding the time to write seriously is nearly impossible but I keep telling myself that others have managed, somehow or other, and that even if it takes years and years in the making, I will persevere this time.  Doing the Creative Writing Course will have to help me find the right techniques and approaches, as well as provide the discipline to work on them. 

Meanwhile I am persevering with quite a lot of background reading, mainly in the Dutch language and I will spare you the name of the authors or the books.  At the same time I have now  finished William Boyd  Any Human Heart.  It is really quite a sad book, with the protagonist losing his wife and daughter during the second world war, while he is locked up, on suspicion of being a spy, by the Swiss, presumed dead by his employers, the English government… His reactions and how he carries on living until he dies at the ripe old age of 85, a successful author and world traveller, are human and reflect the changing world after the Second World War, across the globe.  Any Human Heart could be about any of us, but I wonder how it is that some authors manage to keep you spellbound as Boyd does.  The story just won’t leave you, and so I have read this book for the second time.  While I am at it, Restless is also an excellent read and coming to think of it, also deals with spying during the second world war and the effects on people, when things go wrong.  I reviewed it a while ago though.


  1. I finally got a hold of a copy of Any Human Heart. The first chapter sheds light on the poignancy of the story. I’ll soon get to it after Sixpence, the book on the bookish town Hay-on-Wye. 🙂

  2. I have managed to delete your last email (and the rest of my inbox) – response is thus delayed slightly 😦

    (Having one of those weeks!)

  3. Matt: Enjoy your reading – Hay-on-Wye story sounds good. I have told myself I must go there one year!
    Caroline: I’ll catch up with you, just back from an exhausting week of travel.

  4. […] I read Any Human Heart by Boyd for the first time in 2007 and gave a bit of a running commentary here :  at the time I thought it was quite a sad book.  I suppose it is, but no more than any other […]

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