Tag Archive | french

Lost in your time

I’m back posting on this blog. Having a site was a learning curve which I didn’t particularly enjoy. I missed the friendliness of this blog and I’m glad I’ll be able to follow others and comment a lot more easily. I hope it will be easier for you to comment too 🙂

Thanks for bearing with me these last few days. Tired of being hacked on my site, I made the decision to move back here, which meant a lot of work and adjustments. Please let me know if you can’t find something or have a question.

Thank you!

Lost in your time

Novelist meets French rock star, prepare for the sparkles.

Rock star or husband – which would you choose?

Ah, the dangers of the internet! We’ve all been warned, but do we take notice?
When Natasha clicks on a link, her whole life is turned upside down. A flash from the past, a chance meeting with a gorgeous French rock star…
A chance to start over and forget the pain and misery from the last two years.
But can Natasha let go? Will she accept this new twist in her life?

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Forget word count

I’m often asked about word count.

Okay, so I’m a total nutter. I have three novels on the go, one of them in French. Too many ideas bursting out. No idea what this writer’s block is about.
I do try and concentrate on one project but what do you do when inspiration strikes?

I just go with the flow. That’s one thing I can be organised with. All my neat and not so neat little files, I bounce from one to the other.
I’ve been known to pen an entire draft in  one week. When it flows, it flows! I can’t stop until it’s done.
And the word count? Yes, so it’s thrilling to see it add up but I don’t get fixated on it. I know when the story is finished and that to me is what matters.

Lost in translation, or not

The beauty of writing and reading in two languages

I’m English but I also speak French fluently. On many occasions, reading translated comments or subtitles on the television or at the cinema has provided a few laughs and/ or head-shaking.

I love the fact I can pick up any French book and read it without any problems. It does open the mind to read authors whose mother tongue is not the same as yours. I also find it influences my own writing at times as I might  find another turn of phrase as I think of an expression in another language.

I was very interested therefore to read the interview of an Italo-British author. It struck me how she explained how either language was best fitted for different purposes.

There are subjects I find easier to write in english and vice-versa. When a personal tragedy affected me, I found release by writing about it in French, which is how the French writing adventure all started. I had never written in French before, nor had I thought about it. It just poured out of me, taking me by surprise.

Here is a sample of this interview.

ITALO-BRITISH AUTHOR SIMONETTA HORNBY SPOKE WITH DW ABOUT WRITING HER LATEST BOOK IN HER ADOPTED TONGUE OF ENGLISH – AND TRANSLATING THE ITALIAN VERSION HERSELF.

She originally went to England at the age of 17 to study the language. There, she met and fell in love with an Englishman, whom she married at 21. Hornby has lived in England since 1969 and has worked as a children’s lawyer in London for the past 30 years. “There’s Nothing Wrong with Lucy” is the first novel she’s written in English, her second language.

Having completed the English manuscript, when it came to publishing the book in Italian, she decided to re-write it herself rather than have it translated.



There were bits of dialogue which didn’t fit in Italian so I stopped it. And descriptions were different. I remember I was describing the sky in St. James Park. In the English sky I was talking about the color of the sky. In Italian I had to talk about the clouds, not the color of the sky. It’s extraordinary. But when you think of it, logically, it’s right because language is harmony and some words are more harmonious than others in a language or in a particular sequence.

You just have to use different words. That is the richness of a language. A language is the soul of a nation, of people. The language is not just the way of identifying a shoe or a microphone or a finger, it’s just a way of expressing yourself.

Are there any things that you discovered about either of the languages in this process?

I think I discovered that each of them has its own beauties. And I discovered that I feel more at ease with English because it’s crisper, it’s shorter, it’s more to the point.

You can read the whole article here:
 

http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,,14797751,00.html

 


A poet? me?

I’ve been writing ever since I was a little kid, never thought of much until I was in my twenties.I certainly never thought I would ever make a living out of it.Writing has always come to me naturally, so  I never assumed it could be any good.

I’ve always got plenty of ideas, just always lacking the time.Then, I find myself in the middle night writing a bit more, fighting this constant war between my brain and the torrent of words that want to escape.Yeah, I know, I sound mad again.

These days, my writing style has changed.Previously I wrote mainly fiction and sometimes magazine articles but recently a funny thing happened.As I was recovering from an illness and grieving the loss of my baby, I finally started to find myself again under all that pain.

Then one day as my life had so completely changed, I wrote my first poem.There, I’ve said it! I’d never written anything like this before, I never even considered it was a poem.Bizarrely, it all came out in five minutes flat and in French.Well,that’s another, long story and no, I’m not french.

The Dear One gently forced me to write it down, you see.He knows when I get so restless, my brain itching to let the words out so that day he sat me down, put paper on the table and a pen in my hand.He urged me to let it all out and there it was, the words surprising me as I struggled to keep pace with them.

So I started to write more and more, even started this blog, it seemed like a good idea, although at the time I wondered what I would put on this blog, when I’d find the time and why would anybody be interested.The truth is, none of this really matters because this has also been a wonderfully liberating experience.

I can add content whenever I want, nobody has a say on what I write but it has helped me expressing all sorts of emotions and sharing intimate details of my life i never would have thought of sharing before.
When I say liberating though, this brings up another paradox.Yes, it is liberating but I’m now even more of a slave to writing.

So back to poems, I remember the first time somebody wrote to me about my poems.I thought that was just a fluke but then the comments kept on coming.I know it doesn’t really matter what they are after all, the point is that somebody out there enjoyed or appreciated what I wrote.

Today, yet again several people referred to my poems, it still surprises me.I just never saw myself as somebody who could write poems so thank you for all the lovely comments here and on twitter, I really do appreciate them.