One of my cousins spent a few days with me in Switzerland this month, his brother got a little jealous or something, and in the same week sent me a copy of Anjo Branco. I was shocked when I opened the heavy package. The story extends over 600 pages! To boot, it starts with fugitive descriptions of male genitalia. After that, the reader is sure to be paying attention how the character develops and the story unfolds. However I was also shocked because the last thing that I need is another book to read. I read constantly, and the more I read the more I want to read. Then I stop for a short while, scratch my head, and remind myself that I am a writer. That done, with that thought in mind, I try to plot getting away from books and libraries so that I can concentrate on writing and fresh air. So far the search for a hideaway on Hydra is not going well, so I may end up in Kithira after all in spite of the logistic challenge that it poses. I am forgetting something here, the economics of the hidden are coming to get me!
I am in the midsts of reading Anjo Branco, at page 111 to be more exact, and it is doing me good. I do not read all that much in Portuguese these days, accordingly my vocabulary and fluency suffer. Thanks to this cousin I keep an eye on modern portuguese authors.
This month I spent another week working on a book, however this time retreated to the Swiss Alps together with a colleague. The two of us lived like monks. I loved it. Sleep, work, food and drink. I liked the drink part of monastic life. We had wine with the meals, and a nap after lunch. We drunk liters of yogi tea sweetened with honey. In the evenings we fired up the fireplace (and I had the feeling of being in the tropics).
Yesterday I had a bit of a longer chat with a friend and we went over the books (non-written) since this summer when we had last reviewed our contents and discontents. Since then he has been to Cairo and I have not, it was my turn to be jealous. I had a Greek adventure without drama, and we laughed a bit over that one. I am starting to suspect that my passion for fiction, writing fiction, is the freedom that it gives me to stay within the plausible, to argue for the implausible, and to be able to totally ignore concerns for truth or privacy.
In reading Anjo Branco I do wonder about which parts the author got from incidents in his life, and which parts he made up. Come to think of it again, a story is a story, and at the end, it does not matter much if it happened somewhere where the author was a witness or not. I hope that by the time I see my cousin in a few weeks I will know if this story meets my criteria of a good story.
By the way, tomorrow is Zibelemärit (Onion Market Fair).