‘Most people enjoy the sight of their own handwriting as they enjoy the smell of their own farts.’ – WH Auden
Anyone who has followed my Twitter account @hell4heather since it’s birth may remember that before I decided to introduce myself to the world as a ‘Mum of Five – not the band’ my original bio said, simply, ‘some of my best friends are pencils.’ I can now reveal to the world why this is actually true… because I prefer to do the majority of my written work longhand and in pencil; a trait which an editor friend of mine called barmy, due to the fact that I then have to go and type everything I have written out later, thus taking twice as long to finish anything. And what has brought about this newly proud revelation? Because -and I’m just going to come out and say it – I just discovered one of my absolute comedy writing heroines, Dawn French, does the same thing and I’m not too proud to admit to indulging in a bit of girly glee when I heard this. It is without doubt incredibly self-affirming finding out someone with such immense cult status in the world of your chosen art thinks in some way the same as you do …unless it’s Charles Manson 😉
Dawn has recently ‘pencilled’ her new book ‘Oh Dear Silvia’ which is out today; hence the wave of television interviews with gorgeous Dawn (yes, beautiful women can be funny) that I’m thoroughly enjoying, especially as they have given me new hope that my perceived ‘old-fashioned’ writing style is not simply the work of a madwoman. Although, I still have to admit to maintaining a slight streak of madness. Hungry for more proof in my I’m-not-prehistoric-really pudding, I read an interview with Dawn for Penguin Books this morning, where she is quoted as saying,
‘I use pencil. A sharp pencil moving over crisp white paper with feint blue lines. It’s a sensual treat. It’s lead-tastic in every way.’
This single sentence was like my own little 50 Shades paragraph. I know exactly what she means! I’m forever found lying on my belly in front of the fireplace, scribbling away and sticking my nib in the sharpener every five minutes for the sheer sensual pleasure of doing strokes with a sharp end – at least that was until I found an even sexier toy – the mechanical pencil.
So to Dawn French, who I know will never read this, thank you, you legendary, comedy Goddess for making me feel normal. Now I will get the book (birthday present hint to children here) but sorry, I can’t read until after I’ve finished writing mine. And I love you but no, you can’t borrow ANY of my pencils!
And for other writing news – this blog is being published on Kindle in a round 24 hours and going weekly! Woo-hoo! Again I’m a published writer; albeit in the ‘publishing giant that is Heather Hill herself’ kind of way. OK, I exaggerated about the giant thing *checks arse…* *thinks, maybe not…*
So I hope to see you here next week, with some surprising guest posts and encouraging comments from the world I aspire to infiltrate, including a comedy writer who wrote jokes for the great Bob Hope and Bob Monkhouse and ex-BBC Comedy Chief turned Executive BBC Producer Jon Plowman.
For those of you that don’t know, this is what I’m currently working on… (Well, actually this blog is what I’m currently working on. But you get my drift…) MRS DAVID DANDO