December 1st, 2016

(no subject)

It's been a busy week.

Firstly, I'll answer everyone who commented on the locked post personally, there, but you need to know that I have taken the Patreon route. Katrin (who wrote the Beast with me) held my hand and checked my text and did the picture for me. The photograph of me is by Miriam Eisfelder and was taken at the launch of The Wizardry of Jewish Women. It only went up last night, and you can find it here: If you know anyone who might be interested, I'd be grateful if you shared the link.

Secondly, I promised a couple of people I would blog what I taught my Wednesday class last week. You'll see why when i get to it, which will probably be over the weekend. I'll do a more complete essay on what I taught for Patreon, I think, for it'd be a perfect introduction to several facets of my life.

Today I want to explain why friends think it's so important I blog a particular class when i teach many. Last week I had that moment of truth one gets from time to time and I realised that it was perfectly possibly to translate the workshops I used to give NGOs into both marvellously useful tools for the writer and into a handy insight for writers who want to work at political change. It's just transformative narratives, but I've now got instant techniques for teaching them from a number of directions. I used to teach them primarily to create policy critique and analytical argument for people who wanted to be able to talk with governmental bodies and enable a proper conversation (two way! and this would be why I got called on to do workshops a lot - individuals and organisations could translate their needs into a base for discussion and get results). Now I can (and have) taught them to writers. And they worked. And I was very smug. The big thing is that I'm not teaching a particular political line. I'm teaching writers how to take what they want to say, the world they want to be and write about it in one of several ways that can act transformatively. If I'd preached my own politics, that would be ethically dubious, to be honest. What I teach is skills and techniques, not political views. This was essential when i worked with women across such a broad range of cultures - privileging my own views in those situations was dangerously colonialist. And it's essential now.

Thirdly, I've nearly finished a draft of the novel about the gendershifting alien. It's either appalling or brilliant and I have no idea which so I've asked a friend to take a look at it before I proceed with it. If it's appalling then I will shelve it, but if it's not, I shall edit it muchly and seek a publisher. The reason for the extra care is because, when life goes so very badly wrong, big decisions need to be taken with care. And besides, I've written that novel so very quickly that it lacks my usual perspective. In a way, it's far more unadulterated Gillian than anything else I've written. My soul is on show...

There's more, but I have to go do some other work. I may be financial right now, but I'm terribly busy. If I get everything that has to be done today done, then it will include 5000 words and the review of a manuscript plus a truckload of housework. I've already done half the housework, which means clean sheets and dishes and clothes. It's a start.