Posted by: stelladuffy | February 19, 2009

last night at Watford Library

A brilliant sixteen year old nervously came and introduced herself to me. She’s just-out, her Dad had dropped her off at the library (she watches L-Word with her Mum), she’s read me in Diva and wanted to meet. She was lovely and shy and so brave to be there. No-one at school knows, of course, in her words “they say ‘gay’ to mean rubbish, it’s really homophobic.” She was young and a little shaky – but she came, and she outed herself to me (and the couple of dozen people standing near), and I was enormously impressed. I was NOT impressed by the school who clearly have no idea (or don’t care) that they’re letting her feel verbally harassed and too scared to be out because they too (a la Chris Moyles/BBC) have decided it’s ok to let the kids speak as they will as long as they’re only upsetting the gays. I truly do not believe they would do the same were the word ‘gay’ as a term of abuse to be replaced by any word indicating race.
So, a valuable reminder that it’s not yet fixed, that it is absolutely worth traveling all the way to Watford after a morning rehearsing and an afternoon editing, in order to read to a couple of dozen strangers and a young women who needs to know it’s ok. (Suspect she might also have been there to be assured it was ok she was wearing lovely skirt, great shoes, and good haircut!)
She also said Diva is ‘magnificent’ – it’s how she knows what might be options for her in years to come. How brilliant. And again, yay her. (And yay the library for giving her an event to feel safe in.)

Other splendid things in Watford – the (very) pregnant woman in the audience turning out to be a lovely niece I haven’t seen for years – and have certainly never seen 8 months pregnant before! The splendid woman who saw librarian at the station waiting to meet me (complete with pic of me on poster), said she loves my work – and waited at station to tell me – and then came long to event, late, but came. Cool.
All of which entirely made up for the man who contradicted my suggestion that “500 words is about 3 pages, so if you write that every day you’ll manage a first draft in a year” with “I think you’ll find it’s one and a half” – did he mean one and a half years to write first draft? Fair enough, it might be a longer book. No he didn’t. He meant 500 words is one and a half pages. Ah, the writing pedant who would quite like to talk about his 12 page novel and why the publishing world don’t get it. And whether it should maybe be an MP3 or a dvd instead. Sorry, don’t know, clearly can’t even count words per page correctly, so that one’s well beyond me!

same again today : rehearse morning/edit afternoon/Women’s Library evening. (there really is a lot of telly piling up …)


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