Some of the best things I’ve ever done have come about as a result of random late night conversations, where whims that would otherwise be dismissed as totally unrealistic suddenly become completely achievable goals. Caught up in the moment, I find myself signing up for all sorts of things I would never do in the cold light of day, and I can’t say I have regretted any of them!
Over New Year, I stayed with the lovely Miranda for a few days. We drank colossal amounts of tea, ate lots of goodies, and did lots of chatting (as well as lots of theatre going – more details on that to come!), and during one of our conversations we began talking about how we wanted to do more with our writing. Miranda showed me some beautifully produced quarterly magazines she had been sent from America, written by two photography bloggers who had wanted to create something concrete for the people who read their blogs. As I flicked through the pretty pages, suddenly a lightbulb switched on in my head. Why couldn’t WE do that?
As I got more and more excited, Miranda caught my enthusiasm. Why not indeed? It could be a place for all those things we want to write on our blogs, but that we either don’t have time to dedicate to, or that would not work online. I could finally write a lengthy spotlight on Dorothy Whipple’s novels. Miranda could discuss fashion in middlebrow fiction and show us how to capture the spirit of the 1930s in style. We could share favourite recipes, capture favourite destinations, highlight favourite artists, even try our hand at short story writing…the possibilities are endless. We want to create something lovely for all the people out there like us, who quiver with excitement when a new Persephone is published; whose idea of bliss is a slice of cake and a good book; who would rather go for a stroll in an autumnal wood than go to a bar and get drunk; who appreciate the simple pleasure of sitting in the early morning sunshine with a first cup of tea. If we’d want to read the articles it contains, we hope you would too.
So, our first step towards achieving this dream has been to set up a joint blog, with the same name as our planned publication; Old Fashioned Girls. We will take it in turns to post a little snippet every day; it might be a painting, a photo, a recipe – anything that takes our fancy. We’ve already started, and we’re loving it so far. It’s very different to how I write on here; I am not usually one for brevity (!), and it’s a challenge to condense my thoughts into just a line or two. However, the experience of collaborating with someone else, and of expanding my writing repertoire beyond books, is already proving inspirational, and I am incredibly excited about where this could lead.
So, if you like Book Snob, I hope you will like Old Fashioned Girls. Do please pop on over when you can, and fingers crossed that I’ll be able to update you on our Quarterly very soon!