Monday, December 31, 2018

Goodbye 2018

This has been a sad and painful year on many levels: generally poor health, debilitating illness in recent months, deaths, the demise of relationships, practical problems, erratic work patterns. But somewhere out of all the torment have come good things like new friends and different ways of moving forward into a new year.
2018 has been my first year without a book being published for quite a while as Wayfaring in Little Britain proved too big a task physically in the last two years of serious illness. I agreed to write a more sedentary book on the Breton Saints and spent two months on this before stopping for a whole raft of complex reasons. Bottom line is that such a book would not serve my own essential interests nor honour the direction my writing has taken since 2015, and I feel strongly that I should no longer spend time writing or translating work outside those criteria.
Thankfully agreed that instead of an in-depth study, the saints will appear in short version later in 2019 in the very successful series of mini-guides like Huelgoat and the Monts d'Arrée, which have been my bread and butter over some years. Ironically this may also be more commercially satisying for the publisher. I cannot let go of the idea of WILB, so I resolve to try again with this tricky, demanding book and see if somehow I can find a scale and scope that is within my physical capacities. This is the book I want to write.
Otherwise I have come back to poetry in a concentrated fashion this year, and worked extensively on the parish closes through translation, talks and guided visits. A more creative approach will come in 2019 when I have an exhibition on this subject - Seeing is Believing - with a photographer friend at the new café/bookshop Sur la Route. I am working on those texts at the moment, contrasting individual experience with the collective identity enshrined in the closes.
So I am happy to move on into a New Year with new energy and ideas. I wish all my kind and valued readers and followers the very best for 2019 and thank them as ever for their continued support, without which these housebound months would have been much harder to bear. Good luck, my friends.

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