Leila has fished out a rather unpleasant character – I thought we’d tied him up in the corner but no – this is what she said:
Diane M. Dickson’s Memories are Made of This conveys unease, malice, longing and disappointment in a hushed voice. Although there is nothing in the opening paragraph out of the ordinary, it manages to set the right one for what follows. This economical piece subtly underscores the irony in its title and it comes full circle in a manner that you seldom see anymore.
Q: Charlie comes off serene when he thinks of the past, but immediately turns hostile when he sees something that stains a memory. It seems to me that Charlie’s emotional progression is perfectly natural until I saw the way he dealt with let downs. I guess this question comes from the “Nurture or Nature?” drawer, but what do you think (if anything) makes Charlie so, um, proactive about women? His mother?
In a word – YES – when I was writing this that was very clear in my mind I remember.
Q: The tone was downright elegant and understated. From what I’ve read of you (including one of your books) I do not recall you ever using coarse language except maybe in dialogue; nor would have anything been added to your work by it. Those of us who overflow the swear jar have said plenty about naturalism. How do you feel about such things?
I don’t swear very much myself – the odd mild expletive is about it. I grew up in a household where it wasn’t the norm. When I began to have work published, I was very aware that my Dad would read my work and I just couldn’t bear the thought that he might be offended by something I had written. When he died, I did wonder if it would make a difference and I would thereafter pepper my work with F bombs. It has not proved to be the case. I know that many of my characters would probably curse in every sentence, but I write for pleasure and I wouldn’t enjoy that. I have had comments on my novels to the effect that it is refreshing that there is no ‘bad’ language, but I have never had any asking for more. I understand that it is par for the course now and there is the learned (Stephen Fry) opinion that it is actually vital for our mental health and who am I to argue with Mr Fry.
I think it is better to write without it than to use asterisks or such like to replace letters. That really does irritate me. If you are going to write it – write it – I reckon. For me I think it’s probably too late to change.