Well, fancy that. I am a little bemused but flattered to say I’ve been tagged by VP over in Chippenham, with a meme for garden writers.
Well, having spent most of the weekend trying frantically to catch up on at least one or two of the 101 articles I’ve been asked to squeeze in between trips to Thorpe Park and other such ungardenly things during the kids’ summer holidays, I guess that pretty accurately describes me. So – here goes:
Which words do you use too much in your writing?
Oh dear – every word that was roundly Colborned last month. Stunning and lovely being the worst offenders. I have since his post however tried my best to censor such inanities and instead work in an “orgasmic” or two somewhere. Haven’t managed it yet, but give me time.
Which words do you consider overused in stuff you read?
I refer the honourable member to my previous answer.
What’s your favourite piece of writing by you?
Oh my word, what a question. I can list several features I’ve enjoyed writing – the one on cutting gardens for Period Ideas, for instance, or several very nice interviews I’ve been sent on by the Richmond Magazine. Or nearly all my posts on this blog, which are really a dreadful indulgence which no real writer should be allowing themselves. But since I almost always agonise over every bit of writing I ever do, I don’t think I can pick one out that I could call an actual favourite. Sorry.
What blog post do you wish you’d written?
Nearly every single one by James The Hat. I am insanely jealous.
Regrets, do you have a few? Is there anything you wish you hadn’t written?
I did some gardening product reviews once for a now-defunct online womens’ lifestyle ezine with an unhealthy interest in making things sexy which I’d rather forget, thank you.
How has your writing made a difference?
I don’t have a clue if it’s made a difference to anyone else, though I hope so, somewhere. But (and I risk becoming maudlin and sentimental here) it has made all the difference in the world to me, and my kids, who now get to see me as much as they like (more or less) and have a cheerful and muddy mummy instead of a ground-down dead-end job mummy. And I’m earning a living. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Name three favourite words
“Aquamarine”, “translucent”, “surreptitious” .
…And three words you’re not so keen on
“Sustainable”, “naturalistic”, “slug”.
Do you have a writing mentor, role model or inspiration?
It’s really a list of garden writers I admire and would one day like to emulate, even if just a little. Christopher Lloyd (of course); Monty Don (I shall hereby duck the rotten tomatoes: but sorry, I like the man, and I especially like the way he writes). And Frank Ronan in Gardens Illustrated.
What’s your writing ambition?
To keep doing what I’m doing for as long as possible and avoid anyone finding me out.
Plug alert! List any work you would like to tell your readers about:
I’ve just started writing for the Kew Magazine. And they’re sending me on some really plum assignments to write Proper Features – a little daunting, but very satisfying.
Now I think I’m supposed to pick out four of my own favourite writers which is a horribly difficult task: not only are there too many to whittle down to four, but VP has already nicked some of my favourites herself and I don’t think it’s the done thing to double-meme people.
But anyway, I’ll do what I can: here are four taggees (now there’s an ugly word) selected at random from those whose writing I particularly admire and would like to hear more about:
Nigel Colborn (yes, I know I’ve mentioned him already)
Lila Das Gupta