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Journeys

Well, it’s taken a while, but four months after getting a website and posting my first blog… I’m back with another one. Hmmm… two blogs in six months… that wasn’t really quite what I’d envisioned to be honest when I embarked on this journey in March. In my head I was going to start jotting down lots of fascinating thoughts, publish reviews on fantastic books I’d read by local authors, turn my personal spotlight on children’s literature in Italy and share with the world all my intriguing insights into life in Italy as a children’s storyteller, freelance commercial and aspiring literary translator, and general commentator on what’s hot and what’s not in my little corner of Italy: Abruzzo.
Unfortunately, as far as this blog’s concerned, it’s been more not than hot.

So what’s my excuse? (I thought I’d use a well-oiled ploy from my long-gone university days and launch into a complex and detailed excuse that completely distracts attention, possibly even entertaining in the meantime, from the delay in me getting my act together.)

Travel. That’s what did it. It was the journey’s fault.
Hmmm, could this work as an excuse?

I thought that since blogs are supposed to have themes, and I don’t have a book review ready to wow anyone with (back very soon though with magical children’s author Andrea Bouchard and hugely-talented Abruzzo writer Angela Nanetti), and I’ve not been doing much meditation on the meaning on life – literary or otherwise – either, I thought I’d just make an excuse and talk about that instead. It is translation related so may be of interest to someone out there!

So back to Journeys. We all know (especially if you travel on public transport) that journeys always have a good dose of falling behind schedule, veering round unexpected roadworks and sprinting to make connections. Just last night I nearly made one…(a connection, that is, not a journey)…bursting through the barriers and puffing onto the platform just as the whistle blew, the train pulled out and lots of satisfied faces stared out in ha-ha, we’re-on-the-train-and-you’re-not satisfaction. But hey, for every Missed Connection, there’s a New Opportunity just waiting to be seized. In my case, it gave me time to sit down (on the platform, not the train obviously) and think about this blog and where I wanted to go with it.

This website was like the first station in a journey for me. I’d decided last year that I wanted to change direction slightly as a translator, and to do that, I thought I should start doing things proper. So apart from embarking on an Open University course in English Language and Literature and practicing how to write proper (is this working as a metaphor?) I thought that after years of translating successfully but in total anonymity, it was time I had a profile. And with this profile, I was going to travel into the world of elegant prose and indie publishers leaving funky business cards and weblinks in my wake. So off I steamed out of the first station, from website-hood I was going to enter the world of words stopping along the way at web log land, book review village and short story city until I made it into print. (Too many journey analogies?)

And commence it did. Only I seemed to be pressing too hard on the accelerator and was already swerving off in different directions in order to veer round unexpected but extremely fantastic obstacles along the way: I found myself battling (in a good way!) with an upsurge in commercial translation commitments, some extra reading projects at the local primary school and the chance to take part in a 3-month readers’ course at an Italian library, as well as Lisa Carter’s amazing First Steps in Literary Translation Course http://intralingo.com/courses/ and other OU language assignments. Since Go and Flow are two of my favourite words, I’ve been letting fate do what it does best, which is take me where it wants in this journey into literature and words, with a little nudge and a budge in the right direction from me.
So The Journey started out with a dream and a blog, and five months later, in the thick of the Edinburgh Festival – https://www.edfringe.com/  (for music, theatre, cabaret, comedy)  https://www.edbookfest.co.uk/  (for books) – here I am with a story ….about my lack of stories!

Stories are what I do best though, and if you want to hear the one about the Scottish translator who woke up one day and thought she’d become a literary translator (or if you’re interested in hearing about the useful tips and things she’s picking up along the way) then why not read my guest post on the website of accomplished literary translator Lisa Carter: http://intralingo.com/blog-site/

If you’re not interested and only landed on this page by mistake, then thanks anyway for persevering and reading through to the end, that’s cool as well! 🙂

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