Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Writer's Envy

For the past 20 years as part of my work I've written technical papers. Things like '2.5cm. if angled greater than 15 degrees from the longitudinal axis of the supra-renal aorta: either forward angulation or lateral angulation. Exclude if the angle is greater than 30 degrees.' or ' Use the centre of the Image Intensifier screen to avoid parallax and mark the centre. Use the injector & Digital Subtraction Angiography.' - all riveting stuff - NOT!!

What I really want to write are pieces like ' Once, during lunch, I caught a glimpse of the whole garden swaying in the breeze as though it were a single flower. Immediately I thought of Monet's garden at Giverny where we first met. I could picture us there: you standing behind me, pointing to a crowd of red poppies, accidentally brushing my hair with your hand. Even now, as I write this, I feel the blood rush to my face, as it did when you made that small accidental gesture in the garden.' from one of my favourite authors Alice Steinbach.

Or ' My sharpest, the most indelible memoir of a hurricane, which to me dramatized the wind force more than a hundred panoramic shots of toppled trees and floating houses, was my recollection of a pencil-thin something that had pierced the bark of a tree and lodged deep in there like a struck arrow. It was a straw.' written as only the most eloquent of Essayists Alistair Cooke could.

This beautiful structure is actually called 'The Writer's Pavilion'. One can only imagine the person who commissioned it, what treasures lie within, the adjuncts & tools carefully placed that ensure the words flow freely in a space specifically deigned for writing only. It would be impossible to write technical stuff in these surroundings - only words of beauty, elegance & literary merit need apply!!


  1. Dear Millie,

    Please write a book ~ you write so well.

    That Pavillion would be a wonderful place to go and sit and spend the day, writing. { dream }


  2. What a beautifully written post -and such a gorgeous building....just lovely.

  3. Hi Millie - snap! Until a few months ago when I decided enough was enough, I was a technical writer for large corporations and this was also my greatest wish/regret - to be able to write beautiful prose. I was once asked by a managing director when writing a speech for him to come up with something creative and full of flair. My reply to him - if I could write something creative do you really think I'd been here writing this boring nonsense when I could be off writing best sellers! Leigh

  4. Oh Leigh - I loved your comment! Perfect response to such a silly question, you are a star! You know I'd be happy to part with dollars to read 'A Year At Brabourne Farm', beautiful photographs, delicious words, all done in your inimitable elegance & style.
    Millie ^_^

  5. Believe it or not.. another technical writer here! Business requirements / program specifications etc[which i am doing at the same time as writing this]. And funny I never thought to write anything other than techo stuff till I started blogging.[maths was more my thing] I love reading all your posts Millie. You know how to keep your audience captive. And you are right.. it would be impossible to write technical jargon whilst sitting in that wonderful pavillion. x Julie

  6. That would make the most lovely studio!!! You really do write beautifully Millie-
    Thank you dear for your thoughtful comments~ it's nice to be back.

  7. The pavillion is lovely, but I can't get past the fact that you wrote the first paragraph and UNDERSTAND what it means!!!! I'm like.... HUH????? You are one smart cookie Miss Millie!

  8. Millie, you are an Author waiting to be published! I always love reading what you have to say and how you write it.
    Write on, sister of the mystery, write on!
    xo Isa

  9. M-

    THE FACT THAT YOU CAN WRITE; "'2.5cm. if angled greater than 15 degrees from the longitudinal axis of the supra-renal aorta: either forward angulation or lateral angulation. Exclude if the angle is greater than 30 degrees.' or ' Use the centre of the Image Intensifier screen... "

    your brain must REALLY work well!!
    i am reminded once again of how special you are.

  10. Oh Millie, I love your technical prose...reminds me of the days I talked the talk but mine was softer biochem lingo .... phenyketonuria and 1,25,dihydroxy,cholecalciferol. Never did grasp the gift of prose, hence then reason I went into biochem. It's so refreshing to a find science minded techo who is so eloquent Millie.... you do need to write a book!... although Laurel Hedge is a cracker. My hubby almost choked when read your post on 'Lexting'.. grab a wine honey and I'll read you Millie's post for today! A-M xx

  11. Is it not possible to do both ? I wouldn't know. Anything mathmatical and I'm off in a trance , not listening to a word, losing precious minutes of my life, rather than let any of those numbers or that technical jargon get anywhere near my brain.Off on another planet. A planet of love and romance. Art and literature, so, I have probably answered my own question. That is one delicious building !!!! XXXX

  12. You are so eloquent Millie! When I was at school (a long time ago), the girls who were good at writing, weren't good at at science - and the girls who were good at science couldn't express themselves well. Your exquisite posts show that you are a talented lady!

  13. Millie - that was a FAN, not a speaker!! hahah!!!!! he brought that horrible fan home and then changed it out for the retro one when I went nuts. thanks for the comment!!!!!

  14. What a gem this Pavilion is - it begs for romance Millie. I am in awe that you can write technical 'stuff' - I wouldn't know a technical word if it jumped off the technical page and hit me in the not so technical face! Adjectives and adverbs....now they are more my friends, xv.

  15. Millie - absolutely FANTASTIC post! You clearly have the gift for writing prose (not technical papers - though you do write those very well too!). And...Alice Steinbach is one of my favourite writers too. I cherish my dog-eared copy of 'Without Reservations'. Lee :)

  16. Dear Millie,
    I share your envy. The pavillion reminds me of a contemporary 'Temple of the Four Winds', and is something we would love to have at Willowbrook. Thanks for finding these beautiful things to share with us.


And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart.
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?
~W.H. Auden

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