Tag Archives: Skills

FF – Progress

Rochelle Wisoff-Fields‘ own photo this week.


The photo on my Mum’s dresser shows Gran and Gramps getting married. She made the dress herself from a Simplicity pattern and fabric she bought at the market. There were enough scraps that Mum was christened in a gown made with them, two years later.

I can’t sew a button. Mum could; I’d have to pay someone. Economic progress through the loss of individual skills. Presumably Great-Gran wove the fabric herself. And her Grandma grew the cotton herself.

If I’m right, where does progress go next? Perhaps my daughters won’t even have to earn their own money to buy clothes!

** All fiction, in case you were wondering **


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Slow Readers

I-am-in-the-slow-read-ers-group… as the poem goes. Like so many of Allan Ahlberg’s poems, this one absolutely captures the powerful emotions of childhood. I-am-in-the-slow-read-ers-group-that-is-all-I-am-in-I-hate-it.

I’m a slow reader. I always have been, although I don’t think there was a group for it at my school. I don’t know why I’m slow – I enjoy reading and I read a lot as a child. I’m just slow at it. I’m astounded when friends tell me how many books they read in a month – part of that is making time to read them, but it’s also about how many words you can get through in an hour.

I can, if I want, skim read. But doing so is a largely pointless exercise – nothing really sinks in and I get no pleasure from it. That’s fine if I’m scanning for particular information or trying to find the right place to begin, but with fiction, I feel it’s just a waste of time to skim.

As a writer, it’s important to read. We could debate what books are the best – writers’ guides, fiction, books in the genre one writes or not – but everyone agrees it’s important to read. And so I do. I’ve just started Bridget Jones’ diary – partly for fun, partly as research for the chicklit novel I hope to write in November. I’ve got 10 days to read it before the library wants it back (their no-renewals rule is discriminatory against slow readers!).

I am in the slow readers group. I’m not a child, so I don’t hate it, but it is annoying. My husband, my brother, and anyone else who has tried to share a newspaper with me will surely agree!


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