Aug 5, 2023Liked by prue batten

Beautiful. So relatable, the search for and journey towards a simple, comfortable life focusing that which is in my control

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Thanks Kate. Everytime I think I have simplicity nailed, something throws in a curly one and I'm back to Square One. Still, as I say, that's life.

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Love those Curly Ones ha!

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Prue, there's so much to love in this beautiful post! You've transported me thousands of miles yet at the same time awoken things right here in my head that needed to stir. Another gift of a beautiful read this dark and rainy Saturday morning (despite being SUMMER over here!) - thank you so much. ๐Ÿ˜Š

Those fabulous comments from your editor must be making you glow as much as those winter swims of yours do. Absolutely wonderful! ๐ŸŒŸ

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Oh Rebecca, I was thrilled when Johnny's edits came through. I could picture him in the Lake District amongst mist and rain, sifting through my wordage, and to hear him so happy was a great thing.

I just need a week of peace to sit and work through things now - unfortunately this week it's not to be. Perhaps a story on that one day.

Thank you as always for reading my little bits and for being so kind. XXXX

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I'm so, so pleased for you!

And gosh, it's frustrating when you want to be working on something but circumstances conspire to give us other demands on our time. I hope your week isn't too challenging and you get the time to polish The Red Thread.

'Little bits'? Prue, reading what you call your 'little bits' is a huge highlight of my Saturday mornings - I always love what you have to say and the way in which you say it. Thank you so much. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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What a calm, grounded journey this was. Confident, too, it its own way. In her final years, my mother took to saying, "It is what it is." Somehow, for me, it never sounded quite like her, she was so tenacious and apt to question everything that didn't suit her. But, I think one of the gifts of getting older is in recognizing the beauty in not overthinking, or overcomplicating.

Nuggets that leapt off the page:

That chard - a work of art!

That soup - it's 90 degrees and humid here, but now I want bean soup.

"Artlessness" - a word to learn/remember to use, its meaning not at all what one might guess (at least *this* one).

Your novel - just thrilling! I can't quite imagine. I suppose all writers are expected to consider the notion of publishing books, yet it feels mysterious and out of reach for me. I'm so impressed!

The Dictionary of Lost Words - a book shared with me by a dear, dear friend, because she, like I, loves words. I enjoyed that book SO much!

Thank you, Prue.

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Isn't it funny, Elizabeth? We put across an image and yet...

I honestly wish I COULD be more grounded, more relaxed, less anxious. I figure if I read enough of writers like you on Substack, I'll find 'the way'.

Age is certainly helping - 'things' drop by the wayside. People with soul, who are kindred thinkers really matter. The ones with artifice disappear from my life. Chasing the next best thing becomes ridiculous.

Living quietly is everything. It's why as an indie writer I will never be a best seller. Does it matter? 'Course not. It's enough to write a novel and to entertain. No advertising, nothing really. I let it float through the ether...

Can you remember those youthful days when being artless was seen as a disadvantage? Oh my gosh, now I crave it!

The Dictionary of Lost Words is pure delight. I'm almost at the end and wonder if I will love The Bookbinder of Jericho just as much. I hope so. As for The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows - oh my!

And one for you to check - Robert Macfarlane's Landmarks. Obscure English words to describe land and seascape. Wonderful.

Thank you for your kind words. As I said to Rebecca, it never ceases to amaze me that my words resonate AT ALL. I post and hold my breath...


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Thank you for letting me see just a bit more of you here, Prue. And, for the recommendations. You can exhale now. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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Absolutely loved this post - you can even make bean soup seem profound and note worthy! Your chard is stunning, such vibrant colours. But I have to mention: "I look at the world and feel I must walk away to where the only intensity is the colour of the sky not politics, the sound of the sea heals the rancour of the front page, and the call of birds nullifies the snick-snack of social media." Not only because I feel just the same but also, because "snick-snack of social media" is a perfect construction. When I myself have squandered too much time on social media, I feel as though I've eaten a meat pie that is well past its sell-by date ...

As always, adore hearing anything to do with The Terrier who always remains steadfast and true :)

Keep on keeping Prue - such brill writing! xo

PS Congrats too on that note from your editor!! I would be reading that over and over, on the hour, if that was me!

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Aug 8, 2023ยทedited Aug 8, 2023Author

Oh Sue, sooo good to hear from you!

Yes, social media (Facebook in particular) is annoying me for its shallowness and predictability. How can one possibly express support for someone in a time of crisis or joy or anything of import with some ridiculous emoji! If that is symptomatic of our world, I'm disappointed. And I think it is.

I'm almost ready to bail on FB - I just need to keep contact with those FB friends of long standing via email and real letters.

Substack has been such a joy because we can actually converse...

'Re The Terrier: oh he's always steadfast. And predictable!

In respect of my editor's words, I print everything off and file the words for posterity. He's a good editor/coach - NEVER interferes with the authorial voice but has an infallible knack of refining and suggesting and after 14 books together, I think we have a good relationship. I respect his suggestions greatly. We are having a difficult few weeks with a family member's health and I won't settle to edit until we have definitive diagnoses and prognoses. My mind needs to be on the job and it isn't right now.

Much affection.


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