Anakana Schofield – Author of Martin John and Malarky

Anakana Schofield: Sledging Sentences

Today over at the Afterword (National Post Book Blog) is my final post as Guest Editor. Click on the extract below to read the whole piece.

I have recently commenced learning to play sledge hockey and am curious to see whether this additional sport in my sporting arsenal will influence my prose.

Several writers come to mind for whom sport plays or played a significant part in their lives: Angie Abdou about to run from Montreal to New York, Michael Collins and his arctic marathon running, Haruki Murakami and what he knows about running, Albert Camus and his goalkeeping, George Bowering and baseball, Helen Potrebenko and her gold medal win at the Senior Games for softball, Lori Emerson e-lit expert and competitive amateur cyclist. (Expand this list by all means in the comments section.)

My other weekly sporting indulgence is adult gymnastics (I should admit to a stagnant level of progress over the past two years and a great deal of chatting). I had not practised gymnastics for 25 years when I recommenced the sport on a Wednesday night several years ago. But as a child it was the single most important thing I did.

I returned to it because I considered that within it lay the foundations of my beginnings as a writer. The repetition, the lines, the discipline, the pain and despair. I think I returned because I couldn’t find that same satisfaction in any other form of exercise and was equally frustrated and dwindling on the page.

Guest Editor National Post Afterword: Feeling Tired

All this week I have been guest editing Afterword the National Post book blog.

My first piece published on Monday was titled Feeling Tired: (click on the extract to read the entire piece)

When I re-read my novel Malarky I see that for all the sex and sadness in it, it really is a personal plea to be better at baking and to feel less tired.

The main character in Malarky — “Our Woman” — does not feel as tired as I do. She is a great deal perkier. If I try to think of a novel with a character as tired as I feel, I draw a blank. The best I can come up with is Laura Hillenbrand’s incredible New Yorker essay depicting her life with chronic fatigue.

Tiredness is a strange old mist. So is sleep deprivation. Even more puzzling is insomnia, given it strikes when you are, well, already tired.