Seren have commissioned a series of books from Welsh writers, the first two being White Ravens by Owen Sheers and The Ninth Wave by Russell Celyn Jones. I'm elated, obsessed with the Mabinogion as I am, but also frustrated.
Seren should have commissioned me to write my version of Blodeuwedd. It's contemporary, gay, urban; everything Welsh Publishing houses seem to like at the moment. I've got any amount of short stories, poems, experimental fiction and plays - all of which I've been told are too experimental, too urban to be published. No one wants to take risks. The one lead I have is an editor said he wanted to read a novel based on Geraint and Nathalie, after reading a few short stories about them. They are my favourite characters to write about; I've been writing about them for so long that they wrote their own stories now, it's like I just write down the exploits of two friends that I'm growing older with. Great though they are, and fun as they are to write - they are the stories most rooted in the real world. I wish it was the 50s and I was a beat writer. I wish the editor had asked to read about Nathalie and Geraint living in Antiville, my bleak near-future Welsh city. I wish I had more time to write the Geraint novel, or that someone would publish a collection of stories if I promised to write the Geraint novel afterwards. Get me and my angst. It's like being fifteen again.
I read contemporary fiction, and a lot of it frustrates and depresses me. How the hell did that get published? And conversely, why did no one buy this book?
I'm setting myself some deadlines. I want to write the Geraint novel by end of March 2010. Parthian are calling for submissions. I need a binding contract, something spiritual I can use. I will write my testament and seal it inside a beloved book and only open it when I have finished writing my novel. Which book to use?
Off at a tangent again. I love the idea of a New Mabinogion, I absolutely love it - but I am worried that the Blodeuwedd story will be ruined. It won't be as good as mine.