Hop, skip and jump to the heartbeat of life

Ruth HartleyArt Process, Creativity, Family, Imagination, Poetry, Songs, Writing, Writing Process4 Comments

The Child in the Garden The child in the garden goes hop, skip and jump and sings to herself. She dances her world into being. The garden is dusty, dry sand, withered leaves and sharp-edged stones. The child draws in the dirt. The garden is a clearing in a forest, a marketplace of musical insects, a place where snakes wait […]

The Society of Spectacle and what ‘appearance’ signifies for writers

Ruth HartleyArt, Art Process, Creativity, film, identity, Politics, Promotion, Reading, Society, WritingLeave a Comment

Marketing books and the writer as commodity I didn’t know yesterday what I would post today until a television programme last night that was supposed to be amusing made me angry. There was noisy laughter, mockery and four-letter words. Frankie Boyle, the presenter joked that Guy Debord had shot himself in his heart – or  – maybe his head – […]

Tears, fears, longing, belonging and living.

Ruth HartleyAfrica, apartheid, Art, Colonialism, Creativity, Displacement, Family, Freedom Fighters, Human rights, identity, justice, Migration, Poetry, Politics, Power, Race, Racism, Religion, South Africa, War, Zambia2 Comments

Why I cried about who I might become “Why do you want to become a French citizen?” I was asked this question at the end of a gruelling two hour naturalisation interview. I burst into tears. “It’s such a difficult and important decision,” I replied, sniffling. “I’ve had to leave too many places I thought of as home. I want […]

The story of my stories — writing and publishing

Ruth HartleyAfrica, Books, Creativity, identity, Poetry, Politics, Reading, Reviews, Storytelling, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, The Shaping of Water, The Tin Heart Gold Mine, The White and Black Blues, Writing, Writing Process, Zambia10 Comments

The storyteller’s story It is time to tell of my own journey as a writer from the young poet in 1961 to the writer of today. It’s a story of both writing and publishing. I am in the process of publishing three more books right now. They are a novel, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, a memoir, When I was […]

My family and other writers

Ruth HartleyBooks, Creativity, Family, Publication, South Africa, Storytelling, The Love and Wisdom Crimes, Writing, Writing Process2 Comments

The unbearable lightness of writing I don’t like all Milan Kundera‘s novels but I did like his The Unbearable Lightness of Being.  I  joke about the lightness of writing, of course. Writing makes my spirit light even when it is an unbearably heavy task. Being part of a family is both heavy and light work. My daughter, Tanvir Bush, is […]