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March 11th, 2006 | Posted by Ping Henningham in Uncategorized

mrs ping*: Here I am popping my head above the parapet for the first time on our Henningham family blog. Well hello there.

 And happy lent to you all. My friend Jill has given up smoking, David Barnes has given up snacking again, and I have given up giving-up on writing, painful as keeping going is. Yes I’m on a (creative) writing fast which, being the opposite of what it sounds, means I must write something every fasting day, and therefore can’t give up as easily as I have been lately. A positive fast, designed to produce a body of work, as opposed to a negative one, which is used to prune the body and spirit. An idea I’ve borrowed from John Ringhofer who borrowed it from Daniel Smith who perhaps borrowed it from someone else? Either way, it’ll never find its way back to its original owner at the rate we’re passing it round. Thankfully ideas can be used simultaneously, and on different continents.

And how’s it going? My goodness, only 10 days in, ‘painful’ is still the word. As shocking as it always is to me when I try and learn something new, the spiritual exocisms of Lent is like turning up the gas on the hob. My only hope is that I will cook quicker.

Main mentor to Mrs Henningham this week has been Flannery O’Connor. A snippet from a letter for youse:

“I had to go and have my picture taken for the purposes of Harcourt, Brace. They were all bad. (The pictures.) The one I sent looked as if I had just bitten my grandmother and that this was one of my few pleasures, but all the rest were worse.”

Me and Flannery have also been enjoying The Name of the Rose (Umberto Eco) and getting into the monkish mentality.

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