In Search of Plumtopia

What Ho!

I have started this blog as part of a lifelong quest for Utopia.

Unfortunately, the quest hasn’t been going so well, ever since I took that wrong turn at Bass Strait. Tasmania is pretty in places, but I don’t fit in here. I feel much as Alice anticipated she might upon reaching the end of the rabbit hole.

Alice_par_John_Tenniel_30How funny it’ll seem to come out among the people that walk with their heads downwards! The antipathies, I think –

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland

It has been suggested to me by some presumably well-intentioned people that my disgruntlement with life might be due to … err… personal issues and failure to view the world with positivity. Have you thought of counselling? The message from these smugly contented souls is a simple one – Utopia is a state of mind, so the problem is you!

I’ve long been envious of those lucky individuals with the capacity to view the glass as half full, without ever stopping to wonder about what’s in the water, but it doesn’t come naturally to us all. Further, I’d argue that societies need critical thinkers to affect social change.

My Utopian quest is a personal one, but it’s inspired by other thinkers, writers and philosophers. In particular, I’m guided by the work of P G Wodehouse, who created the greatest model for Utopia in western literature. Evelyn Waugh’s praise of it is often cited on Wodehouse dust jackets:

Mr Wodehouse’s idyllic world can never stale. He will continue to release future generations from captivity that may be more irksome than our own. He has made a world for us to live in and delight in.

Wodehouse himself was a model optimist, who maintained a doggedly sunny disposish through a long life, not without it’s turmoil. While interned in a Nazi prison camp, he continued to write comic novels and caught up on the complete works of Shakespeare. On his release, he controversially broadcast from Berlin, a series of humourous accounts of his imprisonment – the act of an optimist, not a political agitator.

Wodehouse, affectionately known as Plum, sets such pleasingly lofty standards for humanity that perhaps what I’m really seeking is Plumtopia.

Here’s hoping I find it.



20 thoughts on “In Search of Plumtopia

  1. What ho, what ho! Welcome to the blogosphere. Plumtopia is indeed a worthy goal – I try to find it by maintaining a sunny (but not gooey, a la Madeline Basset) disposition through whatever slings, arrows, or stolen prize pigs life bungs at me. Look forward to hearing more from you!


  2. ‘I’ve long been envious of those lucky individuals with the capacity to view the glass as half full, without ever stopping to wonder about what’s in the water’

    That’s another great line.

    Why this novel-writing doubt? I am intrigued now.


    1. Thanks Victoria. For some reason, I seem edit all the fun out of my fiction. I think it comes from my experiences of attending writing workshops. We go around in a circle and people read their beautiful prose — all tortured and sensory. By the time we get around to my little effort, it reads like a cheap joke. I can send you the little bit I polished up to send to someone for comment and you’ll see what I mean. I try and make it read like it’s ‘supposed to’ and it’s probably fine, but my heart’s not in it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. If your heart’s not in it then don’t bother doing it. It will show through in your writing and it’s insulting to your audience.

        I speak from my own (and only) attempt at a novel in the Romance genre.

        Thank you for your lovely comment on my ‘writing’ post. Our conversation this last week has made me think other people in your situation might find my own experiences useful.

        I’m writing part two at the moment, about my experiences trying various different genres in search of my niche, and part three will probably be general tips I’ve learnt along the way that I hope will provide others with the shortcut I never found myself.

        It occurs to me that what’s really holding you back is a state of mind about Writing. If you look at your novel as a printed interaction with an audience in the same way that a blog is an electronic one, it may help.

        It must also be *your* audience, in the same way that Plumtopia is, not someone elses.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. From your comment at Moulders Lane: ‘like-minded readers ‘out there’ who might well read and even enjoy my writing’

        Might. From the woman with *498* followers.

        (Imagine Jeeves raising the eyebrow of amused disbelief here).

        Perhaps what you really need to be thinking about is why you seem to have so much doubt about your (undoubted) abilities as a writer whom people want to read.

        (Are you thinking ‘yes, but a novel is different …’ ??)

        So what is it that a novel represents to you that articles on a blog don’t?



      3. I’ve just posted part two of my writing experiences article if you wanted to take a look – it’s not as tight as part one but I think I’ve got over what I wanted to say. Hopefully you, and others, will find it useful in minimising your own struggles!

        (I completely agree about Miss Darcy. I so want her lifestyle! Not to mention her flat.)


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