Monday, 31 October 2011

Monday mornings - love 'em!

All three children are occupied this morning, and this afternoon the little one should sleep after his playgroup session.  I have a full morning of cleaning planned, so that I can then spend the afternoon to get motivated and started on it! I love being back in routine, and I'm as refreshed, mentally and creatively, as I'd hoped....shame that I could fall asleep if I blink for too long........

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Fun distractions for half term.

I've been pouring my creativity into decorating my six-year-old's room instead of writing. It's looking delicious, despite the touches of bubble-gum pink here and there. 

We've also had a couple of days away, visiting my sister and her brood of unruly children, who have rather spoilt the effect by growing up and becoming better behaved.  We side-tracked to visit my mother-in-law, who has had a vicious infection and was hospitalised for while.  Full marks for fulfilling family responsibilities (and having fun along the way)...but I was glad to discover I did have my notebook with me, after I thought I'd left it behind, as there were plenty of ideas swimming around during the long car journeys, and while out with my nephews and niece. 

There are a busy two or three days left before the children go back to school, and I'm not going to try to squeeze writing time into it, not least because it's very hard to concentrate while they are under my feet, which pushes so much else into the evenings.  But I think the break from focusing is having the desired effect of giving me thinking time, and enthusing me.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Switching focus for the week

It's been a busy week, but I've managed to stitch together a few more scenes and write a new one or two, though I'm afraid they may be no good at all.  Before we know it, it will be half term (next week) and it will be harder to get work done with my little angels around my ankles.

I'm thinking that I will use the week to catch new observations and ideas in my notebook, and begin mulling over the next big plot in my mind, and my current novel can then cook on its own for a week.  Hopefully then I'll return to it refreshed and ready to dive in with clear vision. Perhaps I can even do some reading (it's been a few weeks since I read a novel.  I find, as I always have, that reading absorbs all my time - once I begin a book, I read it compulsively until it's done, and that's not a good recipe for being an attentive mother or a productive writer).

Sunday, 16 October 2011


On Wednesday, I was having lunch, and told myself I would put the computer on at 1, and begin my writing.  At five to one, the power blew.  I was angrier than a bull at a dog.  It seemed so personal!

There had been an explosion at a local substation, and 30, 000 homes lost their I can hardly count myself as special.  Frustrated, I stomped around grumpily for a while.  My husband, who thrives on crises of any magnitude, observed cheerfully that Roald Dahl wrote on yellow paper with a pencil.

The power cut lasted nearly twenty-four hours, and soon the inconvenience of trying to bath and wash up and medicate ill children overcame the annoyance of missing my writing time.  We have electric again now; it's a little hit and miss, as I think we've been on generators, and may still be, for all I know.  It gave me a few special moments, and a few ideas for stories.  After a while I realised it might have blown after I'd been writing for an hour.  Perhaps it was better timed than it seemed at first.

And tomorrow is another day.

Monday, 10 October 2011

life getting in the way of art

  Today the six year old was running an impressively high temperature, and didn't go to school.   I managed to clock up the grand total of twenty minutes at my keyboard in the morning, and planned to go back to it in the afternoon while the two year old slept. But I knocked a bottle of wine and sent it hurtling onto the quarry tiled floor where it exploded in glorious style.  There was crushed glass glinting in every crevice and ruby wine soaking into the tiles and reaching sluggish fingers every which way.  It took me so long to clean it up (and once I'd started, I scrubbed the whole floor) that I never made it back to the computer.
Twenty minutes isn't much to be proud of, is it?  I dread to think what drivel dripped from my speed-tapping fingers, but I'll face it tomorrow.
And worst of all is having a little one poorly - I hope she's better tomorrow for her sake more than mine.

Saturday, 8 October 2011


It's amazing what three good writing days will do for you.  I actually feel almost sated; on the Wednesday, I had a slight heart-slump of 'Again?' as I took myself to the Mac.  How wonderfully lovely to have had so much more time than usual....and I can appreciate at last that full time writers don't have it quite as easy as I thought.  I've always been so hungry for the moment of Writing, it had never really occurred to me that more discipline might be necessary when there's an abundance of time.

If  I can keep this up for the next few weeks (half term excepted), there's a chance I might actually get this second draft finished before Santa starts shaking soot all over the carpet...

Monday, 3 October 2011

I love Mondays

Great writing day, but what a huge task this is - tweaking here, building new scenes there, trying to tie everything in....what will be left at the end; a confusing mess or something beginning to approach my vision? Ha ha.  I think I can already guess which!

I am still thinking that I will save up and try using a critiquing agency to try to knock edges off, but not this draft; I think there may be two more revisions in me before I'm that far on!

We have just cracked the spine, as a family, on the BFG. The six year old has had a few tentative forays into Roald Dahl territory, and she and the four year old both adore The Enormous Crocodile (especially the end).  So far, the children are listening spell-bound to their Daddy read (a rare occurrence), and my heart continues to be warmed by the power of story.  What a gift, to tell a story and brighten a child or an adult's world.