I’ve just begun to read The Shifu Cloth, hereafter referred to as the WIP, after not doing anything to it since Nov 20. I can hardly remember it and I’m quite excited by what I’m finding. Nicholas is on Maria Island in the Pymm Archilpelago in his stepfather’s house on the Merrick’s Estate. He’s trying to piece together the mystery surrounding the disappearance of his sister-cousin and I’m eager to find out what happens.
I’m about to start working on the work in progress at last. ( what else would you do but work on a WIP) And in trying to make contact with my muse and to gain inspiration, I’ve spent hours looking at books, photos and the internet. I’ve spoken in other blogs about the strange places I find my inspiration, places like the wonderful French haberdasher’s Sajou. And now I have just been given a link by a friend and it is so beautifully astonishing that I know I’m going to get heaps of ideas from it. The site is www.architecturalwatercolours.com and under the section called Notecards and within the sub-section labelled Chinoiserie is the most stunning collection of the fantastic and the real in Asian inspired architecture.
I’m one of those readers who has, for all of my life, taken stories at face value. Which I suppose contributes to my failure as a member of bookclubs: because I was never able or desirous of finding meanings within stories, subtle or otherwise.
I think I might have broken the back of the edit. I have addressed every point the editor reported and now want to print off the ms into hard copy and read it as per a book but with a red pen in hand. I imagine, that with good luck and a fair wind, I shall have finished and be ready to send it back to London for final comment by the end of next week. Marketable or not. Waiting for the answer will be excruciating.
After watching an episode of In The Night Garden, my dose of calm and equilibrium for the evening, I have decided that to escape over the ocean while I wait for an answer is the way to go. Just me and Upsy Daisy, maybe Iggle Piggle and the Tombliboos,
all in the Pinky Ponk as it floats on clouds of what seems to be expressed air (farts in more commonplace language). We shall fly over my little bay outside the window and I shall watch the boats and the gulls, the dolphins and the divers. We shall fart and dip over Maria Island and return on the crest of a sea-breeze and I shall have ditched my anxiety, like so many farts and noxious ballast, and be ready for as straight an answer as London can give me.
Have worked so hard this afternoon and shall work into the night. Up to p.223. Quite pleased but looking forward to reading hard copy . . . the sensation of a real book . . . with a red pen. Sometimes the screen just defeats me. Late this afternoon, an urge came across me for cupcakes and I wished I’d had the time to bake my favourite coffee ones. So to fill the churning need for such sweet little bundles of delight I found a blog, http://cupcakevillains.wordpress.com . . . food to die for surely. Thus http://www.cupcakevillains.wordpress.com has entered my blogroll. Just look at these White Russian cupcakes . . . could they be more edible?
Yesterday, I flew through the first 37,000 words, in 8 hours of editing. Finnian had entered the souks of Fahsi and was being seduced by the offerings, not the least of which were the hashish and opium dens. Oh, said self, this is all going so well, I’ll be on the beach in no time.
I read today’s blog from the inimitable Stephen Fry (http://www.stephenfry.com) where he says he must withdraw from the world to finish his next book.
He says: ‘Some people can write with ease in whatever circumstances they find themselves. Up a tree, on a bus, in a log cabin, a steamy-windowed café or a tropical beach. Some don’t mind noise, distraction or a broken up day. I, unhappily, am not made of this material. I need peace, absolute peace, an empty diary and zero distraction. I enter a kind of writing purdah, an eremitical seclusion in which there is just me, a keyboard and abundant cups of coffee, all in a room whose curtains have been drawn against the light.’
This is why writing takes a second seat right now. There’s beaches, lots of them, blue skies, water and swimming and I try so hard to feel guilty that I am not getting on with the editing but I just can’t. Tasmania is a delight with its coastlines and deserted spaces and summer or winter, one can always find a stretch where there is no one or just one other person. Husband and self walked along the beach and I tried to think of plot, characterisation, pace . . . the best I could come up with was to store reactions to the senses.