The power of travel

This sounds as if it must be some sort of neuro-linguistic programming idea, but I’ve found yet again during this past week that travelling in the real world makes my mind go to different places too. I wouldn’t say I had writers’ block with my latest mystery, but I was slightly puzzled about how I could fill the last 5,000 words that stood between me and my Camp NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000. Then I had to go to Birmingham for work, and hey presto! My novel took quite a different turn and I got to the end this morning while listening to Beethoven’s 9th symphony (the version conducted by Daniel Barenboim. I am now a bit of a classical music nerd and actually own at least 3 different sets of the Beethoven symphonies. Until recently I liked the Charles Mackerras set best, but now I’m not so sure).

Of course it was more or less impossible to write while actually in transit, even on a Virgin Pendolino [irony alert], and I also found my hotel room wasn’t conducive to it. The change of scenery seemed to put new ideas into my mind without much effort on my part, which is always welcome, and by the time I got home I was almost desperate to write them down and resented even more than usual the fact that I had to get up and go to work the next day. Sadly the new ideas will result in some re-writing further down the line as I try to make the earlier part of the plot fit into the later part. I just hope nobody will be able to see the join by the time I’ve finished with it.

As well as the joyous feeling of the plot being rounded off in the end, I now have the freedom of two weeks to do research for my next novel before I force myself to look again at the April one. In some ways I am quite looking forward to the edit. It’s often very satisfying to bring order out of chaos, although I must say that in my life it sometimes works the other way round.

Before I go and celebrate, I’d like to mention that while in Birmingham I visited an interesting place, Winterbourne House and Gardens, owned by Birmingham University and open to the public. It has been the subject of house and garden restoration in recent years and is well worth seeing.

Winterbourne House

Winterbourne House


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