Pause for breath

I haven’t had time to stop and reflect for the past couple of weeks – it’s almost as if I’ve crammed about 6 months’ worth of activity into ten days. In a way that’s good, as left to my own devices I would sit in the conservatory reflecting all day and not really getting anything done, and, more important, not getting any inspiration from outside my own head. I half-expected to feel drained by all this effort, but instead I am re-invigorated – until I collapse in a heap after lunch and have to go for a lie-down, that is.


Ominous clouds over the North Sea from somewhere near Brora

My ‘trains’ blog (see right hand panel for link) is where I describe my actual travels, but I must just mention that my work trip to Thurso was particularly inspiring. I hadn’t been as far north as that before on the mainland, so the scenery north of Inverness was quite new and exciting to me. The best part was seeing herds of deer bounding away across the moorland as the train passed. I made the trip more complicated by getting off at Helmsdale for an afternoon to look at a family history mystery which isn’t yet solved, but which I decided to attack from a new angle after my visit, though the journey was always going to be fairly complicated and lengthy. It was interesting that almost everyone who attended the meeting I was there for had arrived by a slightly different route, with some people flying to Inverness and then proceeding by train, and others driving some or all of the way. I started to search for holiday accommodation in that area as soon as I got logged on to the nearest wi-fi network. I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like in the winter though.

For my next trick I arranged a trip to Pitlochry to see an Alan Ayckbourn play about a writers’ group at the Festival Theatre. Pitlochry is such a perfect town that I always decide I want to go and live there immediately after a visit. The only thing stopping me is that I am afraid of not being perfect enough to fit in.

Pitlochey station

Pitlochry station

And finally, I am just back from a day trip to Derby to meet up with an actual writers’ group in real life. There were some noticeable differences from the fictitious writers’ group of the play, the main one being that the real life writers seemed much more ‘normal’ – I hope if any of them happen to read this they won’t be offended by it!

Derby station

Derby station

Somewhere during all this I have come to the realisation that my writing plan for the rest of the year, which I thought I had  pinned down, needs to be taken apart and re-assembled in a different form. This isn’t exactly unprecedented, but it has come as a little bit of a surprise to me this time, particularly as it involves turning something I thought was going to be quite a quick novella into a full-scale novel, and pushing something else I thought I would start on in November into next year.

By the way, the cats haven’t been entirely pleased about the many changes to their schedule over the past little while, so I think I should take this opportunity to assure them that there is no more travelling on the horizon for now!


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