In exile

Due to a traumatic experience in the conservatory I have exiled myself upstairs for a while. It’s amazing how difficult it is to write or do anything useful with somebody else’s clutter around me instead of my own! I can’t seem to lay my hands on anything I want, although using various methods I have managed to rescue my two Kindles, my laptop and my current writing notebook from the scene of the event, so I suppose that’s the essentials taken care of. Apart from Jacques the cat who has now joined me in exile and is sleeping peacefully on top of a pile of clutter.

Flowers at Pitlochry station

Flowers at Pitlochry station

What with this and the increasing suspicion that I will have to call British Gas again because our central heating is still not working in spite of approximately lots of engineers’ visits, it’s hard to settle to anything. However I am pressing on at intervals with my hand-written ‘short’ story, now in its 7th chapter, and I’ve added a title and synopsis for my November novel to the NaNoWriMo website. I am aware of people who are going to attempt to use the Snowflake method for planning their novels, as I did this time last year, and although I want to jump out in front of them with a big red flag saying ‘Don’t do it’, I suppose it might have been my fault that it didn’t work for me because I didn’t follow the instructions correctly or didn’t take it far enough or something. So as usual I will refrain from giving any advice on this.

Anyway, I’ve learned by experience that any kind of planning isn’t a good way for me to prepare to write. The hand-written story in the notebook is an excellent example – I didn’t even plan to write it at all, never mind working out a plot beforehand. The November thing is slightly different, because it’s another novel in my 1950s series so I do need to do a little research for it, although again I know from experience that I probably won’t know exactly what I need to research until the novel is well under way. Ideally I should visit Cambridge before I start, but realistically that seems unlikely to happen so I will have to rely on vague memories of a visit there about 45 years ago! Maybe that’s for the best.


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