Hello it’s me. Briefly, I am writing. I know you know that because you’re reading it but otherwise I am writing, deep in the novel. The characters are developing lives of their own. This does happen and is always a surprise, various people have surfaced in these columns and taken over but in a novel you get the chance for them to live more fully. You can explore their motivation, their hopes and anxieties. As they become rounder and more real you find yourself cheering them on or hissing and booing from the sidelines.
At the same time I’m trying to get to grips with my garden. I love my garden but five years of gardening my mother’s garden and a year of a broken arm just when I hoped to be able to turn my attention to my garden hasn’t done my garden much good. I remember, not fondly but I remember, my mother turning up to our new house when we’d just got married and peering through the window sipping the cup of tea the wrong shade that I’d just poured her, remarking ‘Oh I see your neighbours have a neglected garden, as well.’
Normally I’d be out there every hour of daylight but right now, if I do that, I can feel the characters in the book hanging in suspended animation wondering when I am going to come back and rescue them. I’m up to 40,000 words which could be half a short book but the whole thing has its own pace and momentum. I see the first time I mention here that I am writing is May 5th. I did intend to start the novel before I broke my arm but the difficulty of typing saw to that, instead I drew the scene where the action takes place in a fictional village over several months. So I’ve really only been writing for five weeks in earnest. I like to print off the day’s output and take it up to bed to read my own bedtime story and correct my own grammar, which is more entertaining than it sounds.
I did join a writer’s group and really enjoyed the first meeting, until the group folded. I emailed to ask when the next meeting was, but it wasn’t. So it’s back to just me and a keyboard writing in any quiet room in the house. Like the S&H I have always found the most interesting thing in the world to be the one between your ears, his is full of computers, mine is full of words.