Friday, May 14, 2021

MAY 2021

MAY 30th

The very last day of May and that means we're well and truly, bang, splat in the middle of summer, which I have mixed feelings about.
This is what happens fairly often in this house, it's not very roomy and I don't have a room to call my own, so, I'll start writing and then one of the family will wander in with a grievance, about work, or life in general, and that's that.
It's now over half an hour since I typed the first sentence.
My son wandered in with a work-related grievance, someone had really rattled his cage. He needed to vent and having me trim his hair, as he did so, helped take the pressure off the very tender nerve that had been touched.
So, anyway, what was going to follow the I'm...?
Oh, yes, I'm more of an autumn person. The darker nights, cloudier days and pungent hint of melancholy in the air suits me well.
The problem with summer is that I'll have to crawl out of my hibernation box and make a concerted effort to be more sociable.
'Don't let it pass you by'  sang UB40, and if I don't make the most of a generically beautiful sumptuously warm sunny day, that's what I'm doing. I'm turning my back on a very precious gift (especially in this country).
Today is such a day, and it's also a Sunday. So, I'll be heading up to my mother's house and sitting in her garden shooting the breeze with my aunt and uncle... but when will I fit in some productive writing time?
It's not as if I'm under any pressure to write, no one cares, but I do. It's become what I do.
If I don't, it really bothers me, and it stresses me out. Why? No one's commissioned the next best seller?
I'm hardly a figure of note in literary circles! 
I guess it's because we initially write for ourselves, not for anyone else, although if someone enjoys what we've written, then that's wonderful.
Still, by the end of the week, there is some promise of cloud... good.
Another thing I really hate is appointments. Next week is awash with them, there's a routine breast scan, the second vaccination jab and an afternoon at the cinema watching Nomadland. The cinema trip is still an appointed event, so it hangs there, as an immovable obstacle in the writing week (my friends booked the tickets), but still, I do love the cinema.

MAY 23rd

The happening that was supposed to happen (as referred to in my last post), didn't happen, it has been put off, postponed, cancelled, until a later date.
What did happen, is that I took a lovely long train journey all on my own for the first time in years, and it was heaven.
I've travelled to and from Bristol Eye Hospital, many times, in the last five years, always in the excellent company of my youngest son. This time, it was all my time. 
I live with my husband and youngest son (he's in his twenties), and my eldest son doesn't actually live with us (and he's buying a flat), but let's put it this way, he spends more time in our house than anywhere else. 
So, this was real, me, me, me time.
I thought that I might use the journey to write and read and although I spent some time composing sentences in my head and reading yet another brilliant book by A M Holmes, called The Misteresses Daughter, I decided that looking out of the train window at the passing towns and countryside was, ultimately, more important.
It was a warm, sunny Spring day and the landscape looked idyllic, especially the earthy woodlands vibrant with bluebells.
The three and a half hours I spent on that initial journey, left in peace and lost in my own thoughts, allowed me the best therapy I'd had in ages. You must do this more often, I told myself, and I will. 
I love trains, you're neither here nor there, you're simply in transit, and it's blissful.
I strongly recommend reading The Misteresses Daughter, it's a really thought-provoking book about relationships, what we need and want from each other.
It's a tough time for my brother and his family right now, but when we went for a short walk, just before I took the train home, my little nephew bent down and said, oh look, a four-leaf clover! And it truly was! So, we all decided to read something into that, to see it as some kind of good omen. Yes, ridiculous, I know, but who cares.

MAY 14th

I'm writing daily, even if it's often rather late in the day. 
You just have to start and see where it goes, anything's better than nothing, one great sentence is worth more than a mediocre page... blah, blah, blah.
Even if you're really not in the mood, start and see what happens.
I'm not telling you anything you don't already know, and it's easier said than done.
Turning something average into something with real substance is key to what I'm trying to achieve, and I'm asking myself:
Do the words read well, how good is the structure of each sentence, should it stay or should it go, does it add or detract, what do these words convey to the reader, and above all, will it captivate and entertain???? etc. etc.
Although I'm only halfway through the first draft, I'm picking at the very bones of this book and looking forward to adding flesh and muscle when I return for the second, third, and fourth re-write.
Other news...
My fat cats back from the vets and the final ransom sum for, as listed on the invoice, UNBLOCKING TOMCAT, came to over eight hundred pounds. So, my dedication to his weight-loss diet is now fourfold and I think he's looking a fraction thinner. There's a lighter spring in his step. It's almost as if Bertie knows how much we've forked out on him. He's developed an air of self-worth and importance that seemed lacking pre-treatment.
Truly personal events relating to family and close friends will not be included in this journal, for obvious reasons, they're private and everyone's privacy shall be respected.
All I can say is, the next few months will be really challenging.
There's been some time of relative calm and now we're going to be knocked sideways by galeforce winds.
An unstoppable tornado is heading our way and when it finally dissipates, we're all going to be left picking up the shattered pieces or simply waiting for the bumps and bruises to fade.
We'll see, there's stuff in life you just can't prepare for.
One way or another, I'll keep in touch.

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