Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Anniversary cogitations

Tomorrow is the anniversary of this blog.
    I’ve slackened off from it recently because it does, I think, take over the same space in my brain as the novel. In other words, I can’t think about both at once. However, after last Tuesday’s post, I wrote a scene that I was pleased with it. It felt real. It moved me. Scenes like that are rare, much too rare.
    The state of mind that I achieved last Tuesday was, I think, emptiness and it was from that emptiness that a scene swam into my consciousness. That is my current theory anyway. I thought I felt empty today but I haven’t been able to write anything for the novel. Perhaps I have to be empty and desperate.
    And writing the blog post last Tuesday put me in touch with how desperate I felt and helped to empty me out. Ironic.   
    Another factor could be confidence. For some reason, I was always confident about my editing and non-fiction writing. It never occurred to me that I couldn’t do it or wouldn’t get the work. So of course it all went fairly smoothly. In my memory anyway. Would that I could approach novel-writing in the same way. But I don’t.  
    Frog (who is my main confidant in this peculiar process apart from my sister and you) compares my novel-writing to native ceremonies. The participants don’t know what works, what it is that achieves whatever result they’re after – making some foodstuff or drink, healing, changing the weather and so on – so they stick everything in – dancing, singing, touching rabbits’ ears, imbibing, decorating themselves and their houses etc etc.
     He also says that my creative writing muscle is one I have used little up till now, so it needs strengthening and toning. I just need to keep practising.
    It’s great that he’s so encouraging because I don’t encourage myself. I refuse to believe in this inexplicable urge I have towards doing something I find so difficult, whose rewards – at present – are few and far between, and which can be so painful.
    The trouble is, I don’t know what else to do. It’s the only shape I can see the future taking.
    Which brings me back to the blog.
    I’ve toyed with the idea of joining Facebook, ‘putting myself out there’ and maybe getting lots of new readers, but I’m not sure that I’m ready for that yet. I like the blog’s current intimacy. I don’t want to get addicted to feedback and numbers of friends.
    Maybe when I have something to sell . . . like a finished novel . . . I will think differently.
    In the meantime, thank you loyal reader. I love knowing you’re there.

Wild daffodils in our gateway (planted by me)

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

In Redslinch wood

I am sitting on dead leaves and stones
[Where is Dog?]

I hear birds
I hear the stream
The sun shines on my face
The wind blows through the tops of the trees
and on the back of my neck

I watch the water
always the same
always different
like flame

I want to write
but I can't
All my pains cluster around that point

[Dog is barking]

A strip of rusty iron
like a piece of chastity belt
lies on the edge of the stream
one spike up

I will go home
to an empty house
an empty page
That is what I have created for myself

[Dog arrives
and puts her paw on my foot
She radiates heat
Her underside and legs
are dripping grey mud
She is panting]

I stand up
and shoulder my backpack

I am lost
but I step forward
That is all I can do

Saturday, 4 February 2012

A frosty afternoon's walk

Iced puddle

                                                          Ice on the tracks

Fishbone ice