Saturday, 6 March 2010

53,000 words and running out of plot

Well, I can't be live I've written anything this week, it's been so difficult. On Tuesday my mother-in-law was rushed into hospital with general decrepitude and possible pancreatitis and we hurtled down there, a five hour drive, to sort her out, on Thursday. She's making ground, but at eighty and very unsure of herself, it's difficult to be sure she's going to be able to go back home. So for two days, I couldn't write the book. I did manage to do a little lifewriting, though. And it did occur to me that having to do lifewriting for the next TMA at least I could write about this that's going on, intense and painful and powerful, as it happens.

Then I got back to the book, for relaxation really, and wrote what I think is the final paragraph of the book. No good to me really, since I have so many loose ends to tie up. One thing that 2 days away really gave me was perspective on the rewrite. I've written about this co-dependant relationship between two twins, yet I located it so far away from the death of one of them, I haven't really explored that relationship enough to show how spooky it is. I think chapters exist that grow out of Emma's adjustment to her father's death when she has to cope with either extreme loneliness or the madness of keeping the connection with her sister going.

So the final encounter between Emma and her friend is written and good and is the end point of the book. Now I just have to get from a to b. One way would be to cut between the past and the present, but I hate it when that happens in books in a very disjointed way. Hmm. More thinking. I'll probably have to go to Hampshire again (lots) so more thinking time.

Meanwhile, I have applied to 3 universities to do writing MA's. I must be mad. The application forms are so fiendishly difficult that, honestly, I began to worry that I just wouldn't be clever enough to apply. I have less doubts about the course, fortunately. Or rather, I did before I thought that I now have a sick old lady to keep an eye on. And the Open University are pulling the diploma I'm working towards, so if I want to do it, I have to complete it next year... alongside the MA. Hmm. I suppose I can do the course work after A215, I do already have the coursebook so I could make a start. And of course, two kids at Uni and two at college and Rosie's only 11... 2012 may well be the year when I lay down and have my breakdown, learn to make balloon animals, learn to sleep again.


  1. Ah - breathe deeply and slowly - find moments for relaxation too. A friend died today (see CoP Online tomorrow - Sunday) and it does give a different pace and perspective. Each to his/her own tho - but as a counsellor you know it helps to know people are listening.

  2. Thank you, Tony for the kind words - and you are right, death does remind us of the unnecessary nature of worrying about all the 'what ifs?'. I'm sorry about your friend. And it does help to know people are listening. It's a bit like that analogy we use all the time in counselling - when someone is in a well, do you encourage and support from the top or jump down the well to be with them (then two people need rescuing!)