Thursday, 11 March 2010

59,800 and very tired lifewriting

My drafted lifewriting is shaping up, but I'm uncomfortable with switching between past and present too much, making it disjointed. I wrote a freewrite when I first saw my ex mother-in-law in hospital. She's always hated me, partly because I seduced her little boy away and then because he died of leukaemia and I didn't. I also think she's a difficult person who has alienated most of the people in her life. I hung in because I loved her husband, he was a sweet man very like his son; and she was the grandmother of my children. After more than a week of concentrated games and hostility, I must admit to feeling some dislike, even hatred of the woman who is still putting me down and criticising me. The two trips we have made to Hampshire in the last week and a half have made me realise I actually hold these angry, hate-filled feelings towards her. I don't think of myself as a person who hates anyone. Dislikes a few maybe, but it's hard to think of anybody I didn't like something about. But reading my freewrite and the lifewriting piece - it seems so bitter. One thing the course mentioned was about revealing yourself, as narrator, through writing about someone else. I feel exposed by it. This is an uncomfortable feeling for me, because although you are revealed in fiction the reader isn't sure what is you and what is made up. They may suspect something... And they will know that I am capable of hating a vulnerable, dying old woman.

The book has been stalled by my absence, which I hate, because I'm worried I will lose momentum. I managed to make up 2,600 words today, as well as catch up with a lot of laundry. I needed to wash everything we had worn in Hilda's house, as it stank of smoke and rotten food. She keeps everything closed up, even the blinds and curtains, and smokes continuously, and even a few minutes leaves you smelling like an ash tray. Her lap top was full of ash, Russell had to shake it out before he could fix it for her. I feel so tired, just of dealing with the phone calls and messages.

I'm writing my character's backstory at the moment, rich stuff, even if it all seems to be about hospitals (I wonder why?). I'm going to try and get stuck into reviewing a short story I wrote for my OCA tutor for the biscuit short story competition. I did manage to send off an entry into another comp. while we were away, a ghost story that was fun to write.

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