Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Old Year, New Year

The change feels like a really big thing this year. Behind - publication, fifth kid off to university, writing, Russ at Arvon on a sublime songwriting course, two cats dying, meeting new writers, cancer... Oh yes. I have hardly written a word since. So today I start again, finishing up a project (book 3) that I had really expected to finish months ago, and onwards and upwards with the ghost story. I'm having to go back to 'hobby writing' mode - fitting it around Russell's recovery somewhat. More importantly, it will clear the decks to write book 4 - a return to my archaeologist heroine, Sage, and a messing with the myths of Dartmoor.

So expect me to blog with word counts and a renewed focus on the writing. I realise I haven't blogged here for three weeks - I normally update my blog at least twice a week - and I need to be putting more stuff on my website too.

The publishing industry seems far away, which will help me write. If you are struggling with a project right now, finding it hard to focus, all I can suggest is what works for me. A static word count that I have to do, even if I suddenly remember I haven't done it at bedtime. Five hundred words minimum a day - aiming for a thousand. I have 30-35k words still to write on the historical strand so here I go. Day 0 - 924 words on setting out on a trip into one of the most colourful and vibrant and disputed parts of the world in 1586 - the eastern Mediterranean. Kelley and Dee are planning the journey from Prague to Venice - then off to Candia, Venetian Crete.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Sick and Tired

I've been reading a bit more, partly because I'm stalled on the writing. I stumbled across a delightful little book called The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin Brockmeier, and honestly, it cheered me up. I know it sounds a bit morbid, especially when you know I have a husband who's recovering from surgery for cancer, but it was rich, and funny and even - uplifting. It's about the end of human kind and more, the end of heaven as they know it. Uplifting? Funny?
From Amazon

Brockmeier tells two stories, one of a researcher (Laura) cut off in Antarctica and therefore safe from the pandemic killing off all the people and another narrative, of a sort of pre-heaven. People die, and then they go to this parallel world where they remain until everyone who remembers them has died. Then they move on... The problem is, everyone is dying, so the pre-heaven world starts to shrink to all the people that have at one time, touched this one woman's life.

The characters are so richly drawn, and the drama of Laura's struggles for life so compelling, it was hard to put down even to check an oozing dressing or watch Russell inject himself with heparin (how exciting our lives have become). I can recommend this little book wholeheartedly, even if it does predict the end of the natural world and mankind.

Meanwhile, I can't write because my brain is busy trying to organise Christmas, manage foods (not easy with two special diets to consider) parent children and look after an invalid. The hospital sent him home less than 24 hours after a 4 hour surgery, so he was very fragile at first. One of my cats is expiring on the chair in the kitchen... life has been a bit tricky. I'm looking forward to getting my brain back.