This is where I am right now, almost exactly. I’m taking my heroine here (she has a lot to learn at this point), to a place that will change her life. Just look at it, who wouldn’t be changed by that?
To be less obscure, I’ve at last sat down at the computer again and started writing /editing the book. It’s taken many weeks of nagging, cajoling, promising and pleading with myself to get me here. Whoopee!
(Thanks Grumpy George, your love is my love)
A collection of short stories from America, Morocco and London. The things ghosts get up too Bahahaha
What do ghosts get up to? Find out - follow the link!
I’m taking a break from my labours; I’ve been getting ready for book club in my home tomorrow evening. The wine has been purchased, food is yet to be prepared and the cleaning is looming on the horizon. It was just as well it was my turn, it gave me the necessary impetus to take down the Christmas tree. Yes, shameful as it is to admit, it only came down tonight. It wasn’t a tree anymore really, just a skeleton of it’s former Nordic glory.
We’ll be discussing ‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry,” as I’ve said in previous posts, a book I greatly enjoyed. I know from speaking to some of our group that Mr. Fry was not loved by all, or rather, was slow to grow on some of them. It’s funny how affecting any criticism of a beloved book can be. Book club has taught me to thicken my skin and take all comments in good spirit. I’ve also learned that wine and my opinion don’t always blend to produce tact. Our November meeting had me state (about the “Juliet Stories”) that not only did I “hate the book, but it actually repelled me.” Fortunately, Rachael who had chosen the book was not offended.
On the subject of books, I’m reading a luminous novel, “The Cat’s Table,” by Michael Odaatje just now. His characters would seem to step off the pages and climb into your head, words spare and yet evocative, descriptive and like the best seduction - taking you on a journey that you desperately want to finish and yet, as soon as you do, you wish you hadn’t.
Writers end up writing about their obsessions. Things that haunt them; things they can’t forget; stories they carry in their bodies waiting to be released
Considering writers, their desks and the spaces they write in - I could live with this. I would want to put that desk by the window, put a couch in here for when I’m stalled in my flow or just behaving badly, but I could work with a room like this.
Many years ago I was selling raffle tickets or something like that, wandering around our little hamlet in Scotland. I came to an old cottage I hadn’t been to before, down a secluded track right on the banks of the river. The countryside here is lush with gently rolling hills, beech trees lining the road and on a night like this one, as quiet as a heavy cloak. I came to the door and knocked but there was no reply. I knew this home wasn’t occupied full time and presumed the owners were away. Turning to go I passed a window and I glimpsed through the leaded panes. I was looking into a large, square room with four walls of floor to ceiling books, only interrupted by an internal door and the window. There was a substantial table in the center, a solid, rectangular oak table and large comfortable chair. I was looking at a library. The evening light fell on the table and I travelled on those soft beams, drifted down to the table and welcoming chair and I sat looking at the books. I felt the books murmuring in the library room, in the old stone cottage by the rushing river. A car on the road jolted me back into myself, out of my imagination and to the ticket selling task at hand. I’ve never forgotten that beautiful room.
Shakespeare I am not but what a romantic image of a writer. I’m quite certain that this portrayal of the bard by Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) is far off the reality mark. Cold rooms, financial demands, trying to appeal to an audience and not nearly enough time - probably closer to the truth. Not to mention all that dipping of quill in ink, the black fingers and cramp; who’d want it?
To accompany my miniature book necklace post, I wanted to give you the full size to consider, this from Shakespeare and Co, in Paris. I haven’t had a chance to look at it yet, but ‘memeengine’ has posted something thoughtful and interesting about books (visit his blog, it’s a little like a book store, full of interest and information, thoughts and ideas). It seems we’re on similar wavelengths today. I’m thinking about Shakespeare and Co, the untidy and inviting piles of books, the comfortable chair, a place you can forget time in. Many have, some lived there and there are those that go to Paris only to see this shop. Surely you don’t need any reason to go to Paris, one just goes.
Dipping into Monsieur Memeengine’s terrain just a little, I do feel compelled to pick up these books, scan their titles and authors, take some down and sit in that chair leafing through the pages. Awesome to me is the thought that each book is the culmination of sometimes lifetimes, a wealth of experience, emotion, consideration and work - each one! I have a Kindle and I just do not feel the same pull to leaf or peruse as I do with the tangible other.
(Click on the source link to view the miniature book post and for the illuminating ‘memeengine,’ follow this link: http://memeengine.tumblr.com/
Any of you who like to read will know that feeling of nearly complete absorption in a story. A good book will transport you from your environment, to another place in your head of which the book and words are merely vehicles. You will also know that you are not fully gone, not gone in body but also not in mind as you are semi-aware of what is happening around you. Now you also understand the world of the writer who is very focused on the task of writing, creating a world within their heads to be communicated on paper or screen. Even when they’re not writing though, it’s still going on, the imagination working, characters practicing dialogue, changing images of place and circumstance. I feel like I’m hardly living these days, or rather the living is going on somewhere else. People say things to me and I have no memory, the dishes pile up and reach Alp height before I see. I’ve come out long enough to say hello and tell you that I’m almost at the end of Chapter 8 with the book, by the end of the day, about a third of the way there.
Five is a good number, today five is an excellent number because I completed chapter five of my book last night! Yes, I worked so resolutely, you didn’t even hear a whimper from me with four, I just kept on going. Five is an interesting number, for numerologists and believers of Kabbalah it is the number of travel, transformation and action. We have five fingers in each hand, five main senses and according to author David Richo, there are five things we cannot change: everything is subject to change, things don’t always go according to plan, life is not always fair, pain is part of life, and people are not loving and loyal all the time. Thank you for being loving and loyal readers, I very much hope to thank you with a book one day!
BEYOND THE SECRET DOOR
If you could look into the life of a writer at work, beyond the door to their studio or office and into their heads, what do think you would see? I don’t really know but I wonder. If you could look into my mind today, you’d see some very happy, fast racing thoughts; thoughts of success and pride, imagination running away with itself, of opportunity and hope of making connections. Today after a poor week I sat down and wrote, and wrote and wrote. My fingers on the keyboard had wings, the words flowed out to the noisy clack of my old keyboard and I smiled within. Allow me to share some numbers I’m fond of just now, number 3, for three chapters completed, and 10,300 for words written. That sounds like a lot but it’s only just over 1/8 of the total. Numbers don’t really matter but they’re my breadcrumbs on the trail, leading me home. Where is home? Home is when I can stop, the story well told and earn a little rest.