Writing In My Head
Ever since Tom and I took the loo to bits trying to find one of my contact lenses I’ve had ‘Buy new specs’ on my ‘To Do’ list. The thing is my prescription is so chunky is it doesn’t matter how nice the frame is or how far the lenses have been slimmed down, I still look like Nick Robinson (‘though, hopefully, with more hair) once the glasses are made up. Anyway, I’ve done the sensible thing and the pair I collected yesterday have, once again, lost something in translation. I quite like them but the combination of retro frame and very beady lenses makes me feel as if I should be sporting a gentleman’s Fair Isles waistcoat and striking a pose on the front of a knitting pattern. I’m thinking about taking up pipe-smoking too, just to complete the look. Although I’m not exactly sure what you do with a pipe (from what I remember as a little girl, folks seem to spend most of their time trying to light them) I’d welcome a touch of the zen-like calm that seems to go with the whole ritual, not to mention a sense of purpose.
Purpose is sadly lacking from my writing at the moment; at the beginning of the year I was merrily rewriting FTT in the firm hope that I’d be well into the sequel by now. It wasn’t even the agent deciding she couldn’t get it published after all that threw me – hey, I’m a big girl now, that’s what happens to writers – but I just don’t seem to know where to go next. What’s making it harder for me to know what to do is that in the summer a friendly publisher asked to see some sample chapters of FTT and I find it sooooo hard waiting for their decision - but, hey, that’s something else writers have to do too. If the publishers say ‘yes’ presumably they’ll want more of the same and if they say ‘no’ I’m free but still unpublished in fiction. I suppose the advice I’d give someone else in the same position is ‘write the book you want to write’. There’s no point in trying to follow a trend which, more than likely, will be gone before your book’s in print. It’s also back to the old advice about choosing your rut carefully; if you don’t love what you’re writing neither will anyone else, it’s a simple as that.
I do have the faint stirrings of a novel in progress but it’s mainly in my head at the moment… hmm, if I actually wrote all the books in my head instead of thinking about them I’d probably have got this cracked by now. In the meantime I’ve got a couple of short stories to think about, one for next OU assignment and another for Mslexia’s short story competition (By the way, I heartily recommend Mslexia for a refreshing, intelligent approach to women’s writing). Short stories are a complete mystery to me so this is going to be quite a challenge.
And, speaking of competitions. Tom’s painting didn’t win the Tenby Open Art Competition but he says the main point is that it’s in the exhibition. Anyway, here it is.
'January Sea' by Tom Tomos