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Showing posts from January, 2015

Points of View

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‘I know you’ve worked really hard on this,’ Tom begins cautiously, ‘but I prefer the first version…’. Tom’s always the first person to read my work, usually when it’s finished, so it’s rare to run anything past him at this early stage. The thing is, having finished my first chapter of the new novel, I keep having a mental ‘tickle’ that has to be scratched; what if I write this in the first person? 
We’re inclined to trust first person narratives and are often seduced by their immediacy, that sense of having direct access to a character’s thoughts, but I also liked the idea that first-person narrators are unreliable; memories change every time we retrieve them, or we may gloss over events and deceive ourselves about what really happened.

The re-write proves to be an interesting experiment; I learn a great deal more about my protagonist, but I can’t quite tell why the story isn’t quite working until Tom gives me his reasons for preferring my initial draft, saying that the …

When Words Fail Me

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‘But, Chris,’ Si, my son-in-law, tells me gently, ‘it’s only you who thinks that way.’ We’re sitting at the kitchen table where I’ve been moaning away about my professional disappointments in 2014 and awarding myself a Could Do Better grade for my efforts. ‘Anyone else would be pleased to have just one novel published - ever – you’re just comparing yourself to others in a very small circle.’

I’ve thought about our ‘turning of the year’ conversation a lot since then because it helped me to see that the only person giving me a hard time, is me. Some of it’s due to panic; I’ve had several writing projects in mind and started them only for my Inner Critic to rise up and savage them. Some of it’s due to a sudden urge to put everything in order, a frenzied outbreak of cupboard tidying as if I’m trying to create a sense of calm so I can concentrate in peace. And a lot of it’s because I’ve been ill, in pain, busy with other commitments, worried about other people, irritable and …

Climb Every Mountain

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After our mountain of visitors – nine over two weeks, eight of us altogether at peak times and, believe me, we have a dormer bungalow not a country mansion – I have a few mountains to climb (washing, ironing and putting bedding back in store) before I’m back in the swing of blogging. However, I also have heaps of very happy memories to treasure; like the sight of Ma’s face when she discovered that Santa had left a Christmas stocking on the end of her bed.

We had a sharp reminder of how very precious moments with family are at the end of December when we heard about a very bright light going out in this world. Her story is not mine to tell, but it certainly made me hold my loved ones closer. 

 But there was good news too; a reprieve, hopefully, even, an ‘all clear’ for my mother-in-law, new jobs, new plans and lots to look forwards to in this fresh new year. And after The Bad Back from Hell that drove me to the doctor, I even managed to join Rose, Si and Tom for some coastal path walk…