Getting Started

A chilly wind’s prowling round the outside of the house today, tearing up anything that’s not firmly rooted and screeching through the thinnest of window gaps. I’m wearing three layers to stay warm; it’s taken both me and Tom the best part of three weeks to shake off one of the nastiest colds ever to strike so I’m doing my best to avoid a repeat performance. After the enforced slow start to the year, this is a flavour of what we’ve been up to.

We’re hoping that this year’s marmalade marathon will see us round to next January… but we say that every year.

Coming out of hibernation, we’ve been reminding ourselves of the fabulous beaches on our doorstep.

My next half marathon is only six weeks away so I’m gradually picking up the mileage. Last year, during the Poppit Sands Series, I met my awesome running buddy, Helen. We’re both busy women but try to do a long run together every couple of weeks. It’s great to have encouragement and support, especially on tough hill climbs.

I finally pressed ‘send’ on my latest novella - but not until it had been subject to Tom’s intense scrutiny… always a nerve-wracking time.

Now, I’m in the strange uncertain world of my next novel. Because of the way I work, always kicking off with a mental image, like a ‘still’ from a film, I spend a lot of time faffing around wondering who the heck these people are and where they’re going. However, my freelance feature work has taught me a lot about the evolution of every piece I write. After three novels, two novellas, numerous short stories, some poetry and a respectable body of feature articles, I’m hoping I’ve finally learned how to ride the highs and lows of the creative process. 12,000 words in, I know enough about the new novel to see that it’s a step away from my usual genre and I’m really excited to see how it will shape up. I’ve got started, now ‘all’ I have to do is keep going!


Mandy K James said…
You'll smash it! Xx
Chris Stovell said…
Ha! We'll see - but thank you GC! xx
Kathryn Freeman said…
Ooh, that marmalade looks yummy! But I'm most delighted to see you're back into the swing of writing books again. And something a little different, eh? Hurry up and write it, because I'm looking forward to reading it :-)
Chris Stovell said…
Ah, you're very kind to encourage me, Kate. It's been a while but I'm enjoying writing fiction again so thank you for the support.
Clare Chase said…
Ooh – the new novel sounds exciting, Chris! Looking forward to the novella too. And I do hope all the winter bugs are behind you – it’s bitterly cold here today too, so it’s lovely to see your beach picture and remember that spring’s around the corner! x
Frances said…
Chris, grand to know that you and Tom are in full recovery and that the New Year is having an excellent start.

I congratulate you on completing the novella! It's grand to learn that the new book is going well. I've just finished reading Francine Prose's Mister Monkey. I've read and admired many of FP's prior books. Mister Monkey is a bit different, and I felt it was sort of like a writers exercise, as each chapter retells some parts of the same narrative. (Not like Kate Atkinson.) I admired the way in which MM's plot lines intertwined, but wouldn't necessarily recommend it to another reader...but do think another writer might find it interesting.

As you know, I am a bit of an eclectic reader. I've now begun Tana French's The Trespasser. Also borrowed from the library is Lavender's Blue, a fabulous book of nursury rhymes, borrowed so I can study the amazing Harold Jones illustrations. Perhaps you know of Lavender Blue and even read with with your children? xo
Chris Stovell said…
Thank you for the support Clare. It's exciting to be writing something new... now I have to keep that feeling going! We shot out to the beach when the sun came out but it's been largely grey here so I'm longing for some proper sunshine again. Cx
Lins' lleisio said…
Yes, we've been struck down with the lurgy here too, it's been debilitating. On the road to recovery and looking forward to the brighter months ahead though. Whatever the weather does outside you have captured sunshine in your marmalade jars. Well done on completing the novella and good luck with your new literary venture.
Kitty said…
Looking forward to another novel, and a step away sounds interesting too, fascinating where the creative mind leads. Stories write themselves, although I'm quite sure it doesn't feel that way when you're slogging through writers block!
Chris Stovell said…
So sorry not to have replied sooner Lins, have been away from home treated more lurgy sufferers and brought it back with me. Thanks so much for all your good wishes.

Kitty, thank you - for me writers block is usually a sign that I haven't worked the plot out properly so I'm trying to do a bit more of that with the latest novel. I could also do with a bit more 'well time' lately! xx

Frances, I'm so sorry not to have replied sooner - I haven't come across either of the books you've mentioned so will look both up, especially the illustrations you refer too in Lavender Blue. As you know I'm a huge admirer of Kate Atkinson so will also look out for Mister Monkey. Back to being ill here!

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