Got stuck into that story I was writing last week, stuck being the operative word. Finished the first section and then completely blanked it, just didn’t know where it was going. Any kind of plan I made just seemed really wooden and cliched, so I left it alone for a bit and got on with the urgent business of pickling and jamming all the fruit and veg we have piling up from our allotment. And of course, while I was doing all this, the back brain was ticking away. When I did sit down to it, a new character came out to play and a lot of shadowy ideas came together. All the excitement came back and although I still haven’t clearly got the end, I know where I’m going. I want to get this story finished this week, because I hope to enter it for the Sunday Times Bank competition and I think the deadline’s before the end of the month. Shan’t have much time later on as I’ll be in the Isle of Man and want to concentrate on the novel then, which is still on hold while I’m tied up with this story. I’ve also had a session on the Skem history, the chapter’s coming on well so hope I can keep up the momentum even though all that fruit and veg is still piling up in the kitchen, I envy people who can just devote all their time to writing their current project. I have course plans to make for my creative writing sessions, although I don’t work full time any more, I never seem to have enough time and I read in writing magazines about authors who stay in the house for six months and do nothing else but write their latest book, and other authors (usually male) whose partners take the kids away for a few weeks,or provide them with endless peace and quiet and regular meals while they complete their novel. Maybe my family would do this for me if I started earning megabucks.
In the odd spare moment I have (and they are very odd) I am reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I’m finding it a bit hard to get into but everyone keeps telling me how good it is, so I will persevere. I do like the writing but finding it difficult to get a grasp of the characters, but I’m only at the beginning. I just finished The Help by Kathryn Stockett, something I would probably never have read if someone in our writer’s group hadn’t recommended it. I enjoyed this very much, loved the humour in it, the sense of time and place. Okay so it’s a white woman writing black women’s stories but it was clearly and consistently written and cast light on a period that’s not so often written about, reminding us how recent these attitudes were, even how diluted forms of them linger today.
Going to be teaching a new creative writing course at Chapel Gallery Ormskirk, starting in October, if you’re interested have a look at the details at http//:www.chapelgallery.org or on my website http//:www.carolfenlon.com