Spent the long weekend doing the one thing I love doing – writing. I’ve felt the pressure to do something commercial or to be more structured in my approach to planning a novel – all, I might add, coming from me but it wasn’t until I’d read a few pages of my latest work that I thought, Hell NO! This doesn’t work. I’d lost that thing that makes me want to rush back the next day and the thing that makes my work mine. I remembered I’d once spent an entire weekend with a roll of butchers paper planning a story. When I was done I didn’t want to write it because I knew what happened and that’s the sort of thing I’ve been doing lately – only to a 70,000 word novel. I have to face the fact that plotting is not for me. I can’t give my characters goals and problems and and back them up with subplots and themes. That’s what other writers do and it’s finally time for me to admit, I can’t do that. I need to do it a different way so last week I started again. And before I’d written two pages it felt like the old days of Joe Donovan when I didn’t have a clue but I was excited and couldn’t stop thinking about what was going to happen next. And I mean that about the not stopping thinking part. The very first thing I thought this morning when I woke up was how to get a certain character out of a certain situation. Which brings me to the other thing I’ve had to learn all over again. Not to tell anyone what I’m writing about. I know the world of writing is pitch crazy – I’ve even take a class in it so I know I’m supposed to have one sentence summing up my story at the ready should I ever stumble across a publisher in dire need of a best seller, but I’m can’t because my story is still a little soft shelled creature that needs nurturing and kept in the dark.
Speaking of wonderful creatures, I had a facetime with my six year old grand-daughter today who said, ‘You want to hear a sad story? My Nono died last night.’ And then proceeded to dance into her room to show off her Leggo construction that at one point was a maze and then became a house with no roof. Later I got the heaven in the sky thing but all I wanted to do was take the kids away for the morning so my daughter-in-law could have a good cry. It’s always sad to lose a beloved parent. And now those wee girls only have us to represent the older generation. Two solid Kiwi’s who know nothing of Italy (their grandfather was Italian), and very little about Thailand. We have begun addressing that with lessons from the grand-daughter. She decided to teach us Thai but chose the only two phrases I did know (Hello and Thankyou) so we suggested how to count. To ten we thought until we realized it wasn’t that easy so we scaled back to five – and then struggled so much she had to get a piece of paper and a pencil. She held it up and my heart sank because I thought she’d written it in Thai but it was just her version of the numbers. The number One was when I lost my wingman and was left to carry on alone. Though I don’t really blame him that much. You try learning how to say the word nèung from a six year old with missing teeth. But I did well enough remembering up to five that she chucked in six and seven. My next hurdle is bpàed (8) and I don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet.
Not sure I’m ready for the haircut tomorrow either but I do want to see out occasionally.