The handwriting is on the wall

So, it’s going. Not at the pace at which I’d hoped it would, but it is going. We went to Moncton and Amherst last weekend for a belated Christmas visit, and Kev’s step-grandmother died while we were there, and so the visit was extended and expanded and hugely emotional. I’m glad we were there, but it was tough, and I tried not to think too much about the days of writing I was missing.

We got back to Halifax on Tuesday afternoon, and I’ve had a good day and a bad day since then. Yesterday was just vile. I was all at sea with Dacey Brown. What is her purpose? What drives her? If you know, please drop me a note, because I couldn’t find any of it yesterday. I wrote a miserable and plodding six pages and then hung it up for the day. This morning, I woke up thinking about a scene I want to write, a scene about which I know all the important stuff and have only to embroider the fun parts. I put on a pot of coffee while Kev stayed in bed, and instantly pounded out six pages without thinking or pausing. I am imagining the rest of the day proceeding apace. And I’ll write Saturday and probably Sunday as well, just to make up for missed days earlier this week and late last.

I’ve been writing across the street at the neighbours’ house, and that’s been great. Whatever conversations might happen over there have nothing to do with me, the cats are not my concern… I am able to just sit and write. The view is boring–it is of my parking space. So I look out over my own car, most times. It’s perfect. Great to be able to cross the street and go to work. Yesterday I made a cup of hot chocolate and put it in my travel mug, filled a big mason jar with water, took my duvet slippers and tucked in. It would have been perfect, had the writing gone better. I will leave that part of the book for now and just move on. Come back to it later. Just a first draft. Doesn’t have to be perfect.

Someone asked about the writing by hand. A variety of reasons. Among them, the unreliability of computers, which can crash and take with your entire manuscript. And yeah, you should back up your stuff, but I don’t know anyone who does. Also, we have only one computer and Kev works from home as well, so it’d be a battle royale every day. And most important, I’m a better writer when I write longhand. I am a very fast typist thanks to my years as a journalist. So I can type almost everything I’m thinking. Thing is, it’s not all gold. Most of it is not. By hand, I can really only get the best parts, the distillation of my ideas. At least, I think it’s the best parts! Hope so! Anyhow, it seems to be the right process for this particular book.



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