Contrary to the above title this is not where it begins. In fact the novel I am writing now began many, many years ago. I remember waking one morning, about 8 years ago, with an image stuck in my head. I could see a woman standing on the shore, a small tin held carefully in her hands and even though I couldn’t see her face I knew she was suffering. The natural world around her reflected her pain – the ominous dark clouds hanging over a raging sea, the wind screaming and crying all around her. She had something to do, something to let go of but, she was afraid to do it. And that was it. That was the beginning.
I didn’t write anything down. Not then and not for years after. Life had to be lived, the job, the commute, the children, the house, the everyday. Time slipped by but, this image stayed with me. I’d often dream of this woman and what had brought her to where she was. I had full chapters worked out in my head, playing like a movie reel as I lay in bed, or automatically drove to work. I knew I had something and knew that I had to get it out. And then about 2 years ago I wrote the first page and it felt good. Since then I’ve been writing bits on and off but only since starting the MA have I really focused and have begun to believe that I am a writer and that I can do this. I still have a very long way to go but, rather than walking the road I’m now cycling (on a very old, rusty high nelly). Today I feel like I may have progressed to driving a Honda 50 (complete with dodgy exhaust and an about-to-pack-it-in accelerator) and by dad, do you know what but, I think someday I’ll be in the fast lane passing all the slow drivers in my jag, leaving them for dust.
But, let’s not get too carried away – just yet. Today was a good day. After writing nothing for weeks methinks I have gotten my mojo back. And believe it or not, this blog seems to be the impetus. To know that I have to check in and report to my faceless minions (hee hee, that’s you by the way!) has sharpened my mind, and my time. So today I wrote 520 words and I’m quite pleased with them. I’m not making things easy for myself mind. Wouldn’t ya think that I’d set the book in Ireland so I’d know what I’m writing about? Oh no, not me. I’ve a story line that takes me to Alaska and another that brings me to Guernica in the Basque country. But while challenging it’s proving interesting and rewarding too. And at the back of my mind I’m banking on having to travel to these places – for research purposes mind you (although wine and food tasting are an essential part of research are they not?).
So there we have it. Day one in the bag. Day two…bring it on!