Wednesday, February 2, 2011

February

We are out of January - good. I woke early today and sat with my cat in the kitchen, she with a saucer of Whiskas cat milk, me with my home-brewed latte and notebook. Yesterday I talked with the Daughter about writing because this is what she is doing, with projects on the go and deadlines, and coming up against the things that writers face from time to time - the sabotaging sabre-rattlers that fill you with doubt. Of course we all know that the only way out is through - writing through it, that is. But sometimes it helps to be reminded of that and to get a little support. So thank you Natalie Goldberg, Julia Cameron, Annie Dillard and a few others who sit on the shelf above my computer. My very first book about writing was a slender thing called Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande, written in the thirties. It is probably still the best and the one that got me started. As I spoke about the importance of writing first thing, I also reminded myself of this. The notebook is a lovely thing. Keyboard will never take its place and my back hurts when when I sit at it too much. But I am still drawn to the idea that the screen is a kind of Narnian door I can walk through.
In the morning, the silence here on Edge was beautiful. But I became aware of an absence of birds. There was a bit of twitter and song, a lone bird sending out tweets but nothing came back in reply. It led me, though, into the substance of my story, the project I am now working on. Then suddenly an intense fatigue came into me, it was not yet nine o'clock, and so much still to do, and I realised: so often I avoid doing this because I have to dip the pen into the ink of my vitality to get the story down. Still, because I began first thing, a decent writing session, and later on more of the same at weekly writing meet-up.

Prepared spiced chick pea supper, slept in the afternoon, sang Mozart's C Minor in choir later. Mr. Signs exceedingly busy with much on his plate. We are all, it seems, working hard.

Tomorrow I get my first Able and Cole fruit and veg box - Daughter's suggestion, to help simplify my life. I ordered milk, eggs, fish and cheese from them too. If all goes well this (plus slow-cooker at weekends) will significantly help with time-management.

12 comments:

Zhoen said...

Is there a good writer on how to write a novel, specifically?

Reading the Signs said...

Zhoen, bearing in mind that I have not actually written a whole novel (yet), and that I'm not keen on the very prescriptive 'how to' kind, one I particularly like is The Writing Book by Kate Grenville. Again, it's a kind of process book, but one geared specifically to the end goal of writing a novel.

That's So Pants said...

Ah Signs

Abel & Cole. Well done. I miss them. I don't think they deliver to Larrikin's End.

xxx

Pants

Mim said...

You came through, you allowed yourself to come through. Silence on the edge. I tend to panic but little by little have learned to watch the panic subside--most of the time.

Lucid and graceful writing about gentle victory.

Reading the Signs said...

Pants, the first box arrived and it's brilliant. Now I can't think why I lived so long without it. If they don't deliver to Larrikin you might just have to come back to Blighty after all.

Reading the Signs said...

Mim, we must have been here at almost the same time :)

One would not know from reading you about the panic. But these things do not always manifest in an obvious way.

Thanks for your words.

Fire Bird said...

oh I love Natalie Goldberg - maybe time to get her down and give her a dust. We've just started with local veg box scheme - organic and local produce. Ace!

Reading the Signs said...

Yes FB, Natalie still comes good. 'Bones' and 'Wild Mind' are the ones I like.

That's So Pants said...

Hi Signs

Yes, I adored their vegetable boxes. You know you can fiddle with your likes and dislikes online, so you don't end up with too many parsnips, right?

It's not so bad here. My garden grows reasonably well and I'm surrounded by wineries and orchards and Larrikin's End is the scallop capital of the free world.

xxx

Pants

Reading the Signs said...

Pants, there were quite a lot of parsnips as it happens - but I love them roasted. Yes, daughter has given me the low down on how to get the things one likes.

I love scallops - and wine and orchard fruit. Larrikins End beginning to sound like Garden of Eden.

Zhoen said...

Thanks, I like the book so far. I feel quite hopeful about it having a salutary effect.

Reading the Signs said...

Glad you are liking it, Zhoen. All her references are to Australian literature (she being Oz) and I discovered a few good writers I wouldn't otherwise have heard of.