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Friday, 25 October 2013

The Best Laid Schemes o' Mice a' Men...

My Mother, bless her heart, was a bit of a pessimist. 'Never make plans' she used to say, 'because if you do something will come along to upset them.' She did have a point and I've never been a long-term planner, possibly because of her words of doom, and maybe to my detriment. But you can't go through  life not making any plans at all, can you? So these were my main plans for the week:-

1. I had planned to write about light for this blogpost, as some of you may have noticed, because my first paragraph was posted by accident, earlier in the week.

2. I had also planned to get down on paper the first five thousand words of my new teenage novel which has been composting in my brain for a few weeks.

3.  We have a wedding coming up so I planned a trip into town to buy some new shoes to liven up the dress which I have decided to wear.

Then three things happened, (it would be three wouldn't it?!) and my Mother's words came back to haunt me.

Firstly, I picked up a cold on the plane on the way back from New England. If I had managed to escape the swirling germs of the man coughing permanently for 6 hours and the woman sneezing every fifteen minutes I would have an immune system of the sort I have obviously lovingly cultivated in my husband with home cooked food and palmfuls of vitamins. Why it hasn't worked for me too I don't know. Anyway, the cold and accompanying cough have confined me to barracks. But for a writer that's no bad thing. Who needs knock 'em dead shoes when you're sloping around in your dressing gown every day? And it's all the more time to get on with that novel except...

Secondly, and unexpectedly, I had an idea for a picture book. I was one day into my teenage novel and it was going well, so the logical part of my brain told me to carry on with 'the plan'. This was sound advice because I do keep saying that I'm not going to bother with any more picture book texts. I send them off, get nice comments back, but there's always a but at the end of the letter. BUT this picture book idea was taking over my thoughts, pushing the teenage novel out of the house, to the top of the garden and beyond. My heart was overruling my head and saying you shouldn't ignore a gift like that. Then, by chance, I read a post, recommended on Twitter, saying just the same thing. You can check it out here at Victoria (V.E.) Schwab's blog. Someone else was validating my thoughts. It was a sign! So I put the novel aside and spent a day on the picture book. Did I feel guilty? A little. But I enjoyed myself no end.

Thirdly, I had some upsetting news, completely out of the blue. This news was far more upsetting for the people concerned but its ripples affected me and will continue to affect me in the future. Unpleasant things happen to good people, people who don't deserve them and I find that hard to come to terms with. This news has jolted me out of my comfort zone and is making me re-assess the direction I am going in.

Thank-you for reading and next week, all being well, and in more ways than one, there will be light!

4 comments:

  1. Let there be light. That was said by a much wiser mouth than ours! Hope you're feeling better now and, coincidentally, my mum always said the same thing to me. Maybe it was a 2nd world war mindset.

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    1. Possibly. My Mum was born a month after war broke out but the hardships of those years rippled on through the fifties and into her teens. She was a stickler for routine too, which I spent years trying to avoid but can see that it does have its benefits!

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  2. You were certainly right to catch that picture book idea whilst it was dancing in your head. They fly away all too easily!

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    1. I know and it's so frustrating try to re-capture the essence of an idea when it has left due to being ignored. Shan't feel guilty in future about putting one thing aside to catch a new one.

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