Thursday, 25 September 2014

Word count

Autumn has arrived and as I watch leaves fall from trees I think how apt this time of year is to my recent workload.

Word count, the writer's battle
I've decided that 2014 is my "year of editing" because that is all I seem to have done. At one point I thought of Michaelangelo who said that David was already in the stone and all he'd done was chip-away until he found him. I also wondered how long I would have to look at my stone until I decided where to place my chisel.

Word count is a strange thing. Some publishers say: "If you reduce it then you'll lose the essence of the story." Others: "Keep it under 100k because anything over is too expensive."
So - it's like being trapped between the devil and the deep blue sea. I've been chipping away and every tap of the delete key on my laptop has released a little more of my David.

I saw his face last week. My new book is precious to me and I only want to place a spotlight on it when I know I can remove the final fig leaf. My David is a departure from anything I've written before but he's taught me that I should release my dark side more often.

My son told me he'd started his Christmas list yesterday and I was shocked that it's only 13 weeks away. Time is also falling through my fingers. I know that when I've finally released David that there is another block of stone behind him. Perhaps 2015 will be his year?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Scarborough & Henry Poole

My week at Scarborough was full of surprises. Firstly, I was not expecting a heatwave at the end of August and secondly, I didn't realise the UK North Sea coast had such beautiful places.

Prior to my holiday I'd been looking forward to early morning walks along a deserted beach. I wasn't disappointed. The North Bay was stunning and I had to take a photo.
North Bay, Scarborough
Take a walk between North and South Bay. There are some great photo opportunities.
I also discovered Peasholm Park, nearby. I got talking to a local grandmother who was baby sitting for the day. She told me that in winter, when people rarely walk through, the park is magical under a layer of snow.
The bench where I sat as a golf-widow while my son and husband played shot-and-put
The view from my bench
The other side of Peasholm Park. You can sit at the lakeside and watch the dragon boats go by
Scarborough Castle
For history buffs there's Scarborough castle where you can watch a jousting match. Anne Bronte is buried in the graveyard leading up to it. You'll need strong walking boots for the walk afterwards!

Scarborough Castle
If you spend a few hours strolling along side-streets and their many gift shops you'll see great wall art.
Wall art in Scarborough
At night there are many restaurants and bars to choose from and afterwards take a leisurely stroll along the sea front or go mad with your tuppences at one of the amusement arcades. Or, you can be scared silly in the Terror Tower.
Speaking of terror -  there was an ornament in the luxury apartment I was staying in. I thought it odd that such a freaky and old-fashioned item would be positioned under the wall-mounted plasma. Its eyes followed me wherever I went.
The stuff nightmares are made of
I won't bore you with any more of my holiday snaps. I spent a day in Whitby, one of my favourite haunts but there are many places around Scarborough to visit such as Pickering and Filey. I may have been away for only one week but it felt a lot longer, a sure sign of a good holiday.

Relaxing at home with a glass of wine, I watched Henry Poole is Here. If you haven't seen this film then try to. It was a strange movie but one that leaves you thinking for ages afterwards. I'm glad I watched it on my return because it caught me at the right time, when I wasn't yet ready to face everyday routines.
Yes, this is correct. You would have to see the film to know why the picture is different from the film title.
And so, back to rewrites. I'm on my final run, then? Yes, I was inspired during my holiday. I have a new novel planned, its story and characters fleshed-out but I was hit by a lightning bolt. I've decided to take it into a very dark place and now that the nights are beginning to draw in for Autumn I can think of no better time to write it...