Monday, 28 November 2011

This too shall pass

First, apologies if you've been frantically trying to hear my short story, 'The Clown' broadcast on Soundart Radio. It took a little while to be available online, but you can hear it now :o).

In other writerly news, I have failed (by quitting NaNoWriMo early) to write 50k words of my novel in a month, which seemed such a modest aim, and as a result I've collapsed into a despondent mood about all my creative endeavours. I must be feeling more positive than last night or I wouldn't even be writing this. I can blame illness (mine and others), or visitors taking up work time, but really it was just an awful slog - too much like school and not enough like skipping after the words as they dart ahead of me. Maybe another year, or maybe it's not for me.

And I certainly don't want to be complaining about our visitors. They came bringing music and song,

never minded when Pickle joined in (she's lately added the kazoo to her repertoire - one saved from our wedding) or the endless toddler impedimenta (they had to sleep on that sofabed, under the dangling elephants and boinging beefly),

 and introduced us (and our neighbour who came to share his latest toy and discover the wonders of Becherovka) to apple and chocolate pancakes.

As if music and pancakes weren't enough to cheer me up, here's a group of heroes doing a ten-day-and-night chant. This is the lovely Fiona explaining the point of such a thing, or you can tune in to see them live - a kind of voyeuristic spirituality which feels ridiculous at first, but quickly becomes mesmerising..

And speaking of heroes, please bear with me while I share another little film of those good people at Chagfood:

So, an odd day. I haven't decided if I'm enjoying it yet. I'll leave you with this November strawberry from our garden, which I also have mixed feelings about:

and, finally, this poem, which did make me better, in at least one way.


  1. sorry you had to give up on NaNoWriMo. I found it mostly great fun but with a real struggle in the third week...

    Looks like you had a lovely musical gathering there!

  2. How wonderful to have such visitors! Every year I think about NaNoWriMo, and that's as far as it gets. I honestly don't know how mums with small children could do it, and then I get down feeling inadequate and even lazy, the old 'if they can do it what can't I?' thing. You sound like you've had a lot on your plate this month, and anyway, if it isn't fun, then maybe it's just not the way you need to write. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be writing. Your poetry is gorgeous, you are a very talented writer and you should write whichever way makes your heart sing and the words dance. And writing 50k words in a month sounds like a mammoth undertaking to me!

  3. I'm not going to finish nano either. I'll slog on to the bitter end anyway but I have no chance of reaching 50k. I've enjoyed it, for me it achieved what I wanted it to do. It got me back in the habit of writing. Reaching 50k in a month isn't important- certainly not as important as caring for your family or having fun with friends.

  4. CGP, the gathering was lovely, especially as these are friends we see rarely. Are you over 50k already? Congratulations.
    Christina, you are entirely right of course - I just had a slump on the day I quit. I've since decided I don't need to go and live in a cave or return to selling my soul as a tillmonkey. I would recommend trying NaNo if it interests you - I definitely learned from it, and may even try again next year. Thank you for your kind words.
    Hermit Witch, I am impressed by your persistence. I think that's the most crucial writing skill, and being in the habit of writing, as you say, so many congratulations to you. And I'd choose my family over my own legs, so, after the initial doldrums, perspective has returned and I'm fine with finishing early.

  5. Getting back in the habit of writing/creating is good, but you must also "go with the flow" and find a balance to be able to follow the inspiration.

    Churned-out books *can* read as just that.

  6. So true. I realised, talking with a writer friend this morning, that half my problem was aiming for quite a high word count without reducing my expectations around quality. I would rather take ten years to write a good book than a year to write ten pants ones - although the latter may, sadly, be more lucrative. Thanks for stopping by :o).

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