Nano week 2, headspace and anticipation.

I’m currently knee deep in NaNoWriMo (I should, technically, be waist deep by now, but life and lovely sociable things interceded over the weekend so the pace has slowed a bit!), and finding inspiration for scenes and moments in lots of places. I still don’t have a title, though! The narrative has been crystallising a bit more this week, even though I’ve been writing less, and this morning I realised that I had some really good ideas for opening night at Caroline Hemingway’s bistro. Yes, I’ve settled on a bistro for the business, which will, obviously, require lots of rather pleasurable research into modern Italian food with a Somerset twist ;). And the inclusion of Gino, a twenty two year old second generation Italian chef, who Matthew Carter’s daughter Meredith and her friends are all finding excuses to chat up ;). This scene came to me when I was walking Bertie, our Weimaraner puppy back down the Strawberry Line after dropping Daughter #1 at school this morning. I was, unusually, alone bar the dog, as my younger daughter had been taken to nursery by my husband, and so I had one of those ‘zen’ moments of reflection where I actually did have time to listen to my own thoughts.

If this all sounds terribly self-indulgent, I apologise! I do work part time as an English teacher, but every fortnight I get about 4 hours at home sans sprogs, as I work the whole day the alternate week, so my youngest goes to nursery both days, even though I only work the afternoon on the other week. This leaves me with a little headspace, which usually ends up as an excuse to clean the house unencumbered, but, when I try really hard, I can get some writing done. And there it was; and actual, concrete scene playing out in my head, which involves a dodgy kebab, an opening night, an irate Caroline and a (mostly) unflappable Jonathan providing a solution. 3,000 words later and I felt like I’d actually written something half decent!

As far as Far From the Tree is concerned, I continue to receive positive feedback from the test readers, which makes me very happy indeed, and gives me an added incentive to really go for it when I go to the Mumsnet Publishing Conference in two weeks’ time. I have the feeling the conference will go one of two ways; I’ll either come away hugely encouraged with, hopefully, some good leads on getting the book published, or, my bubble will be quite conclusively burst! Fingers crossed it’ll be the former, but I’m prepared for the latter – after all, Rome, all that…

And the tune of the week has to be the decidedly American, but very Jonathan Carter-esque ‘Black Velvet’ by Alannah Myles. I’ve always loved this, and applied it to various moments in my life, but ‘that little boy’s smile’ and the ‘slow, southern style’ seem to fit him :). And, since you ask, yes, that is my own fanvid I’ve embedded, for those of you who like a little James Spader and John Cusak with your Alannah Myles  😉

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6 thoughts on “Nano week 2, headspace and anticipation.

  1. Hi Fay, Glad to hear your NaNo write is going well, sounds like your book is coming along beautifully 🙂 I’m also having fun with my NaNo write, it’s a bit of a different voice for me so I’ll see how it all ends up. And I love ‘Black Velvet’ too, though I have to tell you that Alannah, like the lovely Loreena McKennit, is a Canadian 🙂 xx

    • Have been meaning to reply all week to your comment, Helen, but things have been a bid mad this end! I had no idea Alannah Myles was Canadian – it must be the Memphis reference that threw me, but then I guess that’s an Elvis thing. :). It’s such a great song – a permanent feature on my ipod! Hope the writing is going well and you’re managing to keep up with the word count 🙂 xxx

      • Sounds like you’ve had a crazy time, though I’m glad to hear it’s more under control now. I’ve managed to clear 40k words today, but, like you, I know that family could rear up at any time and take over, so I’m trying to get as much done as I can when I can 🙂 I hope you didn’t mind me saying Alannah was Canadian 🙂 The Elvis thing throws most people off, I think, but I remember her back in the day, I was living near Toronto at the time and she was a big deal there. Anyway, hope all continues to go well with the writing and, you never know, we might hear from ITV this week as well! xx

      • So jealous of your 40k – well done!! :). It’s been a bit bonkers this week, and if anyone not related to me saw the state of my house right now they’d condemn it and seize my children, I think ;). But all that’s going to be sorted by the end of tomorrow, as well as writing up to my word count *steels self*. And of course I don’t mind – you learn something new, every day :). I’ve always wondered what other songs she did, as BV was the only one, I think, that charted here – she’s such a fab singer. And I’m still madly in love with Loreena McKennit’s ‘Mummers’ Dance’, too :). Best of luck for hitting that final 10k – may your fingertips grow wings 🙂 xxx

  2. I bought Black Velvet when it first came out as a single, and loved it ever since. I always enjoyed dancing to it, as sensually as I could manage – which wasn’t too shabby, back in the day!

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