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 😉