I have spent the best part of fifteen years sitting on my writing. At the end of the list languished a vague desire to do something with my books. Occasionally I would dust off this vagueness and dress it up with a few spoken words that hinted at action and direction. There needed to be a lot more than my lone voice trying to convince me though for in isolation I lack resolve and confidence.
Enter my friend John Butlin, a best friend and my best man, add in a gap of twenty five years of getting on with our own lives with the odd meeting now and again to rejuvenate old ties. These friendships never die, they just are… and when after the next period of time has elapsed and we meet up there will be a continuation. I could list other people in this category (you know who you are!) and I have had the enormous pleasure of being slightly closer to lots of you since being on this facebook entity. As long as it doesn’t become a surrogate for meeting up for real then fb has been a great tool.
So, back to John! And our day setting up a website. January had a galvanising effect on me four years ago as I sat in front of John’s computer screen designing a look for the website. I had spent a day thinking up a name. It’s funny how these names define something about you. Company names require thought. Mudlarks is my garden company and it was a bit of a reaction to my friend Tony’s company. Hortus infinitus was perfect for somebody who was as perfectionist as he is – meticulous, planned to the nth degree. I’m the antithesis of this!
Can of Words took a day. I had to be sure it wasn’t a widely used title and definitely not in a writing capacity. The impetus this gave me encouraged me to start editing. Three years further on and holed up after major surgery enter my son. We tackled all three stories and decided The Journey was the one to focus our attention on.
Add another year of hectic garden busy-ness holding up the editing process and we stand on the edge of a second complete edit and then possible e:book. We have until October carving out time when the weather is wet. It is only then I allow myself the large chunk of a day to sit and ponder over the number of edits required. I think only seeing the book in a published form will give me the impetus to continue on with the second book. I have only been able to tinker around with short stories and odd bits of prose for the last few years. I have felt pregnant with ideas and it is high time I wrote novels again. This book had a rough plan but I wrote the plot into being as I wrote it. I’d love to try that again but it’s like a fluke putt or freak goal, try to do it again and it never seems to work.
So, last push. The iconic image in my mind is of this years marathon and the guy that was helped over the line by another runner. Having had first hand experience of being in this state in a half marathon I can liken these final stages of the editing process to this. Tom has 40 pages to edit, I have 150 pages to correct and some extra chapters to write. He’s propping me up and helping me along. And your job? Ask me, cajole me, bully me into seeing this novel completed. And who knows, when winter comes I will be cut loose to start the next one.