It’s amazing what the spur of an afternoon (though I’d hoped to get there this morning, my time management is appalling) treat can do for your output – together with a method suggested by Sarah Fraser, who is a fount of good sense and knowledge.
Today, with the promise of a Boden party at a neighbour’s house, and the thought that I really ought to polish off my final chapter of the Roma residency (see link to the right) collaborative book (I’ve been dragging my heels) I’ve dashed off 2500 words of not bad writing, not fuelled by anything except enthusiasm.
Sometimes, I love what I do even if the house is bloomin’ freezing and writing requires layers and layers that are far from flattering. Off for a shower, there was no hot water this morning, a change and brush-up and a trawl through the clothes rails down the road.
I’ve had a very weird writing experience today. Having agreed to write with Roma Tearne, who has a residency at Blackwell Bookshop in Oxford this week, we compared our first chapters this afternoon over her kitchen table.
Last night as I wrote my chapter, which will be chapter 2 in her “Between The Lines” publication, I worried that since neither of us had a clue what the other was writing anything could happen and the book might read like an explosion in an imagination factory. We hadn’t collaborated at all on the subject matter. She had set no themes, suggested no plot and made no pointers. As I logged on to my MacBook I wondered how on earth the two chapters would look side-by-side.
Over a lunch of bought baguettes with novelist Ali Shaw and a friend of Roma’s called Ned, who had turned up on her doorstep out of the blue, we each drew out the first page of our 1600-words of manuscript. My mouth fell open and I looked into Roma’s eyes as she read aloud. There was common thread, there were similarities in our thoughts, we had even, get this, both mentioned buns! Feeling slightly spooked by the experience I dashed off to Blackwell’s to see what was going on in the shop so I could document my thoughts on the Blackwell Blogsite (see the link to the right of this posting).
On returning to Roma’s house to pick up my car she beckoned me in through her front door. The weirdness wasn’t lost on her either. We decided it’s chemistry that has caused this coincidence. And the fact that we’ve discussed other things since we first met about three months ago, when I interviewed Roma for a magazine.
Tonight Roma’s going to take my character and run with her in Chapter 3, I’m going to take hers and develop him into Chapter 4.
So I’m going to keep this blog brief and get on with the other writing. I’ve got a day job as well which I’m trying to ignore this week, besides my other role as Mummy, so it feels very busy as well as hugely exciting. At the weekend I’m heading off to Bath for a break. I think I’m going to need it. My mind is whirring.