So yesterday was a romantic day, which meant lots of food, a trip to the cinema, and generally being outside around people. I also started a new book The Queen of the Damned, by Anne Rice. It was my first ever second valentines day with someone, and it was spent in great company. Today has returned to its natural ways, and i’ve found myself approaching it in a very unnatural progressive manner.
Today has been spent writing eleven pages of my new novel in red ink, listening to The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, by Douglas Adams, and some freelance writing. The sky is grey, adding a rather muggy quality to the day, but that doesn’t seem to have got in the way of writing.
I started listening to Watership Down, by Richard Adams, a story which captivated me as a child in a way like no other. I know there are people who have to keep a particular thought in their hands, remaining focused, while they approach life in their particular way. I am not one of these people. My mind is a busy place, hungry, and extremely impatient.
From the outside it might look like a chaotic nightmare, as I switch story, genre, fiction, but it isn’t that way inside my head. The stories tell their little truths and opinions, while the spot at the back of my mind takes notes. I’m not interested in repeating someone else’s story, but I am interested in understanding where their passion burned brightest.
As a writer i’m interested in finding my own voice, working the puzzle of my own mind as I wonder why I had to write that particular thing. Other writers are there to work our mind in a way that either feels right, or so spectacularly wrong that we get away from it as quickly as possible. You learn from both in their own way, and while everyone has their own opinion on what constitutes as a good book, you find that a truly bad book is nothing more than a printed shelf ornament, never to be fully read.
Early on I realised that the books I liked were those that made sense to me, the sort of characters or narrators who had obviously gone to the same school, or had just left the parties as I arrived. Stories I liked were my friends, they allowed me to make sense of the world, and made me realise that I wasn’t the only person who didn’t quite fit right within the world.
I like to laugh, and find that good books are funny, even if they don’t mean to. The repeated mention of “Oz The gweat and tewible” in Pet Sematary made me chuckle throughout the book, and then I found myself grinning wearily as it was said knowing that something horrendous was about to happen.
The self deprecating comedy of english writers will always have a place in my heart, mainly because it reminds me of the constant muttering of my father, whose refusal to accept reality i’ve filched, using it in every possible literary way. A man who would have received the death penalty if you could have killed through embarrassment, now laughs as he sees vague shadows and echoes of a childhood well documented.
I am not interested in writing someone else’s story, but I am interested in finding the confidence to tell my story as well as they did, while taking great pride in seeing my work get better. I love to write, and I use the noisy and open-sourced world around me, and borrowing what I can, till I can give something back.