1. It’s been back-to-school here, which isn’t anywhere near as frantic as it used to be: Only half my children are still at school, I only had one school to get them back to, and they’re now old enough to do most of it themselves.
2. It did mean I could bring out my labeler for its annual churn through reels of laminated labels.
3. It also meant I could sharpen coloured pencils. No one needs coloured pencils at school anymore, but I sharpened them anyway because the smell of sharpened pencils makes me swoon.
4. 40+ºC temperatures have been forecast for Perth for most of this week. This means early morning dog walks, spending the day in air-con or water, and giving in to my Pepsi Max addiction.
5. I’m hoping that by confessing publicly that I’ve fallen off the Pepsi Max wagon, I might shame myself into giving it up. Again.
6. Back-to-school was meant to mean ‘Back-to-Writing’, but most of last week was filled with appointments and phone calls and people knocking on my door.
7. I did, however, get a solid weekend of writing. Well, it was solid writing, then solid deleting, then solid rewriting what I’d deleted, then solid shifting it about, then solid moving it back.
8. Writing this novel feels like taking two steps forward and one-and-three-quarter steps back. I find that frustrating.
9. But I’ve realised, I’m a tortoise, not a hare. That is how I write.
10. It’s also how I run. And swim. And generally move about.
11. I have a great husband, though. And kids. Which is why I could spend the weekend at my computer and no one complained.
12. And ever so slowly, slowly, I feel as if I’m inching towards the finish line. Just like the good ol’ tortoise.
Some photos from a walk around Lake Claremont last week. (This isn’t all of them, because I saved my favourite for Midweek Moment. 🙂 )
And nothing beats dusk at our beautiful beach:
Some lovely photos here, Louise, which means I can’t wait for your mid-week moment to see what your favourite one is!
Now I’ve spruiked it, I hope it delivers! Thanks for visiting, Melinda. (Hope you have a productive time at KSP—I’m looking forward to hearing/reading all about it!)
Thanks, Louise. Being at KSP will mean missing the first session of your book-length project group, but please remind of the March date, and I will put it in my diary. Really keen to be a part of it this year.
Our March meeting will be on the 20th, and I’d love you to come along! I’ve just had an idea: Would you like to speak to us at our March meeting? You could talk about anything you like—about how your book came into being, or about taking on a challenge (I know you wrote a blog post about that), or about being a writing mother. Anything, so long as it has to do with writing. Our talks are quite informal, and there’s always loads of discussion, so you’d just need something to get it started. I’m sure many people who come would be interested.
Hope you have a productive time at KSP, and I hope they have air-con! (It’s already 35ºC, and it’s not even 9am!)
PS. And bring along copies of your book!
I would love to. It will be great way to stop saying I want to come and actually get there!
That’s fantastic! You’re booked in! Thank you.
Yes! What Melinda said. The beach photo is gorgeous. My admiration for your commitment to writing grows exponentially. I wish I had a tenth of your dedication Louise (and talent of course).
Oh, Pinky, I just hope it’s all worth it. But sometimes, like right now, when I don’t know whether what I’m writing is good or bad, I wonder if it will be …
I’ve been reading a biography of Elizabeth Jolley this week, and how she used some soul-destroying experiences (cleaning houses, selling Watkins products, (a bit like Avon, I think) not to make money because it brought in very little, but to meet interesting people who in due course made it into their fiction.
For a writer, even sharpening the pencils can be grist to the mill…
Because for this reader, it’s the most interesting part of this post. Why would a busy person take time to sharpen pencils that nobody needs? because the smell makes her swoon? Why? What is she remembering? What is that smell associated with? Or, is she really thinking about something else, that the simplicity of the task allows her to do? What would that be? is she plotting something in the novel as she sharpens? Does the repetitive nature of the task make it easy to think about something else that needs to be thought about? Or, is it part of her personality that she feels she must be doing something, anything at all times? Is that a woman thing, or a restless, guilt-prone personality? If I come across a woman sharpening pencils in your novel, these are the questions I’ll be asking myself!!
Ooh, what a wonderful writing prompt you have just created, Lisa!
Ditto to Melinda’s comment! I have the perfect scene for it already: There’s a part in the novel where Ida draws pictures for the kids, and now she’s going to sharpen the pencils first! I love the smell of new or freshly sharpened pencils, especially Staedtler ones, because it takes me back to my first days at school. I think they should bottle the smell of sharpened pencils! That’s why even though my boys no longer need coloured pencils for school, I used the back-to-school preparation to sharpen the drawer-full we have here at home, which are hardly ever used but somehow still manage to blunt!
Ah ha! Well, I am going to love reading this scene in your novel!
If it’s ever published, I’ll be sure to acknowledge you. Thank you for that little gem!
Your photos are amazing. I learnt over the weekend you can expect to do copious amounts of redrafts and editing x
I know but I still think I rewrite more than most. As well as being a tortoise, I think I’m a perfectionist too! Thanks Rae. xx
Gorgeous photos, lovely post, and such generous, playful comments Louise. I kept wanting to hit a ‘like’ button, as a way of joining into the conversation.
Nice to hear from you, Maureen—we must have been reading and commenting on each other’s posts at the same time! I don’t know why the comments don’t have a ‘Like’ button, as I know some blogs do. I’ll have to look into it. You’re right, it’s such a simple way of acknowledging you enjoyed someone’s response!
No shame here, I drink about 4 cans of Pepsi Max a day ????
Haha! That’s at least how many I’ve been having. Better than drinking at least four glasses of wine each day, I s’pose! 🙂
I’m not a Pepsi Max fan (or a soft drink fan at all) … but I am a bit of a tortoise when it comes to writing, like you. I enjoyed reading this. Am a bit jealous of your labeller. I always wanted one! Lucky we only have one left at school now.
I wish I could kick the Pepsi Max habit—I do better in winter, but I just substitute coffee then! With regards to our tortoise-pace writing speed, let’s hope slow and steady gets us there—it doesn’t matter about winning any race, just getting there will be enough! As for the labeller, they’re like Mum toys, aren’t they?!
I’ve spent most of today at the computer as well – like you I have a great family who will put up with it when I need to do so 🙂 We are on school holidays next week here, half term already, so I don’t imagine I’ll be getting much done. I love your comment about the sharpened pencils – I find it really satisfying when they are all sharp, the points lined up like in your photo. And I think Lisa is right, looking forward to reading about Ida sharpening her pencils in your book!
I’ve been invisible at home again lately, trying to finish this rewrite once and for all. The ending’s such a mess, because I’ve changed it completely. I’ve just realized the voice of my narrator has also changed as the story’s gone on, so I’m trying to recapture her as she was. Still lots of work to be done, methinks.
Oh Louise, this has been a Herculean labour for you. I really hope you get there and end in a place where you are happy with the story, telling it as you wish it to be told. Writing’s bloody hard work, isn’t it? Sending commiserations and good writerly wishes xx
Herculean is the word for it, Helen! I’ve made it twice as hard as it could have been though, by trying things out, and then just going back to what I had originally probably 75% of the time! And yes, writing’s bloody hard work, but I could no sooner stop doing it than stop eating or walking. I’m sure you know the feeling …
Oh, I do! All I want is to be able to keep telling stories…
I hear you, sister! 🙂