Saturday, January 30, 2010

Not blown it slid

Sun dog at Bradwell, 2007. If you look closely at things which seem, on first glance, to be too expansive - such as this sky - you can be surprised by the most beautiful details. All you have to do is look for them, then stay focussed.

At times it can be difficult to visualise. Stacks of books which have slid into chaos and are peppered with notebooks may not look like they have purpose. Stapled gatherings of academic papers, theories wild and tame, weighed down. Sprigs of plants and pressed flowers. Pencils marking pages and more post-it notes than it takes to feather a notice board. Sometimes I look at it and am overwhelmed. Frustrated. This is my novel.

I imagine it like a small aviator.

You can't see it?

Currently it's over feathered, over fed, and has too much unneccessary weight.

I am going to lift away the extra layers.

When I have finished it will have a strong and powerful core with two beautiful sleek wings to carry it all the way to publication.

I can do this. Sometimes I have to remind myself.


Thomas Taylor said...

A lovely metaphor. I often think of my current project as a hot air balloon, bumping along the ground with too many passengers and bags of adverbs for ballast.

You write beautiful things, Rachel, and have beautiful thoughts. No one can keep them down forever.

Rachel Fenton said...

I like the balloon visuals...nice...thanks for the encouragement, Thomas, I must come accross as a complete emotional fluff head at times and I'm very grateful to you for hanging on in with me! Just sent one of my completed novels out again - first time since last summer - I forgot I had finished stuff too!

Rachel Fox said...

Tis the struggling time!

catdownunder said...

We keep a calendar - usually Scotland but this year Wales - in the 'loo of all places.
It always amazes me how much more I have seen at the end of the month than I have at the beginning. I am finally seeing all the tiny detail. I put the calendars away sometimes and, if I go back to them, I can still far more than I first did.
It is the same with writing anything. It is better to go back to it!

Rachel Fenton said...

Tis the most difficult thing I've ever tackled, for sure, Rachel!

PS I have a wee pic and a poem wrapped and ready to dispatch to you tomorrow!

On side note - is there a Barchory as well as a Banchory in Scotland? Has there ever been?

What is it with calendars and loos? I think everyone does that! Ha! Yes, Cat, it is better to come back to things with fresh and enthusiastic eyes.

I am making progress...slow but progress nontheless!

Kass said...

I can't even imagine being as close as you are to the finished product of your next novel. I'm awe-struck. I know your novel is good because your words are put together with such keen awareness. Your style has a unique twisty bite.

Rachel Fenton said...

"unique twisty bite" - thank you, Kass, if I never write another thing I feel I have made it!

Not anywhere near the end yet but I can envisage it - I'm walking...

Lori said...

I've been there myself. I'm still there. But you're looking like you're going to come out a smiling from this. It's a difficult part of the process. But it's all in the way you look at it and you seem to have an advantageous perspective.

Rachel Fenton said...

You have my sympathy, Lori, it's difficult to say the least. I'm keeping my head above it - just - but if I stop waving I may need you to throw in a rope! Keep trying with yours and I'll have a life line ready for you :)

Dianne said...

It is with the time and the intent together, that we can see and assemble the details.

Therefor I am all about the process, which might not be as productive as those who are all about the product. Ilove what you said in the photo caption. And the light captured in the moment is the great.

Rachel Fenton said...

Oh, Diane - haha, I just read my tiny words, lol: "If you look closely ant things which seem, on first glance, to be too expansive - such as this sky - you can be surprised by the most beautiful details"...."Ant" details?!

Have changed it now!

Hehe. Seriously though your words describe just what I am trying to do. Thank you. Perhaps ant things is more accurate after all...

Andrea said...

I love how it sounds like some kind of a free floating collage! I'm sure it will all come together in the way you want it too :)

Rachel Fenton said...

Just noticed I spelt across with two "c"s in my reply to Thomas - doh - am shocking today!

It's very much a collage, Andrea, at this stage! Cheers.

Donna Hosie said...

You can totally do it, Rachel. The tide is turning.

Rachel Fenton said...

Cheers me dears! Got my arm bands at the ready, Donna!

Mike McLaren said...

I love Sun dogs, the splash of color, rainbows even, upon the wisps of clouds, that when finally dissipated, reveal the clearness of what was always there... your new novel. Exciting!

Rachel Fenton said...

I love them, too.
I'm getting very interested in the whole cloud spotting thing, AM, and I was lucky and really pleased to have taken this shot. I hope the same will be said for my novel :)Thanks for the enthusiasm!

Thomas Taylor said...

I'm not going anywhere until you've signed my copy of your novel. And I may stick afterwards too.

Rachel Fox said...

Heck, I'm no Scotland expert. Quick search suggests it's more a name than a place but others would know more...the National Library of Scotland or some such.

Titus said...

A beautifully expressed, sleek post which fills me with expectation and excitement for that novel when it flies.

And a fabulous photograph. Hang on in there, it is hard when there's just a crew of one.

Jon Paul said...

Show me a working writer--I mean really working!--and I'll show you an emotional fluffhead. :D No worries there in my book.

And your metaphor, "sleek wings" and all, is beautiful.

Jim Murdoch said...

Sometimes I’m a bit jealous of novelists who have to do a lot of research because that’s something to do, a way to keep busy when you’re not actually writing. Yes, I know it’s a part of the process, but it’s also a way of keeping the writing at bay. I can’t imagine anyone screwing up research; it’s just accumulating information, what can go wrong there? But the actually writing, now that is a different kettle of fish. I have had to do some research especially for my last novel which was set in Ireland but I found accuracy restrictive and so tried not to overdo it. It was the same with the dialogue. There’s not a “begorrah” or a “top of the morning to you” in the whole thing.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thomas - you are a great example to try to follow!

With three complete novels and this one - the mother of all novels which I will not let rest until I get it published - I'd say my chances of getting something for you to sign are fair to middling....I'll get practicing my autograph! Ha!

T'other Rachel,
thanks for that - I have quite a few questions I'd like to ask them as it is, so many questions.... :)

Thanks, Titus, I'm hanging on with determination for fingertips and tenacity for a harness - when it's finished I'll be able to hop on in for a comfy ride!

JP - I figured you'd like the flight!

Jim - I'm also finding that the facts are holding my creativity hostage - and talk about stilted dialogue (when dialogue was one of the things I've always - so I've been told - had a particular talent for), and just having to write about certain things for each chapter.

I'm finding a little freedom in allowing my protagonist a lot of thoughts - no one knew what this person's thoughts were - I'm having a field day there! I may end up editing them all out but they're keeping the writing flowing for now and that's all that matters.

Once I have a manuscript to edit - something I can work with - I can tighten things up, make it sleek, but I need to get rid of these piles of books/papers etc and get that manuscript out of me.

You made me laugh with your observation about researching to postpone the act of writing - spot on! All of yesterday was spent researching a place and its history for one sentence!

Thanks everyone for your encouraging nudges. I am vcery lucky to have such lovely bloggers!

Golden West said...

It sounds like things are coming together and that you've reached a new level of satisfaction. Moving forward, at whatever speed, gets you closer to where you're going. Glad to hear your enthusiasm, Rachel!

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you, GW, the ball is now well and truly rolling! Thanks so much for calling in - I appreciate it :)

Anonymous said...

Rachel, I do and have done lots of things, but I will never write a book. I am awed by the work, the baring of the soul, the sheer slog that you authors are prepared to put in, (with a writer in the family I know how hard it is) and then the editing, re-writing...I too am looking forward to being able to read and enjoy your published words as much as I appreciate your blog posts.
May that bird fly free very soon,
Penny x

Rachel Fenton said...

Never say never, Penny!

Thank you so much for your kind encouragement.

I've had some very dark moments with this book - and that was before I got started on the writing - but now I'm looking forward to adding to the word count week by week.

The submitting and rejection is the really testing part!

Thanks again.