Thursday 10 December 2009

The Over-Wound Clock

Apologies to good blogging friends for not being around lately. So many things DSCN1107have been crowding in!

I’ve been dealing with the aftermath of our Room To Write week-end conference.  Full of good writers, goodwill and good cheer, it took a lot of planning, preparation and doing -  but was all worthwhile . It seemed that they got a lot out of it .Already some of the participants have signed up for our booster day in the spring. Must be a good sign.

And then – along with Avril – I have been very busy with the final writing stages of the wonderful Easington Tall Tales Project. At the very beginning of this project I said it would be wonderful if we could have ten pieces of work from each of the eight writers. Looking at the final edited haul I see we have eighty items for the book which at l east, means that the average is ten, although some have done more and some less than ten. Styles and times differ.

This is no mean feat. We have funny stories, serious stories, short pieces and great poems from these talented writers: sixty thousand words in all. As well as this we have wonderful photographs, an amazing map drawn by Mavis Farrell, one of the writers, and fabulous drawings by Fiona Naughton whose paintings have featured here on this blog. All this will make a substantial and satisfying book which will illuminate life in this unique place.

We are now deep in the final editing and anthologising process (hard work, that!), then after Christmas the book will be off the printers, being shepherded through the printing process by Gillian Wales, who knows much more than me about these things, having produced several much admired books of her own. By February we will have this lovely book in our hands and will be launching it in this special by the sea. That will be a good gig.

More about that`at the time.

And finally in these last weeks I’ve been buried in the last stages of my French novel which is now at last there. (Hooray!)

Ending a novel is the hardest thing! When do you know it is finished and the story is ended? You go through it so many times and it is still wobbling about,  like a building held together with soft cement. Then there comes a time when you go there again and it’s firm and immoveable, as though this is  what it always was and always will be. There may be things to tinker with and fix, but the novel is sturdy and solid. there. (In the building world here they call this tinkering and fixing snagging. I like that thought.,,)

So this is how I ended up as tight as an over-wound clock, incapable of thinking any fresh thoughts. Certainly not able to write a post for my much loved blog.

But tick-tock, the hands are moving again. This mend has been helped by a few days here in London with Debora and Sean and Barney (dog) and Liberty(cat) and I’m loosening off - something to do with lovely meals, lots of kindly conversation, benevolent barking and lots of purring.

To top it all I’ve just had lunch with my lovely agent, J, who has read my novel and gets it, likes it.  It has its go-ahead: just a very little bit of snagging and my baby will be there adventuring out in the world strutting her stuff.

Now I really am ticking over.

Back soon



  1. Hi Wendy
    Great to have you back!
    You are only forgiven for your long absence because life does get in the way for all of us.

    I was going to say endings aren't too much of a problem for me. I have four novels at various stages of completion and I conceived all from the end then worked out how to get there.
    But I suspect that it is not as concrete as that. My first still has roughly the same end as first envisaged. But the second which is about half done, looks like it will turn inside out. Three and four are not much more than outlines so I dread to think what might happen to them.

  2. Welcome back WEndy - I'm awed by the amount of work you're getting through!

  3. You are only forgiven for your long absence because life does get in the way for all of us.
    Work from home India

  4. Dear Al
    You are lucky to be untroubled by endings. Also to have four novels in the pot. Eek! I am interested in your conceiving your novels from the end. This most resembles cooking, where you begin by a photo of the final dish then go back to source the ingredients. Intriguing.
    Happy Writing Al Wx

    Dear Kathleen
    As you will note, all that effort drained me dry for a while. But now I'm back, fallow time ended, I hope...
    Dear Nshant
    Thank you for dropping by, I hope things are going well for you,



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