Is it really two weeks since I last blogged? How did that happen? I have been too busy enjoying myself in the post-first-draft cocoon of bliss, clearly. (Don't hate me for it, the angst and moaning will return when I come to edit the thing next month, no doubt.)
I have been having a rather lovely time anyway, floating about feeling stress-free and cheerful, now that Novel 4 is done (well, awaiting some work, but you know. Done, for the time being.) I've started thinking about future novels - I've got a couple of ideas in mind - and even though I had planned not to do anything about it until September, this morning I found myself writing the first few paragraphs of something new. I just couldn't help it - I thought of a great opening line while I was going to sleep last night, and just wanted to start the scene before I forgot. Felt quite excited about it...
Lovely Milla (hello lovely Milla) asked in the last set of comments how I go about 'growing' ideas for a new novel - and at this stage, it's as if I (oh God, this is going to sound dead pretentious, I apologise) - as if I am 'listening' out for them, as if my ears are pricked up for juicy storylines and characters. It feels like my mind is totally receptive and I'm letting myself tune into various elements of a story - for instance, particular scenes that would be good, themes, a character who comes to me. So at the moment, I'm just scribbling down fragments as they pop into my head, and hope that by the time I come to start writing, proper, I can assemble a coherent narrative of them.
Does that make any sense at all? I'm not sure it does to me either, but there you go. It's hard to explain.
Had a lovely treat this morning anyway as I used my Reading Spa voucher at the fabulous Mr B's Emporium of Reading Delights, one of the independent book shops in town. It was ace. First, a consultation - well, good old chat, really - with the manager Nic about the kind of books I like and don't like (over a cuppa and some absolutely delicious cake), plus I had a list of authors I had never tried but felt I should and didn't know where to start - ie PG Wodehouse and Iris Murdoch (no, never read anything by either - shame on me etc.) Then he went off and after a bit of discussion with the other members of staff, came back with a huge pile of books they thought I might like. I got to sit in this big comfy armchair in the 'Bibliotherapy Room' browsing through and making my selection. Talk about my idea of bliss. This is what I chose, if you're interested:
PG Wodehouse - The Code of the Woosters
Iris Murdoch - The Sea, The Sea
Carson McCullers - The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
Jhumpa Lahiri - Interpreter of Maladies
Anita Shreve - Bodysurfing
What do you think of my list? Have you read any? I could have spent a fortune in there, and there were definitely a few I'd go back for another day. Joy!
Hostages to Fortune
23 hours ago