In a way or another, we are getting to this end of this academic year. And what a year this has been! For the past week I have been focusing on the book and on writing in general.
I had a tutorial [#12] with KS last Tue and we just checked where I am at. I am also aware that last week was 6 MAY: the anniversary of the earthquake and one year from CONSERVATION… I felt off. Many thoughts and memories to go through.
I have accepted to participate in the Orton Writing Group Project of writing a whole book together. The plan is this: we all write a chapter each, when we receive the previous chapter… I know, it might sound a bit difficult to understand! Anyway, I have been given Ch. 2 – very happy of this – so I received Ch. 1 from its author and I had a week to write Ch. 2 and send it to the person who will write Ch.3… that’s the gist of things.
I have been very happy because: 1. the style is completely different from mine, and it was a good exercise; 2. I had to go and dig out some literary writing books and checked theory, which was also very good as a practice; 3. I had a week, and working to a deadline was also good; 4. it took my mind off my own book for a week; 5. by writing Ch. 2 I didn’t have the responsibility of the beginning, but I could stir the story the way I wanted it to go (wink wink). I had a week so I started writing down some ideas and then got into a block I couldn’t get out. It was a creative block, not a block in the story. And then, in the night, at 4.33 am I woke up from this dream where all new characters came alive and so I picked the phone up and recorded my voice – yawning and all – and the whole Chapter 2 was there. So I sat in the morning, listened to my voice and wrote and everything made sense. I am so pleased with what I wrote that I think I will use the characters for something else. It was funny, compelling, intriguing, referencing literature… I am just so so happy! I was also so pleased with my voice… I felt a sense of deep connection and compassion for this woman who tells stories at 4.33 in the morning!
That feeling and those words made me even more realised that’s what I want to do!
I also used this week to work on the layout and cover of the book. Here following are some samples. I have used the layout of a book I particularly like and that is published by Penguin in their Modern Classics Collection: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf.
What made me feel excruciatingly frustrated is that the people who asked to read the manuscript in order to give me feedback did not come back to me. I am left feeling frustrated, that I placed hope and trust in people who do not even think appropriate to come back to me and tell me that they won’t read it. Writing is already a very solitary exercise; if you don’t get any feedback, what’s the point?!
As per my reference book, it is coming along nicely: I have been collecting and adding more stuff in it and yesterday I started the process of going through my old journals from July 2016 – when I applied to do a BA at UCLan and Blackburn College University (!) – and I am adding on my ref book all ideas and plots etc I wrote during these past 4 years. Highly educational! If I think of how much I craved writing and these 4 years saw me publishing The Men at My White Table and Rebeltherapy and now this one!
I also sent the images and video to the tutors for our online exhibition for the end of the course. And I have been sent another music to write lyrics to (v happy indeed!). I am aware that now I have more updates on my personal website to do!
I also have some issues with SFE re. the finances for university next year. I feel blocked, stuck, angry and v frustrated. I am not going to write this on here for now while I am working on a way round.
onwards and upwards!