In the recently created publicity blurb about me it says I have been blogging for nine years. To an extent, this is true although it depends on how you define blogging. For many years I did indeed chronicle my thoughts about writing and the process I followed during the writing of Ghostbird – up to & including getting the publishing deal. I used Live Journal (& even called what I did ‘journaling’ because I thought then & still think, ‘blog’ is an ugly word.) I wrote the thing entirely for myself & although eventually I gathered a small group of ‘followers’ only a very few of them were serious about writing.
When I got the book deal I decided to leave LJ. It had become a desert anyway and no longer served my purpose – which I thought was to have a more public profile. No one had heard of LJ so I moved to WordPress. I still don’t have a public profile! No matter. I have a presence on Twitter & Facebook & in terms of promoting the book, both serve me well.
I do however miss the old days when I recorded my writing process & I’ve decided to reinstate this. Not daily – I no longer have the time – rather I’m going to aim for a weekly effort and see how that works. As I embark on my second book, the process once again fascinates me & I feel a need to write it down.
The view from my study – a place I have come to call my ‘aerie’ – is regularly shrouded in mist. There is a sense of quiet isolation on these mornings; a feeling of being surrounded not only by mist but by the possibility of creative magic: the Avalon barge might appear & offer me a lift to the Isle of Apples where I could sit by the banks of a lake, listening for the words birds, conjuring word spells.
As a result, over the years I got into the habit of tagging many of my LJ entries: ‘Island Life.’ I even had a little icon (LJ likes icons): mist & mystery with added birds.
I shall then be calling these Sunday offerings, Island Life, Word Birds & Process.
As a starting point, here’s a thought. One of the first readers of Ghostbird – when it was called something else – has read the opening few chapters of my current WIP. This woman is neither a writer nor an editor. She is however an acute observer with an eye for nuance & what lies beneath. And she has memories of her own life & childhood which she often shares with me. This morning she offered me her thoughts about the pages I sent & then went off on a related tangent. And that is when the magic happened. My friend has conjured pictures I can use, from life rather than her imagination. And they are a writer’s dream.
This morning there is no mist – only a gentle, pale blue sky & a sun the colour of buttermilk. I’m off to a writing workshop in a while & we shall be ‘doing dialogue.’ I need to do dialogue – it’s my bête noir so this workshop will be good for me. When I get back to my WIP (my SisterBook as I have nicknamed it) I shall reach for my friend’s imagination & with her permission, ransack her childhood.
Onward & sideways.
ps: This: Local paper (Cambrian News.) Famous for fifteen seconds?