Island Life, Word Birds & Process
Two weeks ago I was felled (I love it when word usage genuinely fits) by an upper case Damned Bloody Virus upon which I now wish every level of Hell. It’s a fortnight of my life lost to misery, moping & mucus. For several days I couldn’t read never mind write – drifting in a pastiche of every tragic ‘heroine scenario’ you can imagine & in which the chaise longue took centre stage.
In my head however real story scenes floated, not all of them useless. It’s writing but not writing as we know it… And it’s a trick most writers manage in spite of the obvious obstacles. Like forgetting stuff because the DBV has Taken Over Your Brain.
The problem with not being able to write anything down means my notoriously unreliable memory has put to the test. After the first week I was able to begin scribbling notes again & miraculously much of what I conjured in extremis appears to have survived. Mostly ghostly, slightly surreal, but given my state of mind, hardly surprising.
And the DBV may have done me a sideways favour. I knew before it hit I’d been consciously searching for a different internal pattern to the voice of this new story. It’s a tale concerning identity, on a deeply fundamental level. The echoes of motifs I recognise from my reading of books steeped in Gothic Romance are refusing to be silenced. I’m digging deeper & my characters will surely follow suit, into the shadows & cobwebbed corners of my imagination.
My word birds have been kind & patient but they’re getting restless & I love them for it. Taking it easy is still A Good Thing but cobwebs notwithstanding – & a new moon on the rise – I’m determined to return to my story very soon. Because, damn – I can sense it & it’s whispering – like my ghost, like the birds…