I mentioned the other day that a friend suggested that I might give up writing for two weeks to tidy my house… she hadn’t seen the house and thought it untidy, by the way, it was me saying it was and wondering why I could never get on top of it! To be fair, we are busy, always doing something, and we are just untidy and absent-minded people, it’s not like visiting Steptoe’s yard or the Old Curiosity Shop!
I think I would find it almost impossible to give up writing… As soon as I get up I come through here to my little room, say good morning to the fish, look out of the window at the world and then get writing. I might check my emails and have a quick look at the news, but then i settle down to write here on my blog. That done and posted I usually review what I was working on yesterday, have a quick breakfast and armed with a coffee settle down. I might have a piece of writing to do for one of my groups, I might have something to prepare for one of the groups I lead, I might have a couple of emails to send.
At the moment, as I’ve been chronicling, I’m editing my next novel which did have a title but now I’m not so sure. I have been pulling out all the episodes of one particular narrative thread – so I had a look at all the episodes dealing with a row of houses along the Royal Esplanade in my imaginary town of Strand, I’ve checked the details of the four regulars who visit a local hotel each evening, I’ve followed the story line of two French sisters who appeared in the 1901 census in Norfolk and end up near to Strand, and at the moment I’m checking everything is in the right order and sequential in the stalker story. I still have to look through the mystery of the woman who was found apparently washed up on the beach but who has completely lost her memory – that’s the big one!
Here is a little introduction to that story:
Inspector Graham’s file was about a girl known as Shelly… including documents from the police, which I’m sure he wasn’t meant to have… what a great deal of trust he was placing in me…
So when he was telling me about Shelly Beach, she was a person not place where the kids play by the sea… For a moment I thought how unfair her parents, Mr. and Mrs Beach had been to call her that, but as I began to unpick the files, all became clear.
There were newspaper cuttings, seemingly every item in the local press, the Strand Argos and the Castair Courier, plus there were loads of printouts from the national newspapers too…
You see, a local woman who had been out early walking her dog, had come across this young woman lying washed up on the beach at Strand. She was unconscious, but when an ambulance came and she was whisked off to hospital, thankfully she was found to be unhurt, although suffering slightly from the cold.
There was a Sunday paper magazine article about her, which was told in a very dramatic way, and it mentioned similar people who had been found with lost memories… Yes, you see, this girl had completely lost her memory. She didn’t know who she was, where she had come from, or even her name… hence Shelly. Most of the people in the other stories seemed either to be frauds, or have some other mental affliction… some of it was jolly interesting, I can tell you, but these days I don’t have time to deviate and wander off.
I only skimmed through the reports, they all gave the same details. Shelly had been found unconscious on the beach, soaking wet, no form of ID, no possessions, and the woman who’d found her, the one who Graham had mentioned, Sylvie Monnet, who owned the hotel, had let her stay in her daughter’s room.
When I’ve finished all of that, then comes the big read through – there may be three or four of them, checking, rechecking and checking again. During the day we might go out, or I might do something with my daughter, I might do some gardening, cooking – oh and ironing of course, I might go to one of my groups, or teach one of my groups here. However, come the evening, I’m generally back here working. Even if we go to the pub, for the quiz or a drink, which we do a couple of times a week, when I get home I come back here to work.
So you see, giving up writing, would be pretty impossible, all those ideas in my head which need to go down on paper, all those people who need to have their stories told… Giving up writing? I don’t think I can!!