You know I said I thought magical things could happen here? Well, they’ve started happening.
Magical Thing 1:
The sea air must be good for me. I have now written over 18,000 words of my book. When I pass the 20,000 mark I will have a celebratory glass of something extremely alcoholic and then pass out from shock.
Magical Thing 2:
I have started a temp job in a publishing company in Chichester! It’s only for a few weeks but I am blissfully happy because I am surrounded by the things I love most – books, words and images. It’s my kind of place.
Magical Thing 3:
Last weekend I tried Cornish Gig Rowing. Imagine 6 people in a long wooden boat, each with an oar, and the cox at the front barking orders. We skimmed across Langstone Harbour. The sun was shining. The oars were dipping hypnotically in and out of the water. It was hard but exhilarating work and I had that tingly, it’s-good-to-be-alive feeling. ‘This is the life!’ I thought.
(NB: My mood dipped slightly when I got home and discovered a massive blister on my bum. I had imagined several boating hazards – capsizing, hypothermia, man-eating sharks etc. A blister on my bum was not one of them. Still, it’s a small price to pay for adventure.)
Magical Thing 4:
I have joined the SCBWI (Society for Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators). A local SCBWI group meets once every 6 weeks. I went to my first meeting last week but due to a mix up with the address, I ended up knocking on a bewildered woman’s door. She was a bit miffed when I told her a writers’ group was meeting there at 7pm. Back in the safety of my car, I tried phoning the meeting organiser and my mobile (which is so ancient, it may well be a genuine antique) decided to die three seconds into my conversation.
So I sat in my car for several minutes, mulling my options.
Then I drove home.
(OK, so that bit wasn’t so magical. But joining the SCBWI is – because it means I am taking myself seriously as a writer. Obviously, you don’t need to join an organisation to do this, but for me, it’s very important. I am sending my muse a signal: I mean business.)
Magical Thing 5:
I have just come back from a magical walk by the harbour. The tide was out. The water glistened in the muddy creeks and channels. I saw a Little Egret poking about for food. I passed boats high up on the shingle. And I walked across swathes of fibrous, green seaweed and imagined, for a moment, that I was tiptoeing across the back of a giant, furry monster. Which was fun. (He was a kind monster.)
On the way home, I walked through the village and passed a window display which I have been admiring for weeks. Arranged behind the glass were piles of old books and maps, an ancient telescope, battered suitcases, and paper butterflies fluttering in a domed, glass case.
It was beautiful.
And it was spookily like one of the scenes in my book!
So I took a deep breath and went in.
A smiling woman approached me. I complimented her effusively on her display (doing my utmost to convince her I was not a loony), and then told her I was writing a children’s book and would she by any chance mind if I took a few photos of her display as it had inspired me with an idea for my story?
She was lovely and said, ‘Yes, of course, how exciting!’ So I zoomed home, grabbed my camera and walked back to take some photos…
(It’s funny how life works, isn’t it? Today was my last chance to take the photos. She told me she’s taking the display down this afternoon.)