It’s a misty, dank day, this 20th March. We’ve enjoyed high pressure for over a week, and for many days that has meant cold air and bright sun, but now it is warming a little, as under a grey blanket. Time to start turning the soil ready for planting.
And time to stop writing. What does that mean this year, this day? A pause, at least, to take breath and re-gather the energies after a few weeks of being carried on a big wave towards the end. I’m stopping with the end still to do, but at least the structure is in place now, and the latest idea makes me smile suddenly in inappropriate places, whilst talking to another or walking to the corner shop.
I say, this is my last novel. Others say, we’ll see. I compromise: I shall not go looking for another story, but if one comes to me… But if they could see this screen as I type, they might realise what I’m trying to say: I’m not up to it any more. It seems that even at the basic level, of touch typing, brain and hand are no longer in synch. I sometimes watch words appear on the screen and wonder how they got there. Is it just a spelling (first written as pseeling) mistake that hand becomes hound? Some fat-fingered mis-typing? I think not. Somewhere in the process, I am typing (tuyping) what I hear, and it seems I’m not hearing so well on a subtle level.
I have loved this winter past, although I would have liked it a bit colder, would have liked to have seen snow falling. In the Drawing Landscape class, I am learning to draw trees, learning that what stops me being able to draw trees is impatience – all those twigs! – and now I see buds appearing, breaking, even, on the blackthorns, and I think, ‘Oh no! So soon?’
I shall miss the trees in silhouette, the ability to see into the undergrowth, the gratitude of the swans as I feed them, the snuggle of winter clothes, the bliss of my very woolly socks, the great white cloud of the new duvet, the teddy-bear embrace of the armchair slanket. No doubt spring and summer shall have their compensations.
And so here we are, at the equipoise between winter and summer, balancing on a fulcrum, on a day when it will be light for as many hours as it is dark. Too grey a day to run out on to the meadow at sunrise to see my equinoctial shadow stretching away to the west. Alas. But a good day for a bit of a clear up and chuck out, perhaps starting with the ideas of what I can and cannot do.
The best socks are those that can stand up for themselves
This Post Has 2 Comments
antonia monson20 Mar 2016
It was lovely to read your blog Linda. I love your books and feel grief that you say you might not write another….but having read your Renaissance trilogy, its depth and richness, and I am not in the least surprised…. feeling how much goes into your work, what scope and graft and lifeblood. I have just reread “Tabernacle of the Sun” for the third time…all three books have brought me deeper fulfilment with each reading. I share your feelings about wanting a colder winter…people out here in the Cotswolds are complaining of the more recent cold weather, but I have loved every moment of it,with the wrapping up and furry slippers like your socks! Something about the cold, still, Imbolc time in the countryside ,pre Equinox, before the tourists fill up this part of Oxfordshire,is magical and fragile like snowdrops. Loving old beams,fires and cold weather I feel an oddity amid the high- ceilings and warm- weather crowd even if it’s damp and grey warmth. Ugh!
Linda Proud20 Mar 2016
Many thanks for your encouraging words, Antonia. I can imagine this being a particularly precious time before the Easter rush into the Cotswolds. Roll on November!
There is one more book to come, at least, and that’s the one I’m working on at the moment. Another long-haul job, this one set in AD43 at the time of the Roman invasion. It’s been something of a treat to have the settings all within a day’s drive! Cotswolds get their mention, of course. All those shrines… Those who know me say I’m always crying ‘Never again!’ at the time of birth. We shall see.