Typical! It’s been a never-ending saga to put the finishing touches to Novel No. 1, for reasons too numerous and humiliating to mention, including but not limited to: lost keys, lost cheque books, parents’ evenings, family meltdown, holidays, work, homework, worrying about work, worrying about taxes…
I’ve been working (or should that be NOT working) on it for so long that I am now bored with it. And don’t all writers at conferences tell you that the first novel is best hidden in your bottom drawer, that it’s an exercise rather than a real publishing possibility?
So, for the past few days I’ve been toying with the idea for another novel. Still murder and mayhem, of course, still noirish in feel, just a completely different story, setting, characters. I’m at the mulling stage, but this much I know: it will be set among the expat community in a place like Geneva and will involve adultery, danger and of course a death or two. Perhaps a mild case of satire, too. I have to put to good use all those wonderfully surreal conversations I sometimes overhear outside schools or in cafés, don’t I?
After all, if I get this one really presentable, I can always go back to the previous one and slash my way through that jungle. What do you think of abandoning one project to move onto something new? My Puritanical workaholic ethic is telling me that is wrong, but at what point do I decide I am flogging a dead horse?
Thank you all for bearing with me while I have been away. I loved reading all of your comments last night, when I returned from holiday, apologies for not replying to each one of you personally. I was touched that my blog has not been completely forgotten or abandoned while I have been missing in action. Slowly, gradually, I will catch up with all of you and what you have written in the meantime.
In other news though… There is a Romanian saying: ‘What you calculate at home does not match what you calculate at the marketplace’. In other words, no matter how much you attempt to plan things just so, life and external circumstances have a habit of upsetting your apple-cart. And my particular apple-cart was to have a revised version of my novel finished by the end of this month.
Did I have the distraction of Internet and social media? No. Did I spend lots of time at the beach or clubbing or meeting friends, in other words on social distraction? No. Did I have the children constantly under my feet demanding my attention? No. Did I have to worry about cooking and housekeeping? No.
With all of the above excuses consigned to the rubbish bin, did I work hard on editing my novel? Errr… no!
Tick tock, a life is passing…
A dozen wasted days of summer,
a dozen prisons of the mind.
Not much, you say, middle-class suffering
But over the years – 300 days when I could have birthed meaning,