Inspiration

October 15, 2010 at 9:21 pm (Uncategorized)

It’s been a mad busy week, packing in a Medway Mermaids meeting, a trip to the dentist with my son (filling), our regular Wednesday swimming lesson, a schoolfriend round for Wii ‘n’ Tea, but most excitingly of all the launch of another Myriad book, Quilt by Nicholas Royle.

It’s been quite a few years since I studied literary theory, critical theory, feminist critical theory, postmodernism, structuralism, post-structuralism, Derrida, Saussure and all the rest of them. To meet them once again at the launch was at once both surreal and strangely familiar, bizarre that I once understood all of this sort of thing, and how strange to think about what must have happened in my brain in the intervening twenty or so years to make me misunderstand it all now.

I’m about halfway through Quilt and, as I have been with all the other Myriad books I’ve read, I am in awe of it. I wonder once again how on earth my book can stand beside these.

It’s not that I don’t love it. I love the story (bleak as it is), I love my characters – all of them – but it still just feels like a story I wrote for my own amusement, not something that other people will want to read and engage with and comment on. Whenever people tell me how much they liked it, I’m always surprised and a bit thrilled. I wonder if this will ever sink in.

This week I had quite high hopes of making great progress with my Book 2, Under a Hunter’s Moon; I need to get the first full draft of it finished by the end of this month, so that I can start Nano in November with my fresh plot. For the time being, though, it continues to be a struggle.

I don’t know why this is. I’ve always been in love with this book, and it’s been a part of my life since 2006 – four whole years. It’s a skilful book, a challenging book, tangled and full of rich characters who are dying to tell their stories; but I think the problem is that I left it unfinished for too long. Now I find myself approaching it tentatively, as one might an old lover, hoping that I can find the words to reconcile with it and get back to the heady days of excitement we had right at the start. But it’s sulky.

Tomorrow I’m going to show it who’s boss.

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