I went on a writing retreat and wrote 12,000 words.
But you already know that.
Instead of reflecting this Friday, I am going to state my goals for the coming week. These are:
1. Plug the gap in Chapter 8 and send it to the cheerleaders
2. Start Chapter 9
3. Refrain from indulging in negative thinking
4. Keep exercising
Simple isn’t it?
So while I don’t have anything more to say about the writing process, I do have something to say about reading. Writing fulltime (or as fulltime as a mother-of-three with freelance writing gigs and a gym habit can be) has turned me into a Very Intolerant Reader. A book that I would usually persevere with gets tossed aside if it doesn’t hit buttons in the first few paragraphs.
The books that have hit buttons this week:
1. The Voluptuous Delights of Peanut Butter and Jam by Lauren Liebenberg
A poetically-told tale of two sisters growing up on a Rhodesian farm at the height of the bush war. Funny observations of adults by children. Ends with a dark twist. Beautiful.
2. The Chameleon’s Shadow by Minette Walters
A return to form from this writer of superb psychological thrillers. A soldier disfigured by a bomb in Iraq returns to London and is under suspicion for a number of violent rage-filled crimes.
3. The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy by Fiona Neill
Reading popcorn that provoked the question, am I a slummy mummy? Are any of my friends? And if so, do we care?
Books that have failed to push buttons:
1. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
This has been given to me twice by people whose reading tastes coincide with mine, and both times I couldn’t get beyond the first paragraph. For another day, no doubt.
2. Personality by Andrew O’Hagan
The story of a little Scottish girl with a big voice who goes on the talent circuit and finds fame. The premise doesn’t really interest me, but I picked it up at book-club and am persevering with it out of literary interest. O’Hagan uses a variety of perspectives to tell his story: first person, third person, letters, screenplay-style dialogue. It has not caught me emotionally and if the person I borrowed it from wanted it back tomorrow, I wouldn’t feel deprived, but I am studying his shifting perspectives to see if the novel works as a whole.
3. Teacher Man by Frank McCourt
I lasted about 40 pages. This is another exercise in ego from McCourt – his third book All About Himself, with frequent faux-modest references to his own fame. If you’d like to read the “Irish yokel done good in NYC thanks to naked talent” story all over again, then read this book. If you want insights into the teaching process and sensitive remarks on the making of teenage minds, then don’t.
Good luck with your writing week, dear writer friends. I will be trolling past, via the lovely Literate Kitten, to see how you have been doing.