Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Wednesday lunchtime...

The laptop worked again, come last night. I hope it doesn't do this to me frequently, though, as it is pretty wearing on the nerves. However, I got my transcription done, and went on from there. I did make myself eat first, too, always a wise move for me, as I tend to get very absorbed in my work. Last night was no exception to this; it was at well after midnight when I realised that it was no longer early evening and I would have to go to bed at some point.

I have left my protagonist about to be stabbed in the throat, which spurs the imagination onwards... Obviously as this is in a flashback the reader (well, putative reader, for now) will already know that he survives unharmed, but it is still exciting to work on how to write it. This is the moment two of the principal characters first meet, so it needs to be right. The meetings in "Gabriel Yeats" all wrote very smoothly (the love scene was probably the toughest thing to write, followed by the last few paragraphs of the penultimate chapter). So I am hopeful that this one too will come off just so.

I can see it all in my mind's eye already. Tonight when I get in I'll make some tea and then go all through it as if I were improvising it for camera. I've found this very effective as a technique for making sure dialogue actually sounds, and actions actually feel, like the characters in question and not like me fumbling at playing them. That sounds contradictory, but it seems to work, for me. I enacted the whole of the scene on board HMS Merganser when Simon is preparing Felix' body for burial, and cried until I was almost sick; and that was how I knew that particular scene had gelled.

Slept appallingly. I don't know if this was the fault of my supper; I had made risotto, and then found when I was serving myself that my parmigiano had sprouted a nice blue-green colony of penicilium or some such. Cobblers, cobblers, cries Dent. I was forced to put grated Leicester cheese on it, which was not unpleasant, in a rather unctuous and melty way; but way too mild, not the dark, tangy kiss of proper parmesan.

Last night was the Eve of Saint Agnes, when supposedly one can, if one is a single woman, put herbs (Italian mixed, in my case) in one's shoes and ask for a dream of one's future husband/partner/One True Love (and then get one, obviously). I dreamed of someone I happen to know is happily married, and famously uxorious to boot; and then of buying lettuces in a rather nice street market. So, unless the lettuces were symbolic, I can't help feeling St. Agnes let me down rather. Maybe it was the Italian mixed herbs.

At least I can get on with my writing again tonight.

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