Tuesday, 6 November 2012

First frost, more writing, & a diet idea

Yes, you did read that right.  A diet idea.  Stop press: Fat girl has diet idea. Well f*ck me for a blue strawberry.

I read recently that people who have a seriously restricted calorie intake for two days in each week tend to lose a respectable amount of weight and decrease their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by around a third.  The rest of the time, they can eat and drink as normal, and that is why this strikes me as the perfect diet for me to try.  I eat fairly healthily, apart from my sweet tooth and penchant for alcohol (oh, and I do like my cheese).  I just eat too much (& have said penchants). 

So I am giving this plan a try.  Announcing it like this is intended to make it stick - now my sense of public shame will fuel the desire to eat bugger-all but salad two days a week.  Watch this space.  See if I last a month...

Meanwhile; I had a good weekend at my mum's - shopping, lunching out and gardening.  I'm now behind on my cleaning, clothes-washing and grocery-shopping, and it took me until this morning to get the dirt out from under my fingernails (good garden dirt, this is!), but I can handle that. 

I've now blown up another bit of the Droit Institute and injured one of the Evil Bad Guy's cohorts.  My heroine is reeling about in shock and the hero is still busy digging himself and his companion out of the rubble.  The dénouement has been slow coming, but it is coming, and I'm beginning to get excited about revisions.  This is an odd state of affairs, I have to say.  Normally I hate revision with a passion.  But this has come out like turning on a tap, and as it has flowed I've found it developed and changed shape, and I've seen things more clearly; so that now, approaching the end, I've got a list of points I need to wiggle in earlier.  Have a scene where x happens; have a scene where A discusses B with C so that we know more about C; make sure D mentions y and z in his talk to the students...   But I won't let myself write any of this until I've finished the main narrative.  It just doesn't feel right; also I don't want to stymie the flow when I don't yet have a completed story.

I've been lucky with this one.  It had an odd genesis.  I'd had a vague idea in my mind for ages, but with no plot to speak of.  I'd had two names - Anna Maple, Thorn Reynolds - and no idea who they were or what they would do, except that they would feature in this vague-idea-no-plot story.  The I went to the cinema, and came out with them sitting in my mind saying "Hey, here we are, this is what happens to us! Write it now, please!" and I sat on the bus scribbling on a bit of scrap paper and grinning like an idiot.  All jokes about lust and chestnut purée aside, I actually owe Jeremy Renner a debt, since it was seeing "The Avengers", and specifically discovering him, that set me off.  Thorn acquired a face.  Bizarrely, Anna immediately acquired a face too (& her face was a completely new one to me, which is odd).  And there they were; not two names, but two people.

The moment I can really see a character they start to come real; once they get a face I'm able to get going.  It's as if I get them inside me (ahem) - I can feel their muscles imprinted on mine, if you know what I mean.  That does sound kinky; sorry.  But that's how it is, that's how my creativity works for me.  I know where they grew up, what they eat, what their handwriting is like...  As soon as he had a face I knew Thorn was allergic to chocolate, that he was a good swimmer, that he was left-handed...  I knew how Anna would hide her amulet, and where she worked and lived, and what had happened to her brother...

It was the first frost last night, too.  Walking into work my feet were crunching on crisp white-edged leaves.  The sky was a clear, hard blue like an enamel glaze; all the autumn trees glowed golden and red around the Green.  It was beautiful - and decidedly cold.  But now it has clouded over and outside the window it just looks grey and muted, and dismally about-to-rain-ish.  Oh well, we can't have it all.  I've just been reminded by a friend who lives in southern California that she never gets any Fall to speak of at all, and that is a sad thought.  No scarlet autumn leaves to kick through, no bright frost, no cold blue skies; no sudden gales, no soft silent November rains...  So I will remind myself again to cherish what I have and appreciate all its beauties, even the muted grey ones.

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