|The author choosing between champagne and water and dreaming of the new and the old in his imaginary landscape.|
Two years into RetirementIt’s coming up to two years since I retired from teaching and since April I’ve been increasingly getting into writing as my prime retirement hobby. I’ve written dialogue and many shorter prose exercises, some for competitions and some for my eyes only, and I’ve also kept this public blog going for two years as a way of disciplining myself to meet deadlines (I now try to publish blog entries five times a month!) Since August 1st 2016, though, one particular writing project has been dominant such that my “domestic Tuesdays” (see Wasted time….) are becoming writing Tuesdays, as are all other working days. Sally is becoming Domestic Goddess to give me the luxury of trying to commit an idea I’ve had to paper. The germs of the idea were planted a long long time ago. But it’ll be a long journey before any of it is seen outside the immediate family….
|Skipton Castle: inspiration for one of the locations in my magnum opus|
Cul de sacs, red herrings and acres of detritusI think it was Thomas Edison who first coined the notion that worthwhile inventions come from 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. I’m beginning to understand that at first hand now. The experience of writing is a turbulent glide over a meadow where you suddenly slip in mud, feel like you’ve twisted your brain’s sense-muscles but set off again, determined and eager before getting knocked over by cannonballs of embarrassment, picking yourself up and immediately becoming the Gold-Medal-Winning Olympic Champion of the Sport of Writing before falling down a pothole made of marshmallow and liquid treacle toffee. Wings on your heels and a stink bomb up your nose. And woe betide you stop and read what you’ve written with anything like objectivity. Painful. But then the main idea, the spark – the flash – the concept that got you started niggles at you, pleads with you, begs you and you return to the whole mystifying shebang with cockeyed optimism. Fun. Weird fun. Keeps me from causing mischief in the streets.
From The Bible’s Ecclesiastes Chapter Three
To every thing there is a season
and a time for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build up,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to lose,
a time to keep and a time to cast away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.