Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A little stroll for some inspiration & a delight at the end of the day

After breakfast this morning, which was, for me, terribly early, (8.30... please don't laugh) I went for a wander at the bottom of the garden, asking my main character what she might do next. I've written two and a bit short stories about her, but if this is going to be something more - a linked collection? - I enjoy following her around but don't really know what the "bigger picture" is.

Yes, this is at the bottom of this garden. Nice, eh? I strolled, and wandered..

Over the bridge and around.
And then I sat here on this flat rock by the river, trying hard not to think about it directly, not to stare at my character until she gave it up.... And a glimmer. Something beginning. So I walked a little more, slipped in some mud, and by the time I surfaced in the neighbour's garden and scurried quickly back into ours, I had the idea for the scene, something utterly surprising to me, so I went back and wrote it.

Still don't know what came before or what might come now, but I guess I just need to trust that she'll show me. It's hard not to be nervous that there won't be a bigger picture, but I do seem to have an end story. And tonight, the five of us - four writers and Sue, who runs Anam Cara - sat around the fire (yup, June in Ireland) and some of us read out some work. I read out the 2nd story about this character, which I wasn't sure stood alone, but since only Sue knew the first story (I finished it when I was here 2 years ago), I was interested in their reaction. It seemed good, they said it definitely stood on its own. Not succeeded in publishing it anywhere yet, but I will keep trying!

And then, as I headed to my room, I thought my "surprise and delight me" request of the day had not been answered, but at two minutes to midnight I received THE most surprising and delightful email! Suffice it to say, it's writing-related, and it involves a competition, but can't say what yet. Grinning from ear to ear! Not sure I'll get much sleep between now and 8.30am tomorrow (today). But for good reason!

5 comments:

Kathie said...

I always love hearing and reading about the thought process a writer goes through when developing a story. One reason is it gives me encouragement. I'm not alone. Another is it's just so fascinating! Each one of us gets our inspiration from different things but the one thing that holds true seems to be how we wait and listen for our characters to speak and act. It's a gift that I adore sharing with others. Beautiful garden, by the way, Tania!

Exciting news, you say? Yay for you! I remember something similar to this a few months ago from you. Don't know how you keep it quiet as well as you do, but a trophy and kudos for you just keeping your mouth shut for so long! Hope to hear what the news is soon. :)

sonia said...

Congratulations. I like how you quietly followed your character around. Nice to know don't need to beat myself up if I am thinking rather than writing-it's all part of same process. thanks.

kate said...

interesting way to work. Thanks for posting that. Are you still 'tapping' by the way? It broke a block for me!

Tania Hershman said...

Kathie, I love reading about other writers' processes too! I am about to go back down to the river to get today's inspiration. And yes, very hard to keep good news quiet, last year I had to keep something to myself for 3 months! This won't be that bad, that was a killer.

Sonia, don't beat yourself up, for me thinking is a huge part of writing, and also not-thinking, looking at it from the side.

Kate, YES, am tapping daily for everything, I am delighted it broke your block, how wonderful! it's amazing, it astonishes me every time it works - period pain, irritability, hand pain from typing. For those of you as yet uninitiated, EFT is a wonderful type of needle-free self-acupuncture which seems to re-boot the brain and balance the body. Works for us!

BarbaraS said...

Woah! More congrats due to you - hip hip hooray!