Thursday, January 29, 2009

Some like it hot ... but not this little black duck

Seeing as my manuscript, and my blog, purport to be somewhat connected with nineteenth century Paris, I'd planned to blog along those lines this week; then  ... BA-BAHM. Nope. I'm sitting on my butt in the middle of an antipodean heatwave, and try as I might, I just cannot transport myself from my sweltering,  43C (110F) bastard of a day, to nineteenth century, autumnal Paris. We have at least another, whole, goddam week of this shite, saddled with an aircon that only works until around midday, then goes on strike. Little Aussie bleeder that it is. 

Insanely hot weather is really weird. I jumped in the shower three times today (all ablutions done under three minutes, as per our drought-breaker shower timer). I turned on the cold tap only, and it ran hot for half my shower. My shampoo and conditioner were reduced to a molten slick. And when I jumped out, I kid you not, I air-dried in under three minutes. No towel required.

Then there's the bugs. The usually reclusive spiders that descend from pergola beams by their webs en masse, to catch any puff of air -  I have to navigate through this icky mine-field to get to the garden hose, and when I water the plants, the bees and wasps swarm about the hot stream of water from the hose, trying to get any drip of moisture they can. 

At least we haven't had a snake under the front door, like we did last year.

And thank goodness the kids think its a hoot. Money in their pockets to buy iceblocks from the school canteen; dinner at the local cafe, since the temp in our kitchen was 35C today. Going to bed soaking wet from the bath ...

Writing? Ha. I'm amazed the lap top hasn't melted. But while words on the page have been beyond me the last couple of days (and probably will remain so until the heatwave is over) I did manage a little bit of plotting. A silver lining to the cloud.

 Now, if only it was a rain cloud ...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pre-loved scenes

A question for those of the writerly persuasion ...

A couple of days ago I came to a spot in my MS where I'd already written the next scene I needed. I wrote the scene a long while ago (maybe a year), and much about my characters and plot has changed since then. But being lazy, I thought I'd re-hash the existing scene instead of starting afresh,  and see how it went.
Not well, is how.  There were bits of the old scene I liked, but I found it a chore to tweak and change it to reflect all the changes that have happened. And once it was done, it was forced, flat, not right.

So I left it, mulled over it - and decided to scrap it. Yesterday, I started with a blank page, came back at the scene at a 180 degree angle, and it was much better. Much, much, better.

I can't help but be a bit dismayed by the time and words I lost in this process (and my writing time at present is very limited indeed!). But I guess it's like baking - if you add plain flour when you really need self-raising, if you only put in two eggs when you need three, no amount of tweaking the recipe is going to save that cake. Better to lick the beaters and start afresh; but maybe that's just me? What do you do? Recycle the scene, or start from scratch? 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Writing like a speed dater

Ten minutes on the keyboard here, another ten minutes there ... my writing experience at present is much like speed dating. I sit down, smile, spew out as many words as possible, then  - ding!  - it's time to move on, to the other things that are taking up 99.9% of my time - driving kids to their friends', to doctors appointments, to the pool, to the beach, to the movies, to get their hair cut, to get the new school shoes; doing the never-ending, god-awful loads of washing; doing the never-ending, god-awful grocery shopping; dishing up three meals plus snacks every day, then cleaning up after the little barbarians that pass for my kids. 


I CANNOT wait to have some serious time with my book. An evening of getting reacquainted - slowly, no rushing -  is much needed!