The Golden Egg book map is finished (in some form or other…).
The sun is shining.
Spring is rushing by, and the brambles, nettles, and creeping buttercup won’t hold themselves back, just because I want to write.
Three days of work in the garden. Three days of hard, physical labour, away from the computer, books, words.
Except, of course, it doesn’t work like that.
To begin with, I’m writing this blog in my head. Such a long time since I posted last - that book map! So I’m putting down a few thoughts, just to let any friends and family, who bother to check this out now and then, know that I’m still here, writing!
But it’s not only that…
Stories have a habit of behaving like a small child, and claiming your attention, no matter what you’re trying to do. You may have decided that you are going to abandon them – for a few hours, days, weeks, even. But they see things differently.
So here I am, on my hands and knees, for all the squirrels, birds and Buddhas to see; trowel in hand, weeding amongst the bluebells. And all the time, my head is with a little girl in Avebury. Sometimes, she’s right up in the front of my mind, whilst I work out what she’s saying, to whom, when. At others, she’s just there, idling at the back, carrying on her own life, doing what she likes to do. It would be easy for me to say that these thoughts have been triggered by the tiny bird, ferreting around in front of me. The girl (my YA novel’s heroine) is called Wren, after that bird.
But now there’s a young woman with a mother who says she’s God - the subject of a short story I’m working on.
And the man with the axe, from a story I’m editing, keeps on reminding me not to forget him – there’s still work to be done.
Perhaps it’s just me.
Perhaps I need to practise my mindfulness, and learn to feel the earth beneath my hands (and knees).
Or perhaps it’s the way a story owns you, even though you thought it was the other way around.
Whatever it is, it’s not such a bad thing – to find yourself lost amid the wonder of these imagined lives and worlds, when what you seem to be doing is straining your back, whilst pulling up goose-grass in a Pembrokeshire back-garden.