…it’s not been quiet in my head. I’m immersed in book 2, which I think for the sake of the blog we should just call Fred. Everyone around me seems to be having babies, but I’m having Fred. I’ve been rather anxious about Fred – starting a new novel so quickly after finishing Mr R, is quite strange. Mr R is a finished project, which after endless writing, re-writing and edits, now smells very like an actual book. It’s even up on amazon, whsmiths and waterstones on-line stores, so it must be real. But, Fred is at the beginning. She is still at the vulnerable stage, needs lots of care and attention, can’t be left alone for too long or I lose my rhythm (ha – you thought I was going to carry on over-egging the baby metaphor and I mixed them instead ).
I have a pile of books on my desk that I have been reading for research, a ragbag collection of old books belonging to my Dad, non fiction accounts of Dorset in the war, published diaries, some novels on similar time periods or themes and a couple of poetry books.
The poetry is essential as it reminds me that every word matters. Poetry is what happens when language is put under pressure; it’s like making a stock and boiling off all the water until what you are left with are the rich flavours at the bottom. Seamus Heaney is probably my favourite poet. I am writing a PhD on eighteenth-century poetry and I love Shelley, Wordsworth, Barbauld, Coleridge, and am certainly partial to a little gothic drama by Browning or even Walter De Le Mare, but I marvel at Heaney’s physicality with language. His words have mass and muscle. It’s not enough for him to describe the surface of a landscape, he wants us to feel the mud on our skin.
Right. Fred is calling me.