When I finished ‘Mr R’, the only person I allowed to read the m/s was Mr S. But of course Mr S reads and edits everything I write (he complains about the spelling on my shopping lists). Nobody sees anything until Mr S has given me his notes – the thing about being married to another writer is that we constantly talk about our work. Sticky plot point? I trot down stairs and talk it through with Mr S. Need to know the group noun for crows? Yup, Mr S will know. He is aware of my work at the earliest stage – before I’d even gotten around to writing one part of Fred, he had already voiced doubts. And, he was right. I needed to think more, work harder, push myself. His criticism is always shrewd, insightful and makes my writing better. This does not mean I always take it well, I can huff, sulk and shout (even threaten not to cook dinner…doesn’t really work, he’ll cook his own but makes me feel better).
We’re both busy writing at the moment, and I think we exist in a strange bubble, totally absorbed in our stories. In between rain showers we go for walks, chewing over the next scene, and realise that we’ve been quiet for ten minutes. Thing is, it’s not quiet in our heads.
I think we are being rather inattentive hosts. Friends from California came round for dinner last night (thanks for all the helpful hints guys – we had beef and ale stew, very simple) and we had a lovely time. We drank pimms in the summerhouse (writing mess cleared into a corner) and chatted till late in front of the fire. We even watched a shooting star. This morning as I cleared away the glasses, I realised that my knickers (clean, I hasten to add) were all over the dining room chairs. My guests had said nothing, but they must have been sitting on my knickers all through supper. At some point yesterday I must have started to hang up the washing, gone upstairs to make a note and forgotten all about it.
So, anyone else coming to visit Mr S and myself, advance apologies. You’ll get beef and knicker stew.