A comment from a name
‘Writing a blog can be like porn; too much of it and it begins to numb your life. I’d miss reading but it would be fantastic to see you back here in five years’ time blogging about something great you’ve achieved back in the real world.’
(sorry it must be weird getting advice from some stranger but you’ve got to expect that when you show so much on here)
I agree entirely.
The blog gets written in fits and starts. This current burst is like an explosion of my bowels. It is being productive in a way that isn’t revealed here. I do this for a while then apply this obsessive attention to detail to a piece of work.
Ploughing through the past, especially being able to visualise it with old photographs, drawings, diaries and ephemera constantly touches on a variety of themes on which I am continually working. I have collected these things over several decades for this purpose.
I am clearing the desk, making space in my mind.
This ‘blog’ is called ‘my mind bursts’ for a reason. I drop this as other projects take over – this same energy goes into a video production, a drama script, a pilot or a screenplay.
I like that component of the confessional that comes with writing like this. I gain something by having to check my progress.
There is progress
Yesterday I did a five-hour stint in the office – my garret. Yesterday I went to the gym for the first time in 20 years – today I’ll swim a mile. I’m dealing with post, answering e-mails, seeing friends, doing things with the kids, getting recipes from a cook book, taking a book to bed rather than vegging out in front of the T.V. until I collapse.
I’m conscious of the damage I have done to my body
My liver doesn’t want me to drink. A glass of wine has become poison. My immune system is shot to bits – I will fight this by getting fit.
Last March a novel went out to an agent – they get another before then.
The Swimathon beckons, sailing starts again in a few months (I’ve paid my membership) and there’s a triathlon in September. The skiing season is not over. If we go out in April, I’ll be fit to ski.
There’s a job I want in London
I have an idea … a way to wrap up something I’ve been working on for over a decade.
Writing a blog can be like porn
So is sport, so are lovers, so are children and hobbies. So is anything you become excited about. For me keeping a diary is sometimes an obsession (which rarely last more than a month) more often it is a chore, a slog.
I simply record what happened that day – put it down so I have something to chew over a decade or more later. There’s nothing I enjoy more than a good chew, picking over the details of an experience from a distance.
Did I really say and do that?
Enough. I have my day to plan. I’ve been here since 2.15 a.m – that was three hours ago. I missed the office in L.A. again!!!! The 16-hour time difference is hopeless. The ONLY time I sleep – early/mid evening into the small hours G.M.T. is 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. on the West Coast.
This is a piece of writing software I’d recommend. It holds everything I have gleaned about preparing storylines and treatments for TV, a novel or film. My current obsession with my teen years is to feed this beast, to try once again to get a story right.
A thousand words a day
Three years ago (or four) some of us in Diaryland did a writing marathon – a thousand words ON THE HOUR, live, every hour for 24 hours!!!! That is what I call obsessive. By pushing a genre to its extremes you discover its limitations. I am just about to run out of space in Diaryland to upload photographs and pictures. I can trim them all back, compress them and edit them, but ultimately I will fill this space and need to spread elsewhere. I won’t do that. I like the potential containment of this expression of the contents of my brain. Space in Diaryland isn’t limitless. How much space is required for the contents of my brain?
ENTER @ RANDOM
It’ll land on something that pleases or irritates.
I find it the most interesting way to get through the contents of this diary. As a result of having so much here across so many decades it can offer some unique combinations. It is the product of an idea and an expression of an idea in itself – how might someone with brain damage experience their life? At random? Dreams flow into each other better than skipping about the contents of a person’s brain at random. How would you escape this trap? In Groundhog Day Bill Murray returned to the same day until his character changed for the better and he was able to move on. What if I were to invent a character who gets stuck in a similar way, but in every day of his entire life? He can NEVER go forward, he CANNOT return to the real world until he’s dealt with the issues in his past. Does he become a modern day Ripvanwinkle? How does a person in a coma become an active participant in their cure? Where does reality have to become fiction?
See what I am doing. Filling the space. Answering the question. Sitting the exam. Setting myself a challenge, but also a limit. A thousand words a day? I’ve just about to d it.
What am I going to write today?
Fiction. It is called ‘The Girl in the Garden.’
I wrote this a decade ago as a short story and have returned to the theme a few times since. I feel I have a way forward now, thanks to the way I’ve been scanning bits of my past into a PC these last few days. My late father kept letters my brother and I wrote to him from boarding school. We must have been 10, 11 maybe 12 years old. He’d just left us. I have the letters we wrote to my Mum too. Same hand writing, different addresses, different content.
‘Letter Writing’ was a formal Sunday morning ‘class’ after church. I went to boarding school two weeks short of my 8th birthday. I was at Mowden Hall School, Stocksfield, Northumberland, England for five years.
This is where ‘The Girl in the Garden’ is set.
The tone should be more Iain McEwan than J.K. Rowling, more ‘The Cement Garden’ than ‘Harry Potter and his chums at Hogwarts.’
The story is revealed through a series of letters and the commentary added by the author/perpetrator/participant some decades later.
On y va