Saturday, 29 September 2012

The journey home

Reading: A Monk Swimming by Malachy McCourt (yes, Frank's brother)
Listening to: "Madness" by Muse
Weather: Brisk breeze, a chill in the air, time to get out the fluffy sheets!

Now that I've received my report back from Cornerstones Literary Consultancy going on two weeks ago, it was everything I can do to take their advice and not touch the manuscript for (on average) a month. Ashbourne Hauntings, in all its hobbled crippledness, wanted my hand, and was seeking my help. It needed guidance, a little TLC (well, okay, maybe alot), and maybe those braces that Forrest Gump had on his legs as a child. It wanted to run, Forrest, run!

But not yet.

The first few days were pure torture. I was brimming with insight, in the form of a 24-page report that took my breath away. It uncovered things in the story that I hadn't even realized were there - the good, the bad, and the ugly. It showed me the problems that disrupted what flow was there - it offered possible solutions to those problems. I wanted to roll up my sleeves and dig in! But I couldn't! They advised, no, do not do it. Don't scratch that itch.

It's best to let it settle and stew, and then bring out the right voice (my voice) later, when I'm ready to sit down and breathe some life into it.

And so I wanted to say: I have learned an immense amount of patience. I have learned to chew on it while I'm in the shower, when I'm washing the dishes, and, perhaps most importantly (for me, anyway), when I'm on my walk to work and back.

My workday begins and ends with a mile-and-a-half walk with the musical stylings of my Ipod Nano, and I truly believe that the sidewalk is paved with ideas. I am Michael Jackson, dancing to "Billie Jean," walking down the tiled road, each square lighting up on contact. The ground illuminates with the answers to questions I couldn't grasp for almost ten years of my life - ways to tie it all together, and bring it all home.

Billie Jean: not my lover

(I couldn't actually sit down and write it all out right now anyway; I don't have enough time. Fortunately, my wedding in less than 3 weeks' time distracts me if/when I need it. There's floral tape to buy, hairspray to test, seating charts to make, imaginings to imagine.)

I owe a lot to my editor at Cornerstones who showed me the way - and now I happily enjoy the story as it unrolls in my mind, and threatens to stop me in the street with its depth and clarity. And in about 4 weeks I will be ready to gently invite my muse back in, beckon her to sit in the corner, cross her legs as she elegantly does, and pretend not to notice me in the throes of the untangled, unravelled beauty that will be Ashbourne Hauntings.

At the end of this road, I will find someone who believes in a dream.

Meanwhile, I find I am having to keep my hands busier than usual. I find sometimes I'm like a smoker without a cigarette. So it's time for me to rake some leaves. And mow the grass. And do at least 18 loads of laundry.

Have a delightful Saturday, all.


  1. That is fantastic Vee. Patience as they say is a virtue and good things come to those that wait. In this instance they both seem to be proving right for you. Having the patience to wait before rewriting or amending ashbourne Hauntings has resulted in you having better clearer ideas for your story that wil result in not a 'good'book but a brilliant one. Waiting with bated breath to read the next version.xx

    1. Dawn, thank you so much for your words of support and it's true, patience is a hard-won virtue! I'm looking forward to showing you the next edition - NEW and IMPROVED! :) x x x x x

  2. You're doing all the right things Veronica - taking professional advice and acting on it. I approached Cornerstones at one point and was on the verge of signing up for a report when I was picked up as a client by agency LBA.

    Waiting for a month is agony, for sure, but the clarity you get once you look again at the MS is priceless. Stick with it and you'll enjoy the redraft even more!

    1. Dean - you're so right. I am loving the frantic scribbling of notes and can't wait to type it all in. I'm so glad to have my wedding (19th October, here we come!) to distract me.

      I'm SO looking forward to sending out my MS once I've revised it and shaped it into the cinematic psychological thriller it wants to be.

      Luigi should be glad to have you - you're one of the few successful authors out there that inspire and encourage. There's talent, and then there's pure hard work/'ve shown you can weigh up both sides of the scales equally. WELL DONE YOU for never giving up (and keeping me going too!)! x