Saturday, 19 January 2013

Snow globe shaken

Reading: Andrew Miller's Pure
Editing: Drowning Rachel (first draft edits)
Listening to: MS MR "Hurricane"

And we have snow!

Sunny South Yorkshire has been tipped upside down and shaken, and the snow filters down like glitter in candle light. I am once again in awe of the beauty of the natural world, and how it takes no help from us to make it so.

The hard corners of houses and fences and pavements have softened, and in the evening, footsteps crump rather than echo, and in daylight, kids and cats look upon a new, Arctic world.

With this as my background, I begin edits for my literary thriller Drowning Rachel. I wrote it with the door closed, and today I begin my first reading months after it was finished, having given myself time to let the dream of it settle down to the sea bed of my mind. And now I read with the door open, and the voices of the people I love the most (and those imagined Ideal Readers, which are probably idealized versions of me) whisper as I read. Is that character believable? Is the world whole? What the hell was that about? Questions and comments will swirl around with the balmy summer setting of this story, and tie it together, corraling errant scenes and structuring its own contained world. I'll live inside it, erect the scaffolding, and check the strength of the foundations. It will become a place to live - solid, warm, three-dimensional.

And I am also reading (for fun) Pure by Andrew Miller. It was the 2011 Costa Book of the Year. I can see why. I have annoyed my husband with my love of it.

Great job, Andrew Miller. You've made the world a better place.

"But you don't understand," I say to my beloved, talking with my hands, "its premise is just - extraordinary! It's delicious."

"How can a book be delicious?" He asks, quite rightly. "Have you been eating it?"

"Of course not. Unless, of course, you mean to read is to consume. I don't know," I say. "It just is. That's the only way to describe it. Delicious."

I'm only halfway through Pure but I already highly recommend it.

I've distracted myself long enough - time for coffee and literature. And a thorough edit of my fledgling book under my beady eye. Pages laid bare, white as snow - in the magical snow globe of Yorkshire.

With that, I bid you a fond farewell, and wish you the happiest of Saturdays.

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