Another week and two messages from Australia. One from yet another relative who’s found my books via Pinterest. Message to self, keep Pinterest up to date. I love that every relative adds a new element of the story. This one is a descendant of Jane, the Digger’s Daughter. I hope she enjoys reading the book.
The second message was from an academic at the University of Melbourne. I worked on a research project for her ten years ago when I was writing Search for the Light. She is now publishing a book The Vandemonians based on that research and wants to send me a copy and also says she is acknowledging my contribution. How cool is that?
It’s an anniversary this week. Eleven years since my breast cancer op. At the time, I wasn’t sure what the prognosis was because of the nature of the cancer, a kind that spreads. Each year is a bonus. I need to be reminded of that as I worry about Covid. I am conscious of the cancer only when I think about my books. Will I finish this one, will I get to see it out there, being read by others? The rest of the time, I park it. There’s no point in being pessimistic.
Well, I hope the Bluebird Brooch will be out there by this winter. The beginning works, the final third works so I am concentrating on the middle, taking out chunks, adding whole new chapters with characters from the backstory. I am back to living their lives, trying to understand them. One of them is really tricky. She can’t make up her mind whether she loves her children or resents them. She is torn, conflicted and I’m not sure how she resolves it or even if she can.
Plot walking is the best way to resolve issues with writing. Today, I walked along our newly harvested field, horrified that all the edges had been shorn of the wild flowers that bloomed there only a day ago. All the insects have disappeared. I know it needed to be cut at some point, but this early? A few hundred metres further, the lane was alive with the sound of buzzing and the flowering buddleias are a feast for butterflies. Across that field, I saw sailboats, the first I have noticed on the Broads so I took a detour.
A dear friend of mine has just gained a first in English at the age of 74 and now wants to turn her hand to writing. She’s lived in wonderfully evocative places around the world and has so many experiences but knows writing a dissertation is different from writing fiction. I’m looking forward to her new venture. She can do it. Her father wrote an amazing book after he retired.
I am beginning to plan a new garden. At the moment potatoes grow there and are almost ready to be harvested. I want to turn it into a haven for insect loving plants and but also a place to hang out and relax. It already has poppies, euphorbia and wild coriander which I hope to keep. I have some plants waiting to go in but my next step is to go through a plant catalogue. Here is a before picture. I ordered £100 of bulbs last week sot there’ll be plenty to keep me busy over the next few weeks.
At the bottom are two large damson trees which I thought weren’t fruiting but now I can see glimmers of purple amidst the leaves, so there may yet be damson wine.