Today, we are going to rest. We are both feeling a little delicate and not up for anything much. The sun is shining, so I might wander around the garden later. I will try not to notice how long the grass has grown, as there’s nothing I can do about that, even if I had the energy, as the ground is soaking wet.
I might curl up with a good book, my current work in progress!
There have been a lot of swings and roundabouts this week, so I can’t actually say I enjoyed most of it. Slow progress on several fronts but an absolute disaster on others. I managed to clear two massive disruptions on Thursday, one from Microsoft Word, who somehow managed to jumble all my book files for the WIP, and the other from our Bank.
I can honestly say that neither of these messes was due to an aged blogger having forgotten how things work. I am getting good at recognizing these!
All I wanted to do was add my latest chapter to the existing file, save it, and move on. That’s when I noticed that I suddenly had multiple copies of all my files scattered throughout the list. After the initial shock, I wondered what to do.
I have learned from experience that simply deleting the new arrivals would probably delete everything, so I stayed away from the delete button. After a thorough search, I discovered that some of the contents of these files had been corrupted too. Parts of one chapter had turned up in another chapter. This was when I almost lost my sanity. How was I supposed to put this right?
I have a master copy of this file on OneDrive, so I had a quick peek just to see if the trouble had found its way there. Joy upon joy, it hadn’t. Everything was as it should be, just not the latest chapter.
One way or another, I managed to sort everything out and breathed one huge sigh of relief. Then I wondered if it was time I moved to Scrivener?
This problem stemmed from the fact that our Bank, in its infinite wisdom, has recently changed how it presents our statements. So when I turned up to do our monthly audit, nothing looked familiar or made any sense to Moi.
Some people rely on their Bank to handle everything, but I’m the cautious sort and don’t trust anything on faith when it comes to our money, so I keep an account book. This book is then regularly checked every month against the bank statements. They usually match, but occasionally it doesn’t, and I have to nail it down. This time wasn’t so easy, as they have shortened the time you can browse, and they kept closing down. In the end, I had to print out the relevant statement and work on it offline.
These two jobs took most of Thursday, so now you know why I was among the missing!
I love macro photography, so today you have two images because I couldn’t choose between them.
Also having trouble deciding what to do this week. Last week was almost a total washout, but I did work on the current WIP, so not all doom and gloom. I finally managed to plant some seeds yesterday, and if the rain holds off, there are other urgent jobs to do.
If I could only remember where I left my thinking cap…
After receiving your letter last week, I had a lot to think about and to tell you. First, I am so pleased that Jack’s landscape business is doing so well that he has employed you to do the books. I will take up your suggestion of checking the census to see if I can find out more about Flo and Albert.
However, I must tell you, I decided to check the attic as you suggested and under a loose floorboard by the round window seat, I found love letters to Flo from someone called Margaret. From the contents, I could tell they were very much in love. I cannot tell if Albert knew about this.
The strange thing is, ever since finding them and reading them, Flo has been quiet. Not a peep from her all last week. Albert, on the other hand, is haunting my dreams. He stands beside my bed, telling me to look under the step. I can only assume he means the front step.
Can you imagine what Richard would do if I started digging it up? I can already see the men in white jackets arriving.
Night after night, Albert is most insistent, so I have decided to ask Richard if we can have a porch built. In light of having parcels left on the doorstep, he thinks this is a good idea. The builders will be starting in two weeks’ time.
It may be nothing, but I am worried as to why Flo is being so quiet.
I loved your idea of writing a book about this, and I am giving it thought.
Richard is still wondering why I use pen and paper rather than email. I tell him that emails are too impersonal when talking with a friend.
Looking forward to your next letter,
Your dearest friend,
to be continued…
another episode of Anita’s WIP… possibly a new book! what do you think of it so far?
I wish you were here; America seems so far away. I am writing today as I feel I am losing my mind. Of late, I am hearing two voices clearly, in my mind. Florence and Albert Wilson, they say. Florence insists on being called Flo.
They tell me they are my parents. They tell me my soul belongs to the five-year-old son they lost. They have mentioned so many things that I know, such as the birthmark I have behind my right ear that their son also had.
Certain habits make me wonder, am I hearing them, or is it my imagination? I cannot be sure. One afternoon, I imagined them sitting in a small parlour tuning into an old radio, looking for their lost son. They tell me that is precisely how it is. The frequencies they can tune into, and somehow, they managed to find me.
If I am to believe such a thing, does that mean there are no new souls? That we are all second-hand, recycled human beings?
It made me wonder, could that be why I was such a tomboy? Why my mother had a hard time getting me to wear dresses? How I have always liked to beat the boys at any game? Especially climbing trees and collecting conkers.
Should I have been born a boy?
I must say, I never felt like a boy. I like being a woman and mother of two boys. My husband, Richard, tells me I am overworked. He doesn’t understand, although I am busy with my new commission. The author sought me out herself, as she loved the drawings I did for my last commission.
I do not believe that is the problem. They almost know what I think before I think it. Last night I had a strange thought. Could a person be born with two souls? That one soul being so much younger than the other? Could that be why I chose to be an illustrator for children’s books?
Maybe I have that wrong. If indeed I have two souls, I cannot know how old the other may be. I cannot help believing that Florence and Albert are real. They have told me so much about themselves. Where they were born, where they lived, so many places, until Albert’s father died, and he inherited three grocery shops. That, Flo, tells me, is when they settled down.
One thing that unnerves me a little is Flo tells me they lived in my house for three years.
My dearest friend, please don’t think me crazy. Please write back soon, as I know you will put my mind at ease.
I thought I would get to the end of my current WIP, Ghost of a Chance, yesterday…
I expect many of you have reached this point, only to have the same thing happen to you.
In my head, one by one, each character had a but, and to be fair, they were legitimate buts.
Consequently, I spent the evening reviewing their ideas. I realised the story was nowhere near finished.
I eventually switched off my brain and went to bed after scribbling several pages of notes and detailed plans for at least three more chapters. As I fell asleep, I knew why this had happened. It had happened before with one of my earlier books. After staring at the story, day after day, I had become obsessed with coming to the end, as if this would magically be the answer. Of course, it never is. On that earlier occasion, the ending I came up with was rushed, and it showed. Badly…
Endings are so essential to get right. It’s a shame they came at a time when we wish we hadn’t started…
Is this bad habit just me, or have any of you had this problem?
There’s not much to follow up on this week, as it hasn’t been much of a week, to be honest.
Even with the increasing heat, we have tried to carry on as normal, but…
There’s always at least one but, isn’t there?
The biggest annoyance this week has been the way the internet is behaving lately. I blame the internet, for the want of something concrete to aim my wrath at, but in all fairness, I’m not sure what is happening, or who is doing it.
I seem to run into problems no matter what I try to do, these days. Quite reduces my joy in blogging, to be honest.
I have always enjoyed reading posts, making a point to share my thoughts, and liking and commenting where necessary. These days most of the like buttons I press don’t work and any comments I make are not accepted, so the poor recipient cannot appreciate my visit. Needless to say, this is most annoying.
Anyway, enough of the moaning.
Work is going well with the WIP, Ghost of a Chance. The end is in sight, just visible behind a mountain of loose ends.
We have a new cover for The Scarlet Ribbon and will be promoting it next week.
We shall be taking part in #Six on Saturday tomorrow, as everything is growing like crazy at the moment.
I thought I had better update my progress today before my muse and/or madness put an end to my struggles.
I think I mentioned last week that there was a serious problem with the plot of my work in progress, Ghost of a Chance. Despite all the patience in the world and several brainstorming sessions, I don’t think I am getting anywhere. Fast.
In fact, the more I study it, I keep finding other problems too. Of course, none of this is supposed to be happening before the end is written, but probably better now than later. At the close of play yesterday (I am joking by the way) there seems to be three muddles. The major one, where a crucial moment seems to have happened far too late in the story, and second, I seem to have written the same conversation in at least three chapters. Added to this list is a character I seem to have forgotten all about.
I almost concluded that the bin was the best place for it, but luckily, my stubborn streak wouldn’t let me do it.
On a more positive note, I have managed to isolate one particular chapter, and if it can be sorted out, will point the way to a satisfactory outcome.
So, this is my target for this afternoon… and unbelievably, I am looking forward to it!
November first and winter is snapping at our heels.
Fed up with the pervading chill, we gave in and turned on the heating yesterday and the warmth was very welcome.
The leaves are falling in earnest, but I refuse to sweep them up every blessed day as it seems soul-destroying to see them gathering again the minute I put the broom away!
The bonsai seem reluctant to shed their leaves, but as the temperature continues to fall, I know they will join in eventually.
Christmas lurks at the back of my mind, and I hope it stays there a while longer. Everything is changing so fast, I try not to make any predictions, hopeful or otherwise as actually having a Christmas of any kind is looking doubtful.
This year has been difficult, to put it mildly. Plans have had to be put on hold or abandoned completely while life continues to mess everything up. I continue to do what I can when I can. Any kind of movement is good, I think.
Finishing the WIP is foremost in my mind, as Ghost of a Chance (Book Four of the DI Snow series) is turning out to be the hardest story to write. Although I am enjoying it when life leaves me alone long enough!
This post should have been a newsletter, as we have been derelict in this department for a while, but until I finish (trying) to switch to MailerLite, there doesn’t seem to be any point…
Here’s hoping November will be a good month for all of us…