The weather is mild again. The little ones are back at school. The Pip-Pop cried after we’d dropped them off and were walking to town. ‘Popsy go to school too, Mumma. Popsy want school.’ I feel jet-lagged — waking a full three hours earlier than I was by the end of the holidays. Through the loft window the sky is a dazzling turquoise and the clouds — fat and white with heavy gray bases — are racing by.
If I think back, without looking, at what I read last year these are the ones I loved: Crossing to Safety, The Lowland, Leaving the Atocha Station, Light Years, A Suitable Boy and Daybook. And for this year I have a few projects in mind. I’d love to read/re-read all of Penelope Fitzgerald & Michael Ondaatje. I’d like to continue with my pencil in my hand, and I want to continue to start & end my days with a poem.
T (seven & a half) is leaving me far behind her. At breakfast she told me the entire story of Treasure Island and then apologised for not being able to use enough expression when she’s summarising a book. The holidays have also seen her get through Anne of Green Gables among others (did I already say that she carried on & finished Little Women without me). So another new year wish is to follow along with her a little better — even if it means picking up the books after she’s read them.
For my writing, here’s the lesson I need to go back to,
“…doing writing practice endlessly with no structure in mind puts you on the road to Never Never Land — never finishing, never publishing.”
The Writer’s Portable Mentor, Priscilla Long
She’s tough on me, but I need it. (And she does believe in writing without structure to find out what you have to say, but then you have to choose a suitable structure/come up with one, and write into it.)
And here, for the blog, I’d like to tell you everything nobody has ever asked me, and — naturally — make things a little more beautiful.