Thursday, August 25, 2011

Writing Retreat

I'm off up to North Yorkshire tomorrow, to a remote little cottage nestled on the edge of the moors, not too far a drive from the salty air of Whitby. There's a log fire if the weather turns gloomy, and a table out in the pretty garden for sunny days. There I intend to write my novel and think deep thoughts, surrounded by my research books and listening to music.

Sounds idyllic?

Yes, it would be idyllic - if I wasn't so hard up against my deadline. Instead, picture me hammering away at the keys like a lunatic, pacing the small living room of the cottage as I consider how to get from A to B, or staring out of the window in despair because the story has stalled.

Meanwhile the final copyedits for my first historical novel, The Queen's Secret, will be sitting on the table, laughing at me. They are due back with the publisher just after my return from Yorkshire. They involve tricky and detailed research on which stuffed birds might have been served at Elizabeth I's table, other than the varieties already mentioned in the book, and some fiendish logistics which will probably have me tearing my hair out as I confront their impossibility.

I shall take one or two of my mother's diaries with me for comfort and inspiration. There's nothing like reading over a few random entries in her journals to burst my bubble of self-importance, reminding me in my darkest hour of 'Why me?' that writers have existed who write quicker, harder and without complaining so much.

Catch you all on the flipside.


Freda Lightfoot said...

I wish you every success with that, Jane. Not sure I could do that. Think I'd suffer from cabin fever.

Poetry Pleases! said...

Dear Jane

Bonne chance! I don't know anyone who writes quicker than you. You're knocking out your Regency novellas like cupcakes. Rusty's just started your second - having thoroughly enjoyed your first. The fact that your mother was a novelist and my father was a poet proves to me that there must be a writing gene which scientists have yet to discover!

Best wishes from Simon