I know some people are not too keen on January, but I enjoy the calmness and routine this month gives me. The festivities of December are fun and happy but busy so I welcome the chance to get back to my desk; to begin writing again and put into practice my plans and dreams that I thought about in that beautiful much-needed lull between Christmas and New Year.
I was determined to make a big impact on my novel this month. With my son being poorly and hospitalised towards the end of 2015 (he’s fine now) the novel was seriously neglected. So with the relief of having a healthy family once more I read through the words I already had. All 55,000 of them. Then I ‘borrowed’ my daughter’s large art pad and divided two sheets into fifteen chapters. First I stuck post-its in each chapter square of what I already had in terms of plot/character/sub-plot/emotions and so on. Then I took some more pages from my daughter’s pad and stuck post-its in each chapter square of what I would like to happen; moving chapters about, adding in emotions my main character has to be feeling at each point and making the overall narrative make sense. I also went through notebooks and added in sentences and ideas that I’d forgotten about. This took me a week.
And now I’m editing, re-writing and adding chapters. This has took me the rest of the month.So far. I’m not quite half-way. Editing takes SO much longer than I thought it would. It also makes my eyes squint a lot.
This month I started to read DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover as part of my intention to read more classics. I’m also joining in with Circle of Pine Trees #theyearinbooks project on twitter, instagram and here on this blog. And so far so good, although I sometimes struggle with DH Lawrence’s style of writing.
Also read this month was the rather gorgeous and unusually structured The Versions of Us by Laura Barnett. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.
On my kindle app I read Destination Thailand (The Lonely Hearts Travel Club, Book 1) by Katy Colins. Katy is a friend of mine who has had a whirlwind week or so with the release of this, her debut novel. Including an interview on This Morning. Her novel, loosely based on her own life, where her main character is jilted a few weeks before her wedding so takes up backpacking, is lots of fun. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next in The Lonely Hearts Travel Club series.
I’m now starting The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon. From the first chapter I’m in love with Joanna’s writing. I think it’s going to be good.
Always wanting to improve and not wanting to be outdone by a camera, I have joined Emma Davies’ Free Photography Workshop. Emma is emailing budding photographers once a week with a focus on a different part of photography, easy tips and a few challenges. We were asked to come up with a project that we can add to throughout the course. I decided to photograph The Seasons Outside my Back Door. Which then expanded to become a weekly series on this blog. You can read January: Week One, January: Week Two and January: Week Three.
It has been a busy and packed month. As I write this I have one eye on the clock because time is just speeding. It always does when you’ve a lot on.
So, although I’m sorry to be saying goodbye to January I’m looking forward to what February will bring. I know my novel will be finished (at least in this draft form) before the month is out.