It has been sometime since I wrote for this blog, almost a month in fact. While I would very much like to say that I have been busily working on “Throne of Ice” the truth is in fact far from it. The past month of October caught me, unexpectedly, in a low frame of mind. With various situations in my personal life, entwined with work and the future, I found my writing growing alarmingly sparse until eventually I just stopped. Much of this can be attributed to the lack of enthusiasm I currently possess for my present occupation in my present locale. This is something I think most people have encountered at some point or other during their life. The same negativity seeps through into other aspects of life and in this manner it has begun to affect my writing. I currently stand upon a crossroads of sorts, where there are many different paths available for me to tred — many of which appear treacherous while others less so. The weight of such important decisions do not serve to strengthen my determination to complete my book but rather seek to weaken it.
In the time since the end of August, a time which coincided with my return to work, I have barely managed to complete both the revised Chapter 11 and 12. Indeed, while I am close to completing Chapter 12 I have since come to the conclusion that it is far from being my best effort. As such, I find myself mired with doubt and indecision as to whether or not I need to hit the delete key and rewrite certain parts of the chapter again. In doing so I will not only create more work but also have to make a few adjustments to Chapters 10 and 11.
However, with the arrival of Summer’s End, or Samhain as the Celts once referred to it, I find myself looking to unburden myself of doubt and try to rekindle my flickering spirits once more. Truly, it is a time of death and of looking towards new beginnings that arise from out of the old!
Recent comments made regarding the short story I wrote back in the summer (The Chalice) were greatly appreciated and the fact that someone enjoyed the story at all was certainly fuel to the fire in getting myself back on track. I don’t know how many others may have downloaded the story, but since only five have emailed me requesting the password to unlock it I take it that very few have.
I hope to make some progress on restructuring the problematic Chapter 12 during the week ahead, and if all goes well then I should be able to make an effort to catch up with my original completion plan. Currently that still stands as being the beginning of March, 2007. That happens to coincide with the end of my current work contract. What will happen after that remains a chapter of my life that is still to be written.
In answer to a question that I recently received regarding my writing process, I generally found my own way of going about layout. Having no actual success rate in terms of published work of any kind, I cannot say that the way I do things is right or wrong, however, I would certainly recommend a writing workshop if one is available in your area if only to talk with others who might be able to offer more accurate insight. I never had the chance to do that and so much of what I do is through trial and error — no doubt one of the reasons for why this book has taken so long in the writing! Something that I find invaluable is creating a synopsis for each chapter ahead of time that I then keep next to me as I write. Sometimes I make changes to these when a better idea or way of revealing something occurs to me. I also find it useful to keep a stack of ‘memory cards’ nearby with the details of important characters, events, and places. It saves trying to remember names and other personal characteristics (eye colour, where someone was wounded, etc.) that are important for continuity. Unfortunately, this idea, while clearly obvious now, came to me much later into my writing and therefore has resulted in various errors that need to be edited in the original text that I wrote a few years back.
Well, I should try and get back to some writing now. Already I have spent too long on this post! Before I do go, however, I would like to recommend a film that I saw recently entitled “Beowulf & Grendel” (directed by Sturla Gunnarsson). For those that enjoyed the original legend then you’ll probably like this version too. While some disagree, I think it is better by far when compared to the other attempts at retelling this fantastic poem.
I will take my leave now and wish you a delightful Samhain!