Friday, 29 August 2014

Arting it up in St Ives



Here I am again.
It's not fully light yet and I'm propped up on pillows with my laptop on my knees and an old-lady-crocheted-shawl-type-of-thing around me. I've been doing this for the last few weeks in order to keep going with my editing/rewriting - whichever.
Can't do it this morning, though.
Because I've just reached a scene that isn't there. Aaargh! I can remember writing it. In fact, it gets better (and cleverer and funnier and everythinger) the more I remember it. I just can't remember it well enough to recreate it. Damn! Damn! Damn!
I've been doing a lot of chapter reorganisation - cutting and pasting...deleting. (Why deleting? Why would I ever delete anything? When will I learn this bloody lesson?) If I think about it hard enough, I can almost see myself deleting the scene in question. It's gone.
And I know that I will write it again. And I will view its disappearance as an opportunity to write it better. But today is not that day. Today, I feel like throwing my laptop and my crocheted-shawl-thing down a well.
So I'm going to blog about my holiday instead.


It was lovely. Definitely one of our best holidays. We stayed in Carbis Bay near St Ives - and that (above) was the view from my window on the first morning. Because St Ives has all the blueness!

My sister, who is an artist, lives there now. So we got to meet lots of artists, see some amazing work in progress and nose around the awesome Porthmeor studios.


That's self and Eleven-year-old up there attempting to look like we might be artists planning a new masterpiece. My sister and her friends even invited us to a party in that studio, so we got to stand there, drinking wine and watching the beach disappear into the darkness.


This is an inside view, featuring a famous artist getting the room ready for the party (i.e. moving all the art and opening the window). The studios were wonderfully studio-y - there were canvases, walls and floors that had been painted over a zillion times, there were rolls of paper, jars of brushes, scrumpled paint-tubes and sponges, and of course painty step ladders leading up to high shelves. And it all smelled of paint and turpentine and the seaside. I wanted to stay there and be an artist too!


What-is-that-you-say? You want one of my marvellous collages, you-say? How about this gallery collage with Joy Wolfenden Brown at Millennium, Nick Bodimeade at the Porthminster and some old nonsense at the Tate (with their camera police in every room - grrr! - you only make me more determined to sneak photos, Tate-police!)




Those artists really do drink a lot, though...and husband was lured in. He's recovering from pleurisy, so he hasn't had any alcohol for ages. The pain is still eye-watering when he coughs or sneezes, so the hangover was suffering-like-I've-never-seen! Still, knowing husband, I suppose it had to happen sooner or later...



The holiday was made up of art and beaches and wine and food.
The only moment that wasn't lovely, was when we stopped at the harbour to watch a little girl and her slightly-older brother return the crabs they'd caught to the sea. They emptied their crabbing bucket on the slipway and a crowd gathered to watch thirty or forty crabs crawl down to the water. Some crabs scurried, some crept, lots just sat there stunned. But none of them were fast enough to escape the seagulls who came to see what we were all looking at. It was like a moving sushi bar for birds and the little girl wailed! Her brother started picking up the crabs and flinging them into the sea as fast as he could, but this only gave the seagulls the chance to show off their circus skills - they swooped and caught the crabs before they hit the water. The little girl filled her bucket and tried to wash the crabs down the slipway at top speed, but it turned out that the gulls could simply dip down under the water and scoop them up like they were at a pick n mix counter. Sometimes nature is hard to watch.
Well, it was for that little girl anyway, we just shrugged it off and went for ice-cream.


A writing-friend landed herself an agent while I was away. Actually, she was away too - she landed an agent over the phone! Shouldn't there be more schlepping to London and grovelling than that?
There'll be a big fat contract waiting for her when she comes back from Italy. And there is talk of 'getting the edits done in time for Frankfurt' and all the rest of it. It's brilliant to hear someone so excited and thrilled - especially when they've worked as hard as she has.
On the last day of term, another writing friend received her first ever proof copy of her book - it had a real cover with swirly writing on it and everything. A few of us met her at the pub so we could stroke it and sniff it and making cooing noises over it. And again, I know how hard she's worked, so it was lovely to see her looking proud and beamy with her book.
But...
The route to publication always feels like a race. The market's crowded and there are writers in front of me and writers coming up behind me. And what if they're better than I am? What if they want it more? It's terrifying. Both my friend's successes have kicked me onwards with my editing/rewriting. They kicked me awake early in order to work at it every morning of my holiday and the same kick is still nudging my arse toward the laptop whenever there's a break in my boys' remaining holiday plans.
Get on with it! Get on with it! It's nearly September! It's nearly Frankfurt! And judging by the horse chestnut tree outside my window it's autumn!


Just wish I hadn't deleted that scene, though...

1 comment:

  1. Oh yikes I can feel your pain, but you will write it again and it will be just as perfect - more so probably. Shawl thingy sounds quite arty and writerly, I'm sure it will help, suggest not throwing it out the window just yet!

    St. Ives is a great place to visit to get those creative juices stirring.I prefer the small galleries and studies to wander around. Sounds like fun was had, though maybe not the crab/seagull incident, I'm way too sensitive for real life

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