Blogpost January 22nd 2015
Hello! It’s our last day here in beautiful South Curl Curl where we’ve had an absolutely amazing time. Completely enjoyed being close to Jo, Mike and our gorgeous girls in Deewhy and totally LOVED being Grandma Crispy and Granddad Bobby! This last week has given us plenty of opportunity to play in and out of the ocean even when storms brewed and thunder and lightening struck!
However Saturday night brought me a bit of a challenge. I heard back from an editor in the UK who, at the request of a friend, kindly offered to take a look at the book I’ve been writing over the past few years. I’ve been sending the finished (third draft) of the manuscript out to various Literary Agents around the planet the last 8 months or so and had 15 out of 33 enquiries rejected (deafening silence from the remaining 18 – if you were wondering). Apparently that’s par for the course. But I’ve had a sneaking suspicion I could make the whole thing a great deal more enticing if only I knew where to start with another rewrite. Enter Howard Lees, my old musical pal, who now owns and runs an incredibly successful business: www.hollinconsulting.co.uk , guiding other businesses to motivate and utilise their workforce to everyone’s advantage. Their in depth approach aims to create higher productivity and greater work satisfaction all round. Hurrah!
Howard, as part of his own ongoing process, writes books and pamphlets detailing how his many layered experiences and expertise works. He told me about an editor he uses who’s transformed the way his own writing has progressed. And so he offered to ask if she’d be willing to take a look at my work. To say I was nervous would be a huge understatement – and the cause of my self generated misery!
So, she came back with some great feedback. Exactly what I needed to know but … for a short time at least … hard to face with an fearful mind. Not that I didn’t think she was right. Far from it!
I don’t recommend opening emails of this nature just before you go to bed! I read her well thought out, carefully worded message and instantly felt awful. All those critical voices that I manage to quell while in the creative process, came roaring back into my head and heart … what a fraud I am; utterly deluded; rubbish writer; stupid; boring; who cares anyway! All the gnawing fears that wriggle into view when those carefully constructed walls that generally muffle them, are suddenly breached!
Needless to say I was not feeling over enthusiastic or positive about myself the following day. But I was lucky enough to spend the morning with Bella and Chiara and couldn’t help but laugh and giggle in their glorious uninhibited company. They jump and skip for the sheer joy of it! We ran in and out of the water together squealing our delight; picking up shells, making sandcastles, generally having fun. I felt a whole lot better. So after lunch I decided to share my experience with Bob and Jo who were, as you might imagine, totally supportive and sympathetic. It gave me the courage to go back and not only reread the email with a less critical eye but also look at the generous “notes” made about the prologue and first chapter of the book.
Turns out she wasn’t saying I was useless at all! Simply that I needed to look at some of my ideas from a different place. She pointed out sections I could improve if I thought about it in a slightly different way. She gave me some great suggestions so I really understood her meaning. She was actually impressed by some of the writing and highlighted those parts she enjoyed most. All in all constructive and really helpful. Perspective is everything nest pas?
Having sat with the ideas for a few days and talked with a few friends, I’m now gearing up to put these new approaches into action in order to transform the first few chapters and then … if I get better feedback … transform the rest! I really believe there’s a great story here but it needs a bit more teasing out before I start sharing it again. Never a dull moment dear reader! All is well all shall be well.
To close this week I’ve brought together for your visual/audio delectation, footage of the great seascape I love so much between Freshwater, Curl Curl and Deewhy beaches. The relentless nature of these surfing waves is giddy making and never ceases to make me smile. It also reminds me of one of my favourite places on the Isle of Man: Scarlett Point. It seemed appropriate to use Point Scarlett as musical accompaniment, taken from The Dark Gift of Time – released in 1998! Gulp!
I’d had the guitar part and the humming tune for ages but just couldn’t find a melody and lyric to go with it. My gorgeous friend and uber talented singer-songwriter Helen Watson took a shine to my demo and asked if she could play around with it … sure! A few years prior to that she and I plus Chris While, Julie Matthews and Melanie Harold had been recording Daphne’s Flight on the Isle of Man and taken a trip to Scarlett on a dark brooding winter’s day when we were feeling a little less than inspired … and everyone fell in love with the place. My little demo somehow brought that memory back … et voila… a song was born. I absolutely LOVE John Surman’s wild saxophone on the album track. The sea noises you can hear are from Scarlett Point and credited on the cd notes as: Irish Sea played by itself! VIDEO HERE!
That’s it for this week dear reader. Thanks as always for dropping by. Next week our Blogpost will mostly be from Perth 🙂