Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Isabel Allende and me!

Before I tell you what Isabel Allende and I have in common [apart from writing] I want to thank P&D from TW for acknowledging my wearing of and dancing in High Heels on New Year's Eve, see comments in last post. However the OH wants to know what you mean by S&M, was it just a typo or is he missing something!!!!!!!!

In my last post I didn't make it clear that it was in fact my Blogiversary on the 8th January, three years to the day. I think I have mentionned before that I get an e-mail every day from The Writer's Almanac with Garrison Keillor. It has a poem and gives the birthdays of poets and writers from around the world along with interesting facts about them. It was from this that I read about Virginia Dare[see previous post,btw how can I put in a link to a previous post can anyone advise me?] Anyway in the e-mail for the 8th January there was a piece about Isabel Allende, already one of my favourite authors. On the 8th January 1981 she heard that her beloved Grandfather was dying so she sat down to write him a letter, it became the novel 'The House of Spirits.' Since then it has become a sacred day for her to start a new book, apparently she gets up early and goes alone to her office and lights candles for the 'spirits and muses'. She surrounds herself with fresh flowers and incense and meditates then tries to write the first sentence in a trance as if somebody else is writing through her. That first sentence opens a door into an unknown world that she must explore with her characters. She doesn't have an outline and doesn't look back at what she has written until the first draft is finished. She starts a new novel every 8th January!! She carries a notebook with her at all times and constantly takes notes, keeps interesting newspaper articles and writes down stories other people tell her, then she looks at all her notes for inspiration.
Oh if only I could say that my 8th January was as productive, but reading about how she prepares herself for a new work is inspirational and instructive. I have read many of her books including Paula, a memoir she wrote for her daughter who lay dying in hospital.
On a lighter note we have atleast one other thing in common a love of food and cooking, and cooking for love. Her delicious book 'Aphrodite, a memoir of the senses[1997]' is a cookery book with a difference. It incites the senses with its beautiful language and sensuality and the recipes are to be prepared with love for lovers. Even without the recipes this is a book to savour again and again. That book was published in her 55th year and she is still writing amazing books. Such a talented lady.

Friday, 8 January 2010

A New Year and a new look.

As you can see from the second photo, which is the view from my desk,we have lots of snow here and having nearly completed this post the electricity went off and I lost everything. Now I shall save as I go along oh my grasp of technology is still very limited!! For this reason I have only made small changes to my blog and will make further changes gradually.
I started this blog three years ago so that I could join the Novel Racers, I hoped it would help me get my novel moving forwards and give me confidence in exposing my writing to strangers. I think it has done both and I have encountered lots of lovely people via this blog who have given me lots of encouragement.
The three years have been a roller coaster of ups, finishing the first draft of my novel in November 2009 and moving house, and a terrible down which will be with us always. Now a new year stretches ahead which we look forward to positively. I have a second draft to complete and a new novel to start, plus other ideas.
Last year I wrote a list of things I wanted to do before a milestone birthday in 2011. I am pleased to say that I accomplished two of them on New Years Eve. I wore high heels for the first time in many years and I danced the Paso Doble [amongst lots of other dances] with the OH. No photo of the dancing but I do have witnesses who will hopefully leave a comment to that effect. I hope to cross off more from my list this year, watch this space!
So my first post of 2010 and I wish everyone a very Happy and Creative New Year. Good luck with everything you do.