Thursday, July 01, 2010

Novel progress and Clare Dudman's launch

I didn't get into the second section of my novel after all in Wales, and still haven't. After I got to the end of the first I had a day off, and guess what, during that day things kept coming to me about the first section - connections I could point up, even something I could add - and the voice came to me even more clearly. Bugger! - and I say that advisedly: it was a characterizing word of my protagonist that I'd left out previously, and once it came to me it brought everything into even greater focus. Which shows how rest periods can be an essential part of the writing process. I know that I have to get it right before I move onto the second, because the voice of the second section will depend on it, so I'm still tweaking the first section. And tomorrow I've got other, more domestic duties...

Ah well. At least I'm getting more and more sure of what I've done so far, which is a good, warm feeling (at least for the moment!).

The pic above is the one I tried unsuccessfully to upload in Wales, the view from the desk I was writing at, and here's a swan with cygnets we came across while walking on Anglesey one evening:

On the way back from Wales we stopped off in Chester for the really lovely launch of Clare Dudman's new novel A Place of Meadows and Tall Trees (Seren), at the Forum Studio Theatre. It's a book about the first Welsh settlers of Patagonia, and Clare gave an extremely moving presentation in which she read from the book, talked, and showed us films she had made about the historical background, the research she had done for the book and her own feelings about her relationship to her Welsh heritage, which last I identified with closely.

I am very much looking forward to reading the novel. And Clare makes a cake every time she has a launch, and here was the wonderful one she made for this book (and it tasted delicious!):


Totalfeckineejit said...

Funny how a word or a saying can fit or characterize a person.Use of the word'Bugger' does conjour up a certain image, I swear a good bit but I've never said it in my life
It will be interesting to see if she or he fits the mental image I've concocted just from that one swear word.

Good luck with the second half!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Thanks, TFE. I would be really curious in turn to know what your mental image is!

Clare Dudman said...

Thanks for coming to the launch, Elizabeth - it was great to see you there. I am particularly grateful to see this picture of me on the stage because this is the first one I've seen that works - the only one I have I managed to do something to the settings so I've come out like a red ethereal being.

It is a beautifully composed picture, by the way, as are your others - yet another of your talents!

It sounds really good to me that your character is settling in. I think that's what it is, isn't it? You're getting to know each other, perhaps... All good relationships need time, and maybe the same is true for a character and its writer.

Elizabeth Baines said...

I think that last is so true, Clare.
Definitely a process of getting to know someone...

Your launch was wonderful, and thank you so much for inviting me. Very much looking forward to reading the book.

adele said...

I'm looking forward to reading this book, too and you've made the the launch sound wonderful! Love that cake and it's a fabulous author photo. Clare is almost as lovely as the swan in the picture above!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Yes, they go together, don't they? Both lovely.

Jan said...

Hello Elizabeth
Good meeting you...and what a happy party it was.
The film too was superb ...its lovely words as well as its Im looking forward to reading the book.
Clare is very kindly posting one of your bks through my letterbox when next she's passing...!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Great to meet you, Jan, and yes it was a lovely evening. I hope you enjoy the book!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Well I'm thinking that there are actually 2 characters that say bugger.
The first is an elderly Geordie male drinks real ale and lives mainly in his potting shed on the allotment, since his wife passed away three years ago.

But he probably wouldn't be in your book?

The second one is female about 35 years old, home counties, slim still attractive, drinks 2 glasses of wine , divorced, 2 kids (one boy one girl) struggles with Tesco carrier bags from the back of her (newish) mid range estate car.Has golden retriever dog. Has never said the F word in her life.

Are you going to give me a clue, or willI have to wait for the book!!?

Elizabeth Baines said...


It's not character one. But why would you assume it's not?

Neither is it character two. However, she strikes me as food for a great novel. (Also, why do you say that she is STILL attractive at 35 years old (ie why do you use the word 'still')?)

No clues. You will have to wait for the book!

Totalfeckineejit said...

No assumptions, had to guess remember? Hence probably and a question mark.

And the word 'still' because it is possible to be 35 and already have gone to pot.I know I did!

Most of us are at our best in our 20's unless we are very lucky, tis natures way.

Waiting impatiently for the book!

Elizabeth Baines said...

Ah well, that's true re 20s. Sadly.