Thursday, September 20, 2007

The process of rewriting is enjoyable, because you're not in that existential panic when you don't have a novel at all. - Rose Tremain

This is central Lerwick in the sunshine. It's a pretty place. The weather lately has been crazy, sunshine in the mornings that leads into horrible rains for half an hour and back into sun, briefly, then the winds start. I've had a few beautiful early-morning walks along the shoreline this week before the rains and winds kicked in. This weather is good for me, actually. It's toughening me up.

So I finished the second novel on Tuesday afternoon. In writer-speak, that means it's got an ending. I've always had a problem trying to edit as I write, and this time I didn't, I just got on with it and got to the end. I wrote a short story in 2002 that I always wanted to evolve into a novel, and initially I had a completely different take on the story. I've changed it considerably from these early notes. This was the novel I was working on when I did the Radio Scotland Write Here Right Now event last February, which challenged participants to write a novel in a month, writing 1000 words a day. But most of what I wrote then has been tossed to the winds and reworked already. Now the re-writing begins, and this could take months. I had a goal of finishing this week, and to get it done two days early was fantastic. Now the goal is to have it ready to send to my agent before I go to America in November.

Late September is always special to me, because it's my birthday and I take an 'inventory' of where I am and where I want to go in the next year. Many things to think about this year. I'm looking forward to this weekend - real shopping! Real supermarkets! Real restaurants! We're taking the ferry to Aberdeen tonight (watching that carbon footprint after flying so much in the past few years) and driving down to Edinburgh tomorrow night in time for the Ireland-France match. Sunday we go to the Scotland-New Zealand match at Murrayfield. I've always wanted to see the All-Blacks live so really looking forward to that. And to being back in civilization!

Below, the bowling green. See? It is a pretty place in the sunshine.

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