This year I decided to participate in picowrimo as a means of trying to get myself tackling some writing again - any writing that required a commitment. I meant to do some fanfic and some original fic. Due to being fairly busy over the last fortnight, I’ve done less than I had hoped because I haven’t managed any at the weekends, so its been evenings only and often short ones at that. Nonetheless, I am feeling pleased with my progress, which I am sure I wouldn’t have made had it not been for the challenge of the comm. I’ve been intending to write the fic I’m working on at present for about two years, and now I not only have nearly 4000 words of it*, but I made myself work through the tricky bits. Moreover, instead of thinking “Oh, I haven’t time to write much now and I’m tired” I have made myself start writing and discovered that in fact I have got time, and that though I didn’t completely feel in the mood when I started, I soon got stuck in. One of the reasons I’d put off writing it, thinking “I need lots of time” was the issue of structure; the fic has quite a few shifts in time and POV (so that, for example, Harriet remembers kissing Peter in the punt before the narrative reaches it) so how to structure it avoiding the twin perils of one damn scene after another and too much shifting about. Ironically, it was a problem that only came to be solved when I sat down and thought “I don’t know what bit to put next. Try this”. It’s a reminder that there is more than one potential right way for something to come out. I think I have got the rest of the structure more or less worked out, thought there’s room for movement. The next scene, according to my jottings on the bus this morning is “Punt – sit down. Initial snogging.” I am just about managing not to stuff it with my interpretations of particular bits of canon, although there's still quite a bit in there.
On Tuesday night I finally made it to Mayerling, in the excellent company of dolabellae. We started off with £9 in the Upper Slips, which were pretty good for £9, but did involve a certain amount of leaning forward and a partially obscured bit of stage. So at the first interval we moved to a pair I had identified in the main Amphiteatre, which cost about £45 and had a very good view indeed. The ballet itself was an interesting contrast to Sleeping Beauty – much less a one classical move after another showpiece, but more of a drama and with a lot more plot (occasionally confusing. I’d have been stumped if I hadn’t bought a programme). It also contrasted in that whilst SB gave most of the glamour to the women, Mayerling was decidedly focussed on the lead man. The sets and costumes were gorgeous, though I heard a couple of people making similar comments to
I am very much looking forward to the weekend. However despite being absolutely shattered I am continuing to get myself out of bed at seven and thus into work earlier than my usual wont, thanks to taking advantage of the clocks going back to reset myself.
My new boots had their first outing in Cambridge at the weekend (though I changed into old ones for the fireworks in the evening). I even managed to drive there and back in very little over the AA’s predicted time, which I was rather pleased by. The chest of drawers I bought in Ikea is still in the boot because I can’t lift it out in the box and haven’t had time to put it together. A task for the weekend.
I am 475 page through the 991 page Bible. Hurrah! Psalms is, alas, less good than I expected because it really requires reading alongside a commentary, which is far too heavy for the bus. I shall have to give it a skim at the weekend. Yes, it is after all going to be a busy weekend.
*I did have 1400 words before the month started, but still wrote them under the pico spur as I had decided to get this done as my first project.
**One of those odd historical notes that chimes somehow. I was reading The Glittering Prizes recently, which didn’t simply mention pasta as something that the characters would have experienced for the first time on holiday in Italy (some time in the fifties), but published in the seventies still italicised it.