Thursday, May 01, 2008

Bones, curtains and paint

Have spent a large part of the day working on the edit to The Bones of Summer. Bloody hard work, by George, but I'm enjoying it. I've done - or redone - four chapters now so am leaving it for today. Yes, that may not sound much, I know, but during this part of the game I spend a lot of time thinking and working out what I need to foreshadow and if so how much. Then there's the ditching of repetition, the changing of facts and events which clash with what happens later in the novel (when I'm more in my stride - or should be ...) and the alteration of the viewpoint from first person to third person. And no, much though I'd love it to be, that isn't unfortunately as simple as changing everything from "I" to "he". Dammit! Changing viewpoints changes everything - the look, feel and even the smell of the thing. But it's better in third person. It gels more. And of course, in a gay novel, there's the curse of the pronouns: which "he" is really "he" and which is the other "him"?? A little quirk the straight novel writers amongst us don't get to play with indeed! Ah, the joy of it all.

I've also nipped out and collected a parcel for Lord H, and - wait for it! - I've gone to Homebase and looked at curtains and paint. Ye gods!!! Have I been swopped for somebody normal?? Or am I finally succumbing to the Curse of the Bank Holiday? The plot thickens, Carruthers ... I just have a desperate urge to change our living room curtains (or the African Room, as we like to call it. Pretentious Gits 'R' Us ...), which have been slowly falling down for years due to their own weight. So it's time for something new, I feel. I am getting desperate urges for tie-backs and valances too, but will try to suppress them. And in case you're wondering, the curtains are currently a colour somewhere between terracotta and gold. And I'm hoping they'll stay in that vicinity too. To go with our terracotta and gold room. Though I do pay court to the concept of lightness with the cream leather sofa and chairs. My, how I do hate pastel shades for old houses. Funny how people (if they're ever allowed in at all) enter our living room and either love it or hate it instantly. Nothing in between. It's probably much the same reaction as they have to us really.

I'm also planning on repainting the bathroom in our 15-year battle to minimise the mould which also lives there. Ah, old Edwardian (or are we Victorian? I forget!...) houses, you know - it's a constant fight against history and time. But I do wonder where all this DIY keenness is coming from - and where indeed it's going to - as we've done nothing at all for fourteen years, preferring to spend our time (a) writing or (b) studying. Perhaps it's marking the completion (apart from the editing) of my seventh novel after all this time, and the space before I embark on my eighth. It's hard to say, but I'd best make the most of it before the feeling evaporates. I'm sure the flat will appreciate the temporary attention.

Anyway, tonight, if I can drag myself away from my curtain shades and paint quandaries, Lord H and I are off to the Guildford theatre to see Spies by Michael Frayn. Should be good - the man's a ruddy genius. Though I have to admit I've never read this novel. And hey after tonight I won't need to! God, but I'm cheap. And should be ashamed, yes I know.

Finally, don't forget that today is the first day of publication for Jackie's wonderful romantic saga, Tainted Tree. Well worth a look!

Today's nice things:

1. Starting the Bones edit
2. DIY dreams
3. The theatre.

Anne Brooke
Anne's website
Goldenford Publishers


slippingthroughtheworld said...

the novel is a great read anne, and quick too. was it him who wrote the play 'balmoral'? that's hysterical. x hope you enjoyed the play.

Anne Brooke said...

Certainly enjoyed the play, Irene - and am up for reading the novel now! I suspect a lot of the depth was missed for the purposes of the stage. I'm not sure about "Balmoral", but he did "Noises Off" (which I love) and "Clockwise".



Denise said...

Four chapters in a day sounds like loads to me! I'm currently trying to battle my first novel into some kind of sense and it's going a lot slower than that. Maybe it gets quicker with experience, maybe I should have written a better first draft?!

Anne Brooke said...

Ah, I have very small chapters, Denise!! That's the trick of it ... I'm nothing but a cheat, you know.

I think they're all different too - so experience doesn't really count in that way! Much like children, I imagine - they all respond to different things, dammit! But huge good luck with yours!