Friday, 24 September 2010

The plot thickens

Had one day well and strong enough to venture out this week. I'd overdone it last weekend attending a wonderful service at Talbot Lane which was soul-expanding and heart warming but crunched my M.E.-ridden crock of a body to a standstill with three long hours in the freezing cold (church couldn't afford to put heating on and lady near me was actually trembling and shivering with cold throughout!).

 I was one of sixteen ministers and communion stewards distributing the bread and wine at this Covenant Service for the whole Rotherham & Dearne Valley Circuit. It was a real joy to meet up with some friends I hadn't seen since I collapsed with M.E./CFS plus erratic diabetic hypos almost five years ago. How can it be that long? This time last year I wasn't even well enough to be at the service, let alone take part, so I have so much to be thankful about! The odd "good" day here and there is like a candle in a naughty world (to quote the Bard waaay out of context)!

So I went on a "good" day later in the week to Wentworth Woodhouse Garden Centre and Walled Garden with my Mum and a dear friend who I met through family history research (she's a very distant cousin). The weather was autumn sunshine, gentle and soft, dry and mellow. We explored the gardens, the cascade, the rock terraces, bear pit (not an icehouse, no matter what folk once believed) and the village. Met some Fallow Deer, lots of wild birds, fish, chickens and local tradespeople selling produce that has not even seen an aeroplane or, in some cases, a car. Had lunch in the Walled Garden Reastaurant. Local business at its best. Cappuccino and comestibles at their best, too!

Overwhelmed and humbled this week to have my third "Highly Recommended"/ shortlisting in four months from the team at "Writer's Forum". This time it was for my recent short fiction "The Butterfly Wall". The critique they offer on your work is invaluable and so helpful, I wish I'd discovered it before. I find one of my particular challenges is plotting. Anyone who knows me will laugh, knowing I'm not the most linear of thinkers! This is all challenging and inspiring me to tighten up on my plotlines and chronology.

I've a couple of a stories on the go at the mo. One's a humorous one provisionally entitled "The Surreptitious Biscuit" (say no more!) and another where the protagonist takes a phonecall from his grandmother in the middle of the night (based on a fragment of conversation I heard years ago from a friend whose gran rang him up and asked him seriously: "Is that your mother?"). 

Yesterday's crash on Facebook had me dipping my toe in Twitter and apart from a wet toenail and potential Athlete's Foot I don't know where that may lead. I do know that my "real" writing is often fed by my erratic blogging, facebooking and maybe even in future by tweeting. I'm also aware I need to use the little energy I have between the M.E. brain-foggery to produce more and more completed and focused writing. 

"You're my favourite waste of time," as someone in the charts (whose name temporarily escapes me) once yortled; but nothing's really wasted if you put it in your pocket, hug it and chew it till it turns to gold or dust!

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