There are two preoccupations in my household this week.
Spiders and jam. And both have something to say about the way I think. And live.
You do not need me to remind you that this is the season
for spiders. You will have your own method for coping. For myself, I am not so very bothered by them but the second son is not at all keen and tends to call in reinforcements ( me) so my life just now involves a lot of bashing about with shoes and kitchen towel.
And the link with my writing life?
You will know by now that I link anything and EVERYTHING to writing. Just the way my mind works. And all
this spider-watching and spider- chasing has made me notice that, horrid as they are – they do represent rather precisely the way I write.
Moments of freeze frame, when I am thinking/plotting/planning/agonising. And then sudden bursts of activity when speed is the thing and I can hardly type fast enough. Catch me if you can.
I find myself wondering if other writers have a steadier, calmer approach? No idea. Slow. Slow. Very quick, quick, slow. That’s definitely me.
As for the jam ? You do not need to be Freud. My elder son has just gone off to university. He is
thankfully having a ball already and I could not be happier for him. But if I go anywhere near his room, I get this hot stabbing right behind the eyes.
So I have taken up jam- making. A distraction? Moi?
Truth be told, I was always rather afraid of jam in the past. All those reference to “rolling boils”? It was bound to end in tears if not sugar burns,surely ?
And then, while travelling home from dropping my son at uni ( he picked one six hours way – inevitably) I stayed overnight with an old school pal and she gave me a big bag of windfall apples.
So – no choice, really. I hate waste so I googled a recipe for autumn apple jam and the rest, as they say…
It follows that jam- making will inevitably turn up in one of my short stories very soon ( watch this space – I have just sold another little tale to Woman’s Weekly; just might, ahem, feature empty nesting as a theme and should
be out soon) . But I have also, deep breath, made a good start on the new novel.
Regular readers will know it has been a very sad time for me these past few weeks, so it feels good to have found the rhythm to get back to work properly.
I have also just bought a batch of plums. Going cheap.
Did I mention that I rarely do anything by halves?
Writing. Jam-making. Spider-chasing.
All or nothing. Slow...slow... QUICK QUICK QUICK QUICK
But that’s just me.
Here’s hoping I have the cupboard space…
Teresa Driscoll - journalist, author, mother of two and lover of great coffee.