on the writing & reading trail

Days 11-15 (May 25-29)

Worked each day on editing, anthology and of course reading. Extra family action lately. Missed my long walk on Sunday as walking companion has a heavy cold. Seem to be lots of colds and coughs around.

Editing: Is doing well. Lots of changes, some substantial. Have renumbered chapters through Parts Three and Four of the original magnum opus to become Book Two (Future hope) and have started the awkward task of time span changes. Some are a bit challenging as seasons are significant for plot and place at times, and although the story has not yet reached its time in Africa, I want the African content to coincide with some actual events (severe famine, tribal fighting and political unrest) even the main story is fictional. If it doesn’t quite work out I’ll find a way round it.

Worked through to chapter fifteen today. In the eighteen-month timeframe, Freya’s life has been stressful because of relationship matters and a busy work schedule. Her parents are finding it difficult to manage Gramma who is becoming quite difficult because of Alzheimers behavioural problems and are seeking Freya’s opinions about care options.

There is joy as her sister Ness gives birth to a daughter, Colleen.

While Alexander was on a short visit to his parents in Melbourne there was panic at home in Glasgow when his daughter Andrea experienced an anaphylactic reaction to a bee sting. He flew back without catching up as planned with his friend Tony Bolton in Newcastle.

Highlights for change

Anthology: Will hand final draft of text over at the weekend. One of our Writers Group members has produced a great draft cover.

Reading: Continuing with Ann Patchett’s Taft. I’m interested in how she transitions to the story of the deceased father’s story, the title character, at intervals. It took me a while to realise he was so significant. Each time he appears I find myself slightly off balance. Am trying to decide if that was intentional in the structure or if it is a personal reaction. I certainly lose the flow at these times, but am still fully involved in the story, although perhaps less so than in other Patchett novels. Started a Peter Yelland book on the bus on the way home. Reminds me of Neville Shute in lots of ways – I happily reread his novels still.


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