on the writing & reading trail

Editing diary update

18 December

Editing: Continues. Nothing dramatic – just tightening – reducing word count – more ‘show’.

Below is another extract from Eyemouth on the east coast of Scotland (much later, now 1991, several years after Ness’s marriage) when the two sisters catch up. Ness is now settled after taking benefit from Freya’s health knowledge.

The coast was striking; wildflowers flourished, the yellow gorse cheered them, the sun shone. Occasional droves of yellow butterflies lifted Freya’s spirits. They stopped every now and again to sit beside the path or to lean on the fence posts along the cliff, to enjoy the views and to take photographs. There was no hurry.

They reached Eyemouth in the late afternoon. The second bed and breakfast cottage they tried had a vacancy. After wandering round the harbour, they relived Papa’s rescue by visiting the rocks where he’d been found, and spent time at the graves of the Dunbar grandparents. Freya had been the only family member at the funerals, just months apart last year.

Ness said, ‘You’re lucky Freya. You had a chance to get to know them properly, living here for so long. I barely remember their fiftieth anniversary; I was only four then, but they were lovely to Mama and me when we visited for a couple of days when you were living with Gramma, and they were so delighted to see Brad and me after the wedding. You told us to be prepared for their frailty that time but they looked fine to me. I don’t feel I really knew them. Still, it’s not the same as blood relations is it?

Freya deliberately stopped herself from following up her sister’s thinking. They were opportunities she would have gladly foregone, especially the time with Gramma and the separation from Alexander. The hurt would never go completely.

 Berwickshire coast

Berwickshire coast

Reading: Has been disappointing. Have read a couple of library books through without becoming truly engaged. Still haven’t found the bought one that was mislaid.

Critiquing: Our last meeting of the Writers Group was helpful to us all who submitted chapters or stories. I get a sense we are all making good progress – two people especially. One member is waiting on a publishing decision. Fingers crossed that it is the right time for her story with that publishing house.

Other: I’m gradually getting to know my new hybrid tablet/PC and after initial concern feel I made a good choice even though challenged by new learning on three fronts simultaneously – touch screen, Explorer 8 and Word 2013 beta version. Getting there – main problem is the smaller keyboard because I continue to work with normal PC and other laptop at home because I haven’t transferred all material yet. But the fingers are coping better each day.


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