Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Twenty years

I always find the start of March a little hard, as it is the anniversary of my dad’s death, and this year twenty years had somehow slipped past since the last time I saw him, waving goodbye to me on his way to work, and ducking behind the telephone box to hide and make me laugh (something that worked every time, I seem to recall).

We held a party to celebrate his life, and it was really great to see so many people that knew and loved him. A few brought photographs to show, ones I had never seen before, and I cannot tell you how much of a thrill that is… especially when you have grown up memorising the ones in the family photo albums. And special thanks to an Aunty who brought a picture of dad holding me when I was a baby – I used to carry that picture around everywhere after he died, and I lost it somewhere in Spain when I was 12 – I was so upset, as it was the only one… or so I thought! Thankfully now I have it again, and it has been triple scanned, not taking any chances this time around.

Last chapter

Well – is it or isn’t it? It’s started… but I have the feeling it might run to two. So perhaps I am on the penultimate chapter. Either way, I am not sure what is happening with my writing – one minute all is fine and on I gaily go, the next all is awful and my sentences are drowning in mediocrity.

I can’t seem to get their voices for some reason, everything sounds ‘off’ to my ears, and every little paragraph forward seems to result in a ferocious sea of editing, so I end up with a well-worn nub of a sentence. It’s… maddening, for lack of a better word. Doesn’t this novel realise I need it to be done? Doesn’t it care that the person giving it life is slowly sinking into an overdraft pit? Obviously not… the worse thing is I dream about it at night, I can picture the characters in various situations that won’t ever make it to paper, and yet for some reason they are remaining stubborn about being animated when I want to write about them. Could it be they now have a mind of their own? Could it be I need to get out more? Hmm… maybe the latter.

2 comments:

musicobsessive said...

Jayne, two things...no, three things.
1. Thanks you for your birthday greetings!
2. We all go through that 'everything I write is crap' phase. I used to re-read bits I'd written months before and think, 'that is so dreary...is that supposed to be funny? etc.' On other occasions it would seem perfectly OK. I think it's a mood thing, so don't worry too much. Just leave it for a bit and then go back and see how it reads.
3. Seems both you and I lost a parent at a youg age - in my case my mother, some 35 years ago. When my Dad died last September, we uncovered a whole load of photographs of him and my mother from the 1950s that I never knew existed. It was a rather sad, yet strangely invigorating experience looking at them and feeling your own roots in evidence. Don't lose your photo this time!

Jayne Ferst said...

Hello!

1 - No worries. It is funny the amount of people I know with birthdays around about now though - a very popular time of year for babies, this!

2 - Cheers - good advice! I think my problems stem from I am trying to force it along, and all it seemingly wants to do is drag its paws and stop at trees.

3 - Thanks, and hopefully I won't! I was also given another picture of him, aged about 12 in the Sea Cadets. Until then, the youngest pic I'd had was of him at 16, so that was another blessing, although I doubt I'll find a younger one now. However I am very happy with what I have!

"rather sad, yet strangely invigorating experience" - yes, I totally agree. How lovely though to find pictures of your mum you hadn't seen, she must have been quite young when she died (my dad was 44).

I think losing a parent at any age is so hard, but somehow its worse as a child. Children like to think they are omnipotent, and suddenly they are not, and it is a life changing moment that crashes down, which takes ages to get over, as well as obviously the grief for losing a loved one. Also you miss getting to know them as a person, as opposed to just a parent, however amazing that parent is. Ah well, am blessed with nice memories, so that is something to smile about!