Feeling low. When I woke up I didn’t remember anything about myself or my life – I didn’t know who or where I was, whether married or single, where I live – anything. It was disturbing but also interesting and in a way, liberating – for those few moments it took to reconstruct myself, I could have been anyone.
Still feeling very blocked in my writing. I have plenty of ideas but still can’t get a novel together or write even a decent length short story.
Latest idea – seven people stuck in a lift. Each takes it in turn to tell a story. A sort of modern, very much shorter Canterbury tales. Who would there be? A manager who can’t handle not being in charge, not being able to control the situation; someone who is a fish out of water (me); a young Icelandic man who is there on an exchange or work experience or something… and then I’m suck. I mean, stuck (like the letter t on the keyboard!) I have all this stuff inside me – I just can’t seem to get it out.
Anyway, I’m reading and doing some of the exercises in a book called “A Novel in a Year” by Louise Doughty.
www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/a-novel-in-a-year-by-louise–doughty-450628.htmlIt’s quite useful, I think. So far I’ve written about being trapped and not able to leave home; the day my periods started, and the story of a young Icelandic girl whose house has been destroyed by a volcano. (See yesterday’s post) Here’s the account of an accident (this is a true story).
I remember this: I was 12. Or maybe 13: we used to stay at my aunt’s house in the summer, at the top of a hill. This hill had perhaps once had grass and trees on it but now housed a regiment of West Byfleet commuters and their families. I borrowed my aunt’s bike, which was slightly too big for me, and set off down the hill. Three, four times I went down without incident, but then on the fifth time I lost control, bumped up a high kerb and ploughed into some rose bushes. Instantly, I knew what had happened. Not really hurt, I rescued the bike and walked gingerly back up to the house. As bad luck would have it, only my father and uncle were t home. I locked myself in the toilet, removed my pants and waited. Waited for my mother to come.
And this one, about being trapped:
It was the third time I had tried to leave home; and this time, I almost managed it. I stayed away more than a year before limping back, wounded nd bleeding, to shut myself up in the long narrow dressing-room and practise banging my head on the wall. It was probably thanks to my parents’ religious beliefs that I wasn’t sectioned then and there, but since it was prtly due to these same beliefs that I was suffering at all, I figured that fair was fair. This time it was two years before I could get away. For someone who prided herself on independence, it was a strange way to behave.
Didn’t get very far with that – memories are too complex.
I have also written a fairly detailed description of the house where my sister and I grew up.