Yestrday started to mind-map some ideas for a novel based in Hounslow, where I grew up, Thinking about characters and how they interact; setting (church, outer London, dominated by the airport from where we never took a plane). In fact, I think I’ve only ever once flown from Heathrow, so that makes it a little bit, though only a little, like Helen Forrester’s “Twopence to Cross the Mersey”.
www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/f/helen–forrester/twopence-to-cross-mersey.htm – 26k –
I quite like her books – though intellectually unchallenging, her writing has a clarity and lack of pretension that many others in a similar genre lack – probably because she knows whereof she speaks. I am a little dubious about the idea of doing research on a subject (unless it’s really historical) and then writing a novel about it. I feel completely brain-dead at the thought of doing research.
Anyway, I was thinking this morning as I usually do, about what kind of writer I am and deciding that all I can do is follow my voice. I can’t pretend to be what I am not, even if I am unsuccessful as a result. Still I think my time will come. It seems to me like that moment in “Minority Report” where he is being pursued by police; and the precog (who as the name suggests, sees the future) tells him to stand still and wait, while every fibre of his being is straining to run. She holds him and repeats with increasing urgency: “Wait. Wait. Wait: wait: wait! Wait”. At the moment the police arrive on the balustrade a choreography of umbrellas hides them completely, something only she could have known.
If you haven’t seen “Minority Report”, do so immediately. It is an excellent film.
Here’s today’s poem, a reworking of a previous one.
My twins fight
like dog and cat
I cannot write
this ship of state
What this state meant
we aren’t agreed
our Special Need:
am torn apart
twin tub, this boat
washes my heart.