My novel started out, originally, as a quick romp. It was going to be a nice, relatively small, fun escapade that would get me writing without having to do anything massive. Proving that in the world of writing you can never expect what’s going to happen next, it’s ended up somewhat different from what I originally intended. After a frenetic week of rewriting and plugging of gaps, there is a small amount of housekeeping, rewriting and tweaking that I want to do this weekend- but after that, I am finished for this phase, and I enter the even more frightening phase of sending it out to people and seeing what they think of this patchwork quilt/Frankenstein’s monster that I’ve built. And the final total that I’ve gotten to is… 412 pages, and 186,494 words. It somehow swelled nearly 30,000 words in the last week and a half. I am, as they say, agog. Of course, the next thing I’ve got to do is try to turn them into 186,494 words (or less) that someone’s actually going to want to publish, but I am hugely proud of what I’ve acheived. This morning, I was mainly writing the epilogue of the story- and there were a few moments where I got that wonderfully weird sensation where it started writing itself, the characters started speaking to me, and stuff I never would have expected myself to think up started appearing in my head. It also ended up a lot better than I was expecting, and it’s strange to think that- bar some reshuffling at the weekend- the story that I first thought up in 1999 is actually written down in a complete form. The process from hereon in is still going to be difficult, but I feel better that I’ve at least gotten this far and am still standing.
Also, it’s the last day of my time in the wilderness, and I’m really going to miss being here. The third week alone proved to be tough, but I bounced back eventually, and overall it’s been surprisingly pleasent. I think the idea of being miles away from anywhere quite appeals to me, and the rhythmns of the day- doing exercises, feeding the fish, watering the plants- helped me through admirably. I had some doubts before I came down as to whether or not I was actually doing the right thing, but now I know for certain. It’s been a great time, and- if everything had gone according to plan- I would currently be welcoming Dad, Linda and Tom back from their travels. Unfortunately, they got delayed for four hours coming out of Auckland in New Zealand because of fog- and that has thrown the rest of their travel plans into a bit of a tailspin. I got a call from Dad last night, as they were apparently put up in a rather grotty hotel in Singapore while they waited for their next connection, and it turns out that instead of flying down from London, they’re now going to have to take the train, meaning they probably won’t get here until 10pm at the earliest. As a result, I’ve ended up with a little more alone time than I expected, and I’ve booked a taxi to get me to the station tomorrow morning, as the last thing I want is for Dad to be driving around with the galactic levels of jet-lag he’s probably going to be experiencing (He was already tired when he called me!). So, it’s a little wrinkle to the end of my time here, but hopefully everything else will go relatively smoothly, and they won’t have too traumatic a trip down.
Back to London tomorrow- and I’m seriously looking forward to seeing George after all this time. The strange thing is, that I’m not even going to get much of a chance to get my bearings, as in just over three weeks, I’m off to Scotland for the Edinburgh Film Festival 2006.
It’s been a good time here, and I hope I get the chance to do something like this again- and hopefully sooner rather than later…