AUGUST 2013 NOTEBOOK ENTRY
Almost as soon as I’d written my July notebook entry the weather turned hot, dry and sunny. Britain has enjoyed the best July weather for seven years – a heat wave, which ended a week or so ago (I’m writing this piece on August 3rd) in a series of spectacular thunderstorms, quenching the thirst of our gardens, replenishing reservoirs and rivers, and providing us with a nightly and sometimes daily firework display.
During the heat wave I took my planned vacation and did no work whatsoever, apart from scribbling a few notes about projected developments of the Ruritanian novel. When I returned, somewhat tanned, I was obliged to catch up with the backlog of editing and other work, but there was still glorious weather to enjoy so I spent as much time out of doors as I could, walking the neighbour’s dog and even doing small tasks in the garden. The practical consequence was slower progress on the novel than happened in June; I wrote just over 10,000 words in the month. However, I’ve now reached the point in the story where I can indulge myself by writing dramatic scenes; even in a comic fantasy novel there needs to be drama otherwise the reader will lose interest! So during the next week – if people will stop pestering me with manuscripts to edit – I’m going to have fun writing more of the book.
In my previous notebook entry I said there wasn’t going to be much storytelling activity for a while. Er… Actually, that’s proved not to be quite true. I’ve just returned from this afternoon’s session of the Glossop “Inspire” Festival, during which I was cajoled into leading a story walk. For those who’re not familiar with the phrase, a ‘story walk’ is a walk during which you tell stories. (Duh.) This afternoon, in another warm dry spell of weather, ten or a dozen people elected to wander around the woodland paths with me while I regaled them with local folktales. I focused on the very local, i.e. stories set within a few miles of where we were walking, and my peripatetic audience seemed well entertained. I’m due to perform at the Buxton storytelling meeting on the 25th of August (2.00-3.30 p.m. in Scrivener’s Bookshop) but I’m assured my services won’t be required locally again until the end of September. We shall see…Tags: author notebook, mark p henderson