Nothing like a five-year old manuscript

sea-mist

 

I am working on this “draft” (of drafts) again. It says I last worked on it in 2016, the first words go back to 2011, which I find both curious, and almost desperate. The plot is vague, the characters unbelievable, well, not so deep anyway. Yet I find this important, even vital: retracing these steps, pausing on the good bits, not yet editing but planning to.

This project was, at the time, very time consuming. I looked for every opportunity to work on it, despite… a rather busy life. And, now, I really want to turn it into something worth reading, not just by me, but even by others too. There is something in the story I find, again, puzzling. I think it is the geography of the thing, its way to send the characters… maybe where they want to go. Not so random.

Shitty first drafts

“Very few writers really know what they are doing until they’ve done it.”

Peedeel's Blog

Shitty first drafts. All good writers write them. This is how they end up with good second drafts and terrific third drafts. People tend to look at successful writers who are getting their books published and maybe even doing well financially and think that they sit down at their desks every morning feeling like a million dollars, feeling great about who they are and how much talent they have and what a great story they have to tell; that they take in a few deep breaths, push back their sleeves, roll their necks a few times to get all the cricks out, and dive in, typing fully formed passages as fast as a court reporter. But this is just the fantasy of the uninitiated. I know some very great writers, writers you love who write beautifully and have made a great deal of money, and not one of them sits…

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Reaching #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

twilight

 

“So we are back”, you said in a tone of voice void of emotions. But I knew better: “back” meant we had failed, together, to adapt to a different life, to create the new, to be reborn. Yet this was our home, the naked ground where we belonged. Even the barren trees were part of us, a befitting reminder of the winter of our souls.

“We’ll find a ruin somewhere, do it up, settle down…” I added, hopeful.

“I love those clouds, and then I am here, still, with you!” You replied with a smile, “I thought we should never regret a failure, the important thing, was to have tried.”

“I knew you would understand,” I said, fixing you, as you were reaching for my hand, “Together we are strong, as strong as ever.”

Of a broken box and a small town

2479439_web

In the past two weeks my writing output (I did not want to say “literary”) was badly affected by the collapse of my old Mac, bought in 2009. This was the tool for my writing before and after a first (disk) failure, back in 2018. I was then lucky enough to find a local expert (in Gesundbrunnen) to fix it, without loss of anything. So its life was extended by about a year. Ha! the anxiety, those precious manuscripts! I have now bitten the bullet, and got a so-called refurbished recent version of the same, so that I can now, for a while, avoid the usual trap of “too old to be updated etc.” Hence new MacOs and new virus protection. Even an updated version of Scrivener. Sigh… The “migration”, although assisted courtesy Apple™, was an experience… It’s all there as far as I have been able to ascertain, so far. I am now full of enthusiasm, and I am even considering a major reconstruction of my first novel, still languishing on the Cloud (more about this for another post).

In the meantime, on a beautiful and cool Sonntag we have discovered another treasure of Brandenburg, the town of Eberswalde. Treasure because of the location (slightly north-east of the city of Bernau by Berlin, and easily accessible with the regional train, well designed for carrying lots of bicycles), along two beautiful canals, the Finowkanal and the main Oder to Havel canal. Superb riding country, much loved by cycling enthusiasts all year round. The Finowkanal is on its length the site of magnificent industrial buildings in ruins, notably a paper mill dating back to the XVIIth century (and still working in 1991 when the vultures came in), and an electricity generation plant. This inspired me to write about it, and seek its history.

Now let’s go back to work!

Image: old paper mill in Eberswalde, source: Technikdenkmal in Eberswalde

Eberswalde bei Wikipedia.de

Frozen #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

frozen

 

“I know where we are, we walked this path many times. Was it yesterday? It was summer still, and yet you see: today the ground is hard frozen, how can this be? ”

“My love, you are confused. We’ve travelled a long time, this place is not that you recognise, we are far away from home, a long way away from summer…”

“What are you telling me? Are we lost? How can we be now in winter?”

“We have to rest. You see, we have what it takes to survive, this far North, and we must keep warm.”

Mirror #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

mirror-pool

 

Is this where I find you?

Is it your resting place, where you found solace, at last?

Is this your reflection, mirror of a soul forever lost to us?

Have you now found peace, away from the terror of this world?

Were you so impatient, or so desperate, to seek evasion, a door to elsewhere?

Are these trees your friends, there to protect you, and, perhaps, to warn us?

Have you succeeded where we have failed?

Journey #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

journey-sue-vincent

 

“Insane”, did you say? Yes, I agree, who wants to wander, alone, half naked, in this desolate landscape, other than a madman? But I am on a journey, probably a long journey. “Where are you going?” could you ask, but you won’t.

I want to find them all, all the ghosts, the people I met, once, some I knew, others I loved. There are others too, whose names I never knew, but somehow I can remember. They are all long gone, and I want to find them, to see them a last time. I am sure they are still around, and, perhaps like me, they are wandering, looking. It’s a natural thing to wish, I think, to retrace our steps, to try and meet the long gone shadows of other beings who crossed our lives.

“But”, I hear you argue: “who cares, and why?”

Why should I care? Because life is short, because there are now so few of us still alive, still thinking. There are witnesses, of course, trees, rocks, animals… Sadly we have lost the art of talking with them.

So it is, and I go, keep going, on this journey, until I too disappear in a little cloud.

Destination #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

foggy-morning-019

 

You are now so close: and you know I am waiting.

The certainty to find me, at the end of this road, your destination.

You know, all that time I have been waiting, since the day, that day, when you left.

Many pages I wrote since then. Many books I read. Many cities I travelled to.

Many others I met.

Yet I too was certain: one day you would walk this tree-lined road, to find me.

Alas, much I have changed, as I know you have.

All these years, away, without each other.

And now, the end of the road, our destination.

Clarity #writephoto

Thursday photo prompt

clarity

 

Once we walked along this shore, through these dunes, you and I, hand in hand, when the world was young.

Now, our children stand tall and strong, and they and their mates look just like us, as we were.

So you see, dear love, despite all the mistakes, sometime the doubts, we saw through our future with much clarity, as the waves told us we would, once, there, along this shore, long ago.