The final countdown to departure date on Saturday has begun. Have got all my jabs and the required three-month tourist visa. All summer clothes and togs have been unearthed from the back of the wardrobe and are now ready to pack. I felt cold just looking at them.
Today in freezing sunshine, a welcome break from the storms, a very pleasant shop assistant in my local chemist went to the store-room for a box of sunglasses. It was an almost surreal moment buying them while swaddled from head to toe in layers of thermal clothing. And beside me people queued to get their prescriptions filled. This very inclement weather means many of us have succumbed to colds, sinus infections, chest infections and flu.
On a different note, my writing life has got off to a positive start in 2014. One story is forthcoming in Crannóg due out the end of February. Sadly I won’t make the launch on the 28th as will be away. Stinging Fly found another story moving though did not publish it. Yet another story was described by New Irish Writing, (NIW) as a fine one but did not make it to the final judging. That was story number six submitted in 2013 to NIW alone. The moral is to keep on keeping on. It is starting to feel as if I’m nearly there. Perhaps story number seven will be the one to make it into print at NIW.
Thus am heading off to Sierra Leone armed- not just with sunglasses and factor 50 sunblock- but with oodles of inspiration to continue working on stories. Have the scaffolding, or the beginnings, of some ideas for new stories sketched out in my head and on paper and plan on bringing to them to completion while away. On my return will continue to submit them to Stinging Fly and NIW and any competitions, or publications, that catch my eye.
Also plan to edit the novel while in Sierra Leone. Hopefully, working on ‘Cast a Long Shadow’ in the setting which inspired it will cause the words to flow freely and prefect sentences to form themselves. As if all I need to do is turn up. As if it could ever be that simple.
My head is also brimming with ideas and fragments of dialogue for a third novel. It would be wonderful if a few paragraphs of it could be committed to paper/screen in the next few weeks. But the words can’t be rushed, they will form and gather and become a narrative all in due course.
This plodding writer will keep plodding on.