Yesterday Charlotte and I spent the entire morning writing letters to people who live in Felpham and are anxious about what is going to happen to Blake’s Cottage. It was a long chore, but a necessary one. This morning we felt we’d earned a bit of a break. We left the cottage to fend for itself for a day and went out for a ‘walk and talk’ along the Felpham promenade. It was as you can see, just the right sort of day for it.
Perhaps I should explain that ‘walk and talk’ is my way of sorting out some of the knots that snarl themselves up in most of my manuscripts while the work is in progress. My old darling and I were experts at it, my new darling and I are rapidly becoming experts. We set off along a lovely, quiet prom prom prom, with no brass bands going tiddly-om-pom-pom.
We walked for about a mile and the first knot was unscrambled within the first 100 yards. My 15 year old, feisty heroine has a putative boyfriend who admires her but will rapidly quarrel with her. The quarrel had to make sense from the POV of his character and hers.
The sun shone, our walk continued and we turned our attention to her relationship with her father. I had set it up to be difficult from the opening chapter, when she dyes her long, blonde hair black and goes Goth to annoy him. But there was lots to be sorted out here too as we walked, talked and unscrambled. The sun shone on us all the way, the Felpham seafront sat contentedly in the sea breeze and by the time we decided we had earned ourselves a short rest, we’d walked about half a mile. Oh we writers have a terrible life of it.
On our return half mile with Butlin’s white tents glimmering in the sunshine ahead of us and the prom full of brisk dog walkers, we rejigged the chapters we’d disturbed by our unravelling efforts and worked up a considerable thirst and a healthy appetite, both of which had to be slaked. Like I said. We writers live a terrible life.
We said goodbye to the beach and the Felpham beach huts feeling very well pleased with ourselves. Back to Blake tomorrow, I haven’t forgotten it.