Coming Home

At 11.30pm Wednesday, Craig and I arrived home after a week in London doing work with Foolish People on their amazing production Strange Factories (www.strangefactories.com).

It was a fun week, but very hard work, with a lot of rushing around and travel – and a little time for writing too. I do love the city, and this latest trip has made me really keen to go down again when we’re not working so we can visit more Londony places. We had a brief stop at the British Museum and went to an amazing Wardruna concert, but that was pretty much all we had time for. I really want to go back on the London Eye at some point, not to mention visit a few of the other museums and the Tower, etc.

Nonetheless, coming back was a really powerful reminder of the niceness of Home. I missed the Brandycat terribly, and he was most pleased to see us return (and has barely let us out of his sight since). Even though the place isn’t as tidy and clean as I’d like it, there is something so comfortable about being back in our own space, with everything familiar and on hand and easy. I’ve got a few resolutions to try and keep but we’ll see how long they last.

One of the things I did on the train journey was read a lot of my older writing – just going through the various folders in my ‘Stories and Notes’ section, which covers a variety of stuff from when I was eleven and onwards. Reading my younger writing is always a strange mixture of cringing and thinking, ‘Hey, this isn’t actually that bad’. The writing is always very immature, of course, and I had a real problem with telling not showing, but some of the ideas underneath all that were quite nuanced and interesting.

The overall result of this is that I’ve decided to NaNoWriMo this year, as a bit of a last minute addition to my workload. I love NaNoWriMo, love the whole culture that surrounds it and the good writing habits it instills. The one I wrote in 2009 was actually Not That Bad and is the basis for the novel I’m currently working on in general. So this year I’ve decided to go back to a very old idea – perhaps the first idea I really put any heart into, and a character I was obsessed with for years. My main challenge is to write her without her being a complete and utter Mary Sue, which will be challenging, but her story does fall into the archetype of The Hero Who Cannot Be Held Down, so a tiny bit of sueish traits will be okay as long as she’s flawed and the world reacts to her flaws.

I’m excited by it, and excited by the work I have ahead of me generally, although it is looking to be another very busy month. At some point I’ll need to take a breather, but if I can keep going until Christmas, that’ll be pretty cool.

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