Monday, 13 June 2011
Rituals and e-visiting old friends - Celia Rees
The other day, a student asked me if I had any particular rituals associated with my writing. I was about to answer, 'No, not really,' in a lame kind of way, when I realised that I do, I just never thought of them that way, that's all. I collect things. Some objects are almost talismans, others are just fun - like the models that make up the interesting Pirates! tableau. I have witches in all sizes from big, to very small with flashing eyes, that belong to Witch Child; models of pirates, ships, flags, eye patches, pencil case, t shirts (Pirates! - what else?); a tricolour rosette I bought in Paris (Sovay) and various jesters for The Fool's Girl. I don't stop when the book is finished - the Lego pirate ship was free with last week's News of The World and I always give money to street performers because of Feste.
Perhaps the reason I go on collecting is because books are never really finished. The characters stay with you long after the book has been published. You've lived with them for a long time, they are part of you, like memories and people from your real life. I realised this when I re-visited Pirates! recently. This was a stand alone book, published in 2003, no sequel planned, so none written, but that didn't stop me wondering, speculating about what happened next, so when I was invited by a blogger, who was having a pirate month in May, to write a piece for her website, I thought, why not?
She wanted it to be called a The Brawl in Triton's Tavern. I've had stranger requests. I decided to write an episode from Pirates! 2, the phantom sequel. As soon as I began to write, the characters and their voices were back again. It was like visiting old friends. The result can be seen http://vvb32reads.blogspot.com/2011/05/tritons-tavern-brawl.html
It was fun. I might go back there again for a longer visit. Who knows? In these days of e books and kindle, we can write what we like, what we want to write, not what is asked of us by publishers.