Monday, 2 February 2015

THE SUMMER of FRUITION – Dianne Hofmeyr


This morning I killed someone. I got up early while the house was quiet and did it and then howled. It was tough. I hadn’t planned it. It came over me suddenly with huge conviction that it was the right thing to do. But it wasn’t easy.

I’ve known the person for two years or more and had never thought of killing her. But I did it. Now I’m bereft. But bad things happen. My story was too calm. Too stitched up at the end. How can one be working in one direction and then do such an about turn that you become a murderer overnight? And how can one feel so utterly sad about someone who is completely made up in your own head? Before writing them into the story, they didn’t exist, except in your deep consciousness. Is it the same deep consciousness that impels you to kill the person as well? I don’t know. All I know is that I hated doing it but the story is stronger.

I’m at my sea house… seems harsh to say this… when I know how cold it still is in the northern hemisphere right now… but I’m wondering if this house has an impact on my writing. In London I live so cramped and envy writers who have huge expanses of wild countryside to tramp while they solve their plots. Here I have nine kilometres of pristine sand and sea with a wild rocky outcrop at the end. As I write in the early mornings the salt air wafts in heavy with the smell of the sun on the wild indigenous coastal ‘fynbos.’

Do writers all have special places that unlock more – memory palaces not in the true mnemonic sense (I might be able to write that but can’t say it without stumbling) but places that make writing easier? Less about bricks and mortar and more about a space onto which we can project our dreams, hopes and fears? Like opening a drawer and suddenly the smell of it brings the memories and stories spilling out?

I’ve been writing this novel for more than two years now and I’m still polishing the stones of it that tumble around in my head and still finding the bleached bones buried in the sand. Perhaps now is the time to let it go? If Liz Kessler’s blog was The Spring of Ideas perhaps mine is The Summer of Fruition.

I’ve posted this video below on ABBA before when I originally made it as a response to place. But perhaps a bit of summer sunshine might not be misplaced. It was my first attempt at stitching visuals and music together so the loop in the music pauses in the middle but then picks up again.

Matt Haig tweeted recently: ‘Fiction is just a dream we have that we try to externalise.”

Twitter @dihofmeyr

ZERAFFA GIRAFFA by Dianne Hofmeyr, illustrated by Jane Ray, published by Frances Lincoln made the Top 100 Classics in the past 10 years List in THE SUNDAY TIMES and the Best Picture Book List for 2014 in The Times on Saturday.


Michelle Hussey said...

I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. This post is truly amazing, keep posting this kind of article.

Putu Sastra said...
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