Friday, 21 August 2015

Out of my head, into a boat, and back on the page.

I'm late - a bit like the white rabbit - and I'm so sorry. I thought the 21st was ages away - and now it is 9.00 and I haven't posted.

Part of the reason why I'm out of kilter is that is the summer and my four children and my teacher husband are all off school. This is both wonderful and a bit disconcerting re scheduling. On the negative side I have so many more distractions - but on the positive side I am so lucky to live with the other five people in my family - they're great - each interesting and funny individuals and a lovely community. We read, go for dog walks,  listen to and play music, watch films and chat, and have a great time. I also try to work, but it is hard!

However, even though we get on well as a family, even 6 of us can get stuck in a rut , and so it was very good for us to go on holiday with another family this year. We went to France for two weeks, and because the other  family tend to do more sporty things than us, we broadened our experience and did lots of things we never normally do much as a family -swam, played cricket, went canoeing together.

I cannot over emphasise how scary and wonderful this sporty holiday was for me. I tend to live in my head too much. Like Jessie in my book 'Girl with a White Dog' I have always been scared of sport and felt I was rubbish. I admired the characters in books who were sporty, I longed to be sporty, but I never was. And that was fine. But this holiday with friends has shown me that sometimes (not always - I don't subscribe to notion of writer as an action hero!)  a writer needs to do, not only imagine. And if your internal voice telling you you are going to miss the ball is quietened down by other people's encouragement , then you actually may enjoy cricket and EVEN HIT THE BALL. A REAL ball. Not just a daydream. Yay!

Also - if you aren't alone with your imagination conjuring up worrying scenarios about drowning in a canoe accident - and if you go with other people who tell you your swimming is fine, point out you have a life jacket, and if you actually get out of your head and into a materially real wooden structure with seats, then canoeing down a beautiful river in France with friends and family is actually FUN.

Yes - I am actually smiling. And hitting a ball. And running.  I am so, so proud!

 I don't have a photo of me in a canoe - but I have gone back to my work in process and written a scene where my heroine is a canoe. Except that she isn't on a  calm river in France, but in an enchanted forest and in terrible danger of being swept over a waterfall, and has to be rescued by dragons.

As after all, I am a writer.


John Dougherty said...

We do all need to get out of our own wheel tracks sometimes, don't we!

Emma Barnes said...

Love this, Anne! Very unusually I've been both horseback riding and whitewater rafting this long before that works its way into a book?

Sue Purkiss said...

You sound like me, Anne! Actually, right at this moment, sitting in a canoe floating gently down a river in France sounds like sheer bliss...