Sarah Ann Hall

Reporting on writing in progress or, more probably, not; practising flash fiction.

Excuse#13 – the number of my troublesome chapter

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Hubby has returned to college today and I to my desk.

Since my last post I have hung through the hatch of my parents’ loft handing down books, some of which were put away when we first ordered our new boat (six years ago now). I’m not sure if it was swinging the bags of books, or the previous week’s clearing of hubby’s parents’ loft that caused it (boxes sliding down ladder onto head then twisted onto chest to carry them), but I spent Christmas with my old friend de Quervain’s tendonitis. After three days of niggling pain I decided to have a day of not using my right hand at all and, following a further two days of light duties, it settled down. For the time being I have been able to avoid a steroid injection and the surgeon’s knife.

Between Christmas and New Year the funeral we attended was a good send off to a dear friend. The wedding we were invited to was a great party – the love-in the bride had wished for – as well as an opportunity to nose through a turn-of-the-20th century stately home (built 1899-1901). Our friends in Shropshire moved  from a rambling farmhouse to the side of a mountain – less space but fantastic views once the January mist clears. And then, last weekend, it was time for my mum to turn 70. I spent two days baking in the run up to her surprise ‘Cocktails and Cakes’ party, but it was all worth it when she came home from a morning out to be greeted by a house full of guests singing happy birthday. Considering she’s a bit of a control freak and doesn’t like surprises, it all went off swimmingly and she thoroughly enjoyed herself.

On the same day as the party, just as I was printing off some cocktail menus, I happened to check my email and find the online editing people had got in touch. And that’s another day of my life I won’t get back. I’m awaiting a reply to the email of constructive comments and questions I sent with the edited pieces. In the meantime, hubby has decided it takes too long for too little reward. I’m a tryer so I’ll give it another go before giving up.

All in all it we have been busy, but I did have a moment last week to start reading through the print off of the last third of my story, and then wished I hadn’t. I was only three sentences in to the first paragraph of chapter 13 before I was starting to pull my hair out. I gave up completely halfway down the first page. Today I had better luck and have pushed through the dire cotton wool fluff to reach the end. Chapter 13 (the chapter I had to write to move on) has been heavily edited (on paper) to make it more relevant. Holes have been filled in subsequent chapters, and chapters 16 and 18, both only half written, now have many more words and the way to each ending seems clear. When hubby checked up on me at lunchtime, I was able to report a good day’s work. So now it is back to the keyboard with the whole note-covered manuscript to make all the changes from page 1.


Written by Sarah Ann

January 11, 2012 at 3:26 pm

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