Thursday, 28 April 2011

April began pretty badly; I was tucked up in bed feeling like a Brontë sister.  Even for someone who writes, this is NOT a good thing.  Emily and Anne died of Tuberculosis and poor little Charlotte fell off a horse, never felt quite the same again and passed away a few months later.   So, ok, maybe I didn’t feel quite as rough and tragic as they did – but I did feel just about as rough and tragic as I wanted to.  After an utterly dreadful March, to then get immediately struck down with some minging chest infection seemed to me a bit harsh.

Luckily though this minging state of affairs cleared up just in time for me to enjoy the Easter holidays and so I waved a temporary goodbye to Mr Bloke, got into my little car and zoomed across the width of Britain to visit my old friend Lynda in South Wales for some serious rest and recuperation and creative inspiration.  Make no mistake, though, this was NOT a holiday.  Oh no!  This was strictly business.  Lynda is a freelance artist (that’s one of her paintings by the way) and therefore she understands the challenges faced by those of us who attempt to get by living on our creative wits.

I’m talking about challenges such as learning the art of self-discipline and finding new inspiration.

It’s not easy, honest.  Especially if you happen to be like me and self-discipline isn’t really your thing and inspiration can sometimes get swallowed up by a weakness for ‘Tombraider’.

Since finishing the Lottie books, I’ve had a (much needed ) break but breaks can’t go on forever.  I know that it’s time I got my fingers dancing around my keyboard again pretty smartish.  And hey, guess what?   THEY’VE STARTED TO!  Well… not so much as a dance as maybe a tentative shuffle but there’s definitely movement and I’m happy with that.  Perhaps it was the solitude of being in the middle of nowhere with a view of hills out of the window which helped me back into that part of my head which generates all the words and ideas.  Or maybe it was spending time with Lynda who spends hours and hours of her life looking at a square of canvas.  Or maybe it was chatting to Lynda’s inspirational mates, Garry and Amanda, who earn their money making music (him) and making skincare products (her).  Or perhaps it was just the late nights, big conversations and pub breakfasts.

I don’t know or really care what it was.  All I know is that the month started badly and it’s ending a lot better.  I’m getting ideas again.  Which means that I’m once again susceptible to that occasional weird vacant look as my brain ignores where my body is and starts to work out possible plotlines.  And, believe me, this really IS a good thing!

Hello this month goes to Karen Maitland, author of the wonderful ‘Company of Liars’, ‘Owl Killers’ and ‘The Gallows’ Curse’.  I met her last week at an event in Norwich and she is LOVELY.  Thanks as ever to all of you who’ve sent me sweet emails.   If I haven’t replied yet, I will.

Below are some links to websites I like:

My friend Lynda the artist:

Amanda’s brilliant skincare products WHICH CURED THE ECZEMA ON MY HAND:

Karen Maitland the lovely writer:


1 comment:

  1. hey ms Long, completely agree with you about the paintings,the music, the skincare, the hills, the hours spent in the pub..... it was great to see you and hang out, I hope it helped! must do it again, it gets the brain going..... am a bit dazed and confused at the moment, have had a hard day working at Olympia. Thanks for the great comments! Lyndaxxx . Ps that PJ Harvey album - album of the year. What an intelligent deep listen.