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A Good Send-Off

The service of thanksgiving for the celebration of the life of Mr Prue went well. So many people came from all over the country, some of whom I hadn’t seen for well over 10 years. It was good to see them all catching up with each other at the afternoon tea after the service, exchanging contact details.

The service itself was wonderful. It was just right, with music Dez loved, two tributes by the ex-head of the research institute where Dez and I worked for so long, and also the chairman of the geology group we both belonged to.

Here’s the order of service. It seems odd putting it on a writing blog but I want to share.

Requiem by Tomas Luis de Victoria sung by the Armonico Consort

Entrance music: Hanaq Pachap Kusikuynin sung by Ex Cathedra

Welcome and Opening Prayer

Poem: Not how did he die, but how did he live? Anon

Tribute (about Dez’s scientific career)

Reading: Proverbs ch 4, vs 5 – 13 (we heard this on a visit to Ely cathedral a few years ago. We’d been on a tour of the cathedral, the last of the day. As it finished the evening service was starting and Dez suggested we stayed for it. Rather odd as he didn’t believe in God and so never went to church. The reading was Proverbs ch 3 and 4. It impressed me so much that I asked one of the clergymen after what it was, and he wrote it down. I’d looked it up in the bible when I got home and left the piece of paper in the page, then forgot all about it. When a friend phoned the other day to suggest a reading, the bible opened at Proverbs. I remembered and thought, “Yes! That’s just right”.

Hymn: For the beauty of the earth

Tribute: (about Dez’s invovlement with the geology group)

Address

Music: Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan (Dez loved Bob Dylan’s music. I didn’t share this love – one of the very few because mostly we liked the same music. It seemed right to have Dylan in somewhere, although I had to grit my teeth through it!).

Reading: Song of Songs ch 8, vs 6 – 7 (NIV)

Prayers

Hymn: He who would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster

Commendation, Committal and Blessing

Poem: If I should go before the rest of youby Joyce Grenfell

Exit: Trumpet Tune and Ayre by Henry Purcell

A friend did the flowers; ivory roses with frothy gypsophilla, stripey grass leaves and larger dark green leaves. It was a glorious tribute. And I cut some wild carrot flowers because Dez worked on fungal diseases of carrots.

It was a sunny day, people stood around afterwards chatting in the sunlight. It was more like a party which was lovely. Afternoon tea lasted nearly 3 hours! This was held at the conference centre where Dez worked. They put display boards on tables and I’d put up lots of photos of Dez. There must have been well over a hundred people there and I think I managed to speak to every one of them.

It was a fitting end to a life well-lived and enjoyed, and it was wonderful to see people talking and laughing. The afternoon was as good as it could be, and as more than one person said, “Dez would really have enjoyed it,” which made me smile because I think he would have.

 

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16 Comments

Posted by on August 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Sad news

I’m so very sorry to say that Mr Prue died last night. He was in hospital and collapsed. There was nothing they could do for him. I still don’t know what happened but may find out more later this week.

Mr Prue’s name was Dez and he was a wonderful man. He was the most precious thing in my life. I loved him dearly, and our love kept us going through the years. I cannot get my head round what happened, and I cannot contemplate life without him.

Thank you all for you concern, good wishes and kind thoughts.

I will come back here when all the things which need to be done have been done, and when I stop panicking at the thought of life alone. My book, as with many other things right now, seems pointless. I know it isn’t, and Mr Prue wouldn’t want me to think that. But it must be put aside for another day.

Love to you all x

 

 
28 Comments

Posted by on July 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Update

Writing is something which doesn’t feature much in my life right now. In spite of my determination to do 1 SFR a day, that hasn’t happened.

Mr Prue has been transferred to a bigger hospital 20 miles away and will have some more tests done tomorrow. Just waiting to find out more is unhinging me – I wish I could switch off my fertile imagination! Can only assume I’ve read far too many melodramatic books 🙂

One benefit of waking early is to get out into the countryside for a walk by 6.30am. The days when the sun shines are glorious. No sounds except for the birds singing (mostly larks at that time of day), the wind in the trees and an occasional bleat of a sheep.

Hope all is well with you all, and that you’re pursuing your projects and enjoying them 🙂

 
4 Comments

Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Possible Pause?

Just to say that Mr Prue is in hospital following a CT scan. It maybe blood clots on his lung but whatever it is, they’re investigating which is a Good Thing.

Characteristically Mr Prue isn’t worrying much; I tend to worry and right now I’m not sure which way is up. He maybe taken to the bigger hospital in Coventry tomorrow but we’re not sure. It’s one of those ‘play it by ear’ situations.

Needless to say, while I managed 4 SFRs two days ago, since yesterday Mystery in Morocco has taken a back seat. However, tomorrow I will try to do at least one in spite of everything! Onward!

If I’m not around for a while, you’ll know that I’m either writing or doing the hospital run – or curled up asleep somewhere.

Keep writing. Keep making progress. Have fun! 🙂

 
14 Comments

Posted by on July 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

And Another SFR Bites the Dust!

Last week I managed one single, solitary SFR – and it was like pulling hen’s teeth (and yes you are correct in thinking hens do not have teeth, so that would be very difficult 🙂 ). It took two hours.

Today I did another SFR in half an hour. Things are looking up!

When the going gets tough I try to keep one of Susan Jeffer’s affirmations in mind: “One step at a time is enough for me.”

Of course one step isn’t enough, I want to do it all now! Yet all those small steps, even tiny ones, mount up to a whole lot over a period of time. It’s the keeping going that matters, not the amount. As Kirsten reminded me recently,  there are a finite number of SFRs. Even doing one a week means I will get to the end eventually. Thanks for that Kirsten – sometimes a reminder is just what’s needed 🙂

I don’t know why I find SFRs such a pain (SFR = scene for revision; the putting of the scene and all its parts into one sentence of 30 words or less). Today I was so aware of what was missing from the scene, and how to include it in a way which would make that scene so much stronger – as well as fitting in with the  book’s. So that can’t be bad.

And I still hate SFRs.

I know from the RS feeds I get that at least some of you are following your own stories at varying paces. Knowing how you are doing really helps me to keep at least part of my mind on writing, and helps me find motivation enough to keep on going even if it is only a bit of writing here and there.

Onward! Get in another paragraph/sentence/word before that next job to be done 🙂

 
4 Comments

Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

…and then there was none

*Blows dust off blog and removes cobwebs*

The blogs I visit on a regular basis usually give notice of disruption. I like that. I know what’s happening. And sometimes Life takes over which is what happened recently with me.

I don’t deal with change very well, and certainly not with changes involving Mr Prue’s health. He’s on the mend again but I got ill too (he believes in sharing!) and so I abandoned this blog.

My characters and Muse seemed to think it was the right time to take a holiday so I’ve done no writing either (stress has that effect on my creativity) apart from a third and last essay for the Ancient Egyptian evening class, which has now ended.

One thing I noticed – and I wonder if it affects you too – that when I write things other than fiction, I use a much more flowing, fictional style than previously.

I’ve been reading (my escape when the going gets tough) and picked ‘Beowulf’ off the shelf – the translation by Seamus Heaney. I have great difficulty in remembering quotations from novels and poetry yet one bit at the beginning has stuck: “Shield Sheafson … wrecker of mead-benches”. I love it. He sounds quite a guy 🙂

Beowulf, being an Anglo-Saxon text, is strewn with alliteration, and it has obviously affected me. On the final read-through of my Egyptian essay, I was surprised to find alliteration had crept in “…an ancient polytheistic pantheon of anthropomorphic gods…”  and “…and is, for someone not an Egyptologist, a confused quagmire of fragmentary facts and contradictory conjecture.” 😀

I love poetry and the rhythm (and sometimes rhyme) associated with much of it; it’s why I like Shakespeare, Laurie Lee and many others.

This weekend, my characters and Muse came back off holiday and let me know it’s time to be thinking about them again. I felt a rush of affection for them all and take their appearance in my thoughts as sign that it’s time to start work again.

So, onward! Time to blow the dust and cobwebs off Mystery in Morocco and get to grips with revision.

It’s good to be back 🙂

 

 
13 Comments

Posted by on June 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

I’m the Hare — and Want to be the Tortoise

I’ve broken off from revision — still on Lesson 3 grinding through it at a snail’s pace, or that of a tortoise, i.e. slow — to write this post in the hopes it will help me come to terms with me and my process.

I’m like the hare; full of energy, wanting to race off and cross the finish line. Writing for NaNoWriMo was awesome because I didn’t have to stop and think. I just had to let those words flow out of my fingertips. Easy peasy. Work? Was that work? No way. It was wild, it was fun, it was a breeze. I was like a mad March hare leaping and dashing around in the spring sunshine.

Whatever else happened,  I got 50,000 words onto the screen. That was a huge turning point for me because it proved I could write that many words. It had seemed an impossibly large task. Climbing K2 without oxygen would be simple compared to writing number of words 😀

I got some great ideas as I was tap-tapping out those words. That part of the process seemed like magic. Where did those ideas come from? It gave me a huge buzz!

The problem in hare-ing off without a thought in my head was those 50,000 words were garbled, jumbled and without structure, form or, at times, meaning. I’ve been working on that dratted manuscript for a long time, trying to craft it into something worth reading (and learning much about the craft of writing along the way).

To do the crafting requires time, patience, and hard work. Staying with a scene and working at it methodically until I’ve answered the following questions:

What is the point of this scene? How does it fit in with the plot? Just who is the protagonist? And what part do they play in this scene? Just who is the antagonist? And what part do they play? Crucially, what the antagonist does must have some bearing on the protagonist — and I’m not talking about them getting on like a house on fire!

I’ve just written out a scene, condensed the information — that information which, if removed, makes the scene meaningless — and tried to write down the interaction between Protag and Antag. It’s like trying to stand up on ice with smooth-soled shoes. I’m slipping about all over the place! 😀

know I have a scene – by Holly Lisle’s definitition. I know who the Protag and Antag are (and I don’t always!), I know they are interacting. I know a lot about this scene on an intuitive level. It works. It’s good. It’s an important turning point in the story. But I’m **!#@><! if I can write down all those parts and produce an SFR which encapsulates the whole thing.

Which brings me back to the hare and tortoise. I’ve done my (very good) impression of a mad March hare and great fun it was. Now, I need to be the tortoise, going along at a much slower pace, giving myself time to sift through all the parts of the scene and produce an SFR which comes near (I’m not asking for perfection here :)) to the scene as it is written.

This sort of work takes time. My Muse gets bored with this. I get bored because we want to be off shooting through the Universe catching bright stars of ideas in our silver net.

That’s part of what writing is about for me. The other part is the slow stuff. It’s not as if I don’t like working out puzzles. I spent my career solving problems. Encapsulating a scene in an SFR is only another problem — and yet I’m not treating it as such.

This disinclination to stay with this part of the process bemuses me. I learn such a lot from it. Admittedly it doesn’t seem so exciting, and I don’t get as much from it — although I suspect I will when I’ve got through.

So another frustrating day. I’ve learned about my process. Two parts, the mad March hare and the slow, steady tortoise. I can do both. I prefer to be the hare. I need to learn to be the tortoise without feeling frustrated. How to do that remains a mystery at the moment.

Y’know, I think I can hear my Muse chuckling. What is that about? Don’t you just love writing? 😀

For those of you who want to join the ‘I’m a Tortoise and I Love it!’ club, here’s a logo

 

I found the clip art at  http://www.arthursclipart.org/turtles/turtle/front.gif

 
13 Comments

Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Uncategorized