Thursday, 24 February 2011


Afternoon, all.

Great news this week. Finally, I have completed the first draft of Past Undone. I have to admit, I have really struggled with this one. Begun last June while at work {hope my boss doesn’t read this blog}, I somehow become distracted and never completed it. Ok, so I lie with the ’somehow’. I know exactly how but best not get into that. The wad of scribbled story languished on my coffee table until two weeks ago when. {trumpet fanfare, a shaft of light from above} the muse came upon me. Actually, I embellish the tale. Due to my household being one laptop down, I had to share Facebook time with my daughter – which left me with time {do I really spend so much time in Mark Zuckerberg’s kingdom?} to take another look at my poor, abandoned project. Well I had to do something to combat the FB withdrawal symptoms. I am so glad I did. I am very happy with Past Undone. It represented a challenge, straying slightly, as I did, out of my comfort zone. More on this next week.
So do you all think I am eccentric? Do I care – no. I think one has to be a little off the wall to be a writer. Why else would you choose to spend more than half your life chained to a desk, recreating worlds in which your always get your man. {Who, incidentally, all look like Enrique/Russell/Gerard}.
And why else would I put myself through the emotional angst of my characters as they tread the rocky, oft grief-laden road to true love and happy ever after happiness? Because I am a masochist. Thing is, if I cannot relate to my characters pain, how can I convince my readers to do the same? Hell, at the end of my recently finished new tale, I cried, it was so sad.
And that’s just the fun part of a writer’s life. Did I mention the endless hours of promo – blogs, review chasing, loop posting? As I mentioned a few days back – send me an assistant, please. Oh but not for all for this. Someone to take care of my household would suffice. Being eccentric, I actually love all of the above. It’s the infringement of the ’real’ world I object to.
We writers all have our little quirks, I suspect. Let’s concentrate on one: our writing tools. Personally, I cannot write straight on to pc. I love the feel of paper and pen in my hand.
When I was still at school, my favourite possession was a Parker fountain pen. It was a gift from my boyfriend {thinking back, I suspect he probably nicked it but that’s another story.} I digress. I have always adored fountain pens. As a weirdo child, I loved to browse the local stationers, staring wistfully at the display cases of beautiful Parker and Schaeffer pens. My favourite Christmas gift of all time was a little post office set, complete with ink well and old-fashioned dip pen. There is something about the smell of ink that drives me crazy {No, it’s not a fetish before you writers of erotica get all hot under the collar”}
My faithful Parker pen took me though two years of Sixth form and my A levels. I know, had I lost that pen, I would never have been able to sit them. {This was in the days when you actually had to write pages of coherent essays to pass}. It was with this same pen, I churned out reams and reams of a teenage romance that I passed amongst my classmates. When I say reams, I mean reams. Margaret Mitchell, eat your heart out.
I carried this pen with me when I set out on my new life on Corfu. There, I begun yet another never to see the light of publishing day work. And then – disaster. While I was in the UK, giving birth to my son, my delightful mother in law found my six inch high manuscript with pen attached and burned it because she thought it was rubbish. Not that my writing was rubbish – after all she can’t read English so wouldn’t know {it probably was rubbish} – but she really believed It was for the trashcan. I think she may even have started a bonfire with it.
So, into the present I jump. I never did replace that beloved Parker. First loves are so hard to recover from. What could I do? I didn’t have sufficient money to buy another fountain pen with the required gold nib plus I abhor ballpoints. I cannot write with them. They make my wrist hurt. But, then I discovered the wonder of the gel pen. This opened up a whole new world of stress for me. There are sooo many different makes of gel pen. Added to this nightmare problem, Corfu town is inundated with wonderful little stationers, all selling a great variety of this 21st century gem. I have been known to spend an entire shopping evening, traipsing from store to store, trying out numerous pens until I am satisfied. Great success, as Mr. Borat would say. I thought I had found one; one I would be destined to spend the rest of my writing days with. Alas, life is too cruel. The b**stard pen company discontinued the line. And so, I struggle on in my quest for the perfect writing tool.
I have improved, I stress. I am no longer so fussy about the quality of my A4 paper. When in the ‘zone’ I will jot down notes anywhere. {not quite used toilet paper yet but it will come.}. I often wish I had one of those Star War force mind thingies that instantly transported my thought from my brain to paper. I often come up with my best scenarios sitting on the bus but, being a bad traveler, I cannot look down to write or I throw up. I have been known to talk to myself as I run through dialogue. I am lucky. No one in Corfu cares. Half the folk on my bus route are on day release from the psychiatric home anyway. I blend in a treat but I guess you all realized that. Until next time, in the words of the delectable Jon Bon Jovi, keep the faith. {I know the Right Hon Rev Ian Paisley said it first but he is hardly delectable.}

oops - nearly forgot. Lst week's competion winner is Wendy Thompson from the UK. She succesfully picked my top three fave lovesongs. actually, it was four because two tied for fouth place. I couldn't decide.
1}Sara - Fleetwood Mac.
2}Fist time - Roberta Flack
3} Run - SnowPatrol tied with Electricity - Anathema.

I leave you with a song about writing.



  1. don't know waht happened to the link. Try agaon

  2. The only love affair I have had with the fountain-esque pen was a foray into caligraphy. The art of beautiful lettering seemed to fit the bill of the demands of my creative heart for a time.
    When I began on this fiction writing gig I was more than thrilled to use a word processor. I had long since tired of the old typwriters of youth and actually took the time to learn the wonders of the computer just so I could produce copious words in something akin to reasonable amounts of time.
    I happily live with my laptop now, 'e','d','c', and 'n' letter images worn off. (I wonder what that says about my writing...hmmm)
    I suspect the tradition of commiting your first draft to paper enable you to polish the work in your mind before or whilst transferring it to digital, Viv. Whatever the process--keep it up because the product is unparelled and grand!

    Christine London

  3. Great post, Viviane.
    I'm definitely a pen and paper girl. It seems a natural process to write by hand and no way could I work straight on to a computer.
    As for your MIL burning your manuscript... um... I think I might have been a tad upset.

  4. I could easily sit at this computer hour after hour and write, but unfortunately my joints remind me when I finally get up that I shouldn't spend so much time being inactive. If not for age, I could really whip out the stories. :)

  5. Great post! I, too, have a love affair with pen and paper. I make voluminous notes before I actually write. I like black pens but will use blue in a pinch. I also have begun keeping my mother's rosary near while I write.

  6. What a wonderful post! Yep. All writers are a bit "touched". But ain't it grand?


  7. Hey, I really thought everyone was going to be a computer nut - but it seems we have more paper and pen lovers than I ever imagined!

    I too write heaps of notes before I write. And in my mind, I haven't actually written a word until it's on WORD LOL

    I also would throw up - looking down - whilst travelling on a bus or in a car. Buses are particularly smelly, bumpy and far worse.

    Gosh! Your MIL must be your favourite person of all time...


    Hugs to you and your abiltiy to write blog posts, which make me smile :D

    Quote: Half the folk on my bus route are on day release from the psychiatric home anyway.

    Keep the faith!

    By the way, Jon Bon Jovi was my hero for years - personally, I've not heard much from him lately, but I bet he still looks like my next boyfriend...

  8. Viviane, I used to write on paper and then when I started writing seriously I worked on the computer and realized how easy it was to move things around and delete words. So I now only use the computer unless I'm away from one and only have a notebook I will use it. But on trips it's good to have a notebook if a thought comes into my head.:)Then I go back and put it on the computer. I agree with Marva that all writers are a little crazy anyway!!

  9. I'm with you on pens - INC Alias 1.0 - it's an inexpensive pen, pink on the outside, black ink, a nice grip and a smooth flow. Sometimes it takes a little kick start, but once it's going - I love the feel of it gliding across my pages.
    I never would have considered this pen because of the could it possibly be exactly the perfect performing tool - but, it is. I bought every package the store offered. (grins)
    I choked on my hot chocolate when you mentioned your MIL burned your manuscript and your favorite pen - YIKES...I think that would have sealed my relationship with my MIL on the spot.
    Great Post Viviane!