Posted on September 19, 2007 - by MG
1. Woken up wayyyy too early by BlackBerry flashing with the message “Write 1000 words of Jaguar – NOW!” Lie awake for ages, unable to stir from bed.
2. Oldest daughter invades to fleece me of what little shrapnel I have. “I haven’t got my PIN yet!” is the usual excuse for the ongoing cash drain. Youngest daughter is sleepy and wants cuddles. How can I resist? Husband prepares packed lunch and breakfast for little ‘un, then takes her to school, all to leave me free to write. But I just stare in fascination at FaceBook. There’s a MyFlickr app! Cool; install it. Apparently apps could be the death of Facebook – people are getting cross with all the zombies and jedi vs sith silliness. I say: if you don’t want the app, Dile que no.
3. Check out all my friends blogs and post comments. Email a dear friend who’s back in touch via LinkedIn. Check my favourite writer’s websites. Read short stories on fiction website. Finally shower, dress and look at the chunk of writing I have to do today. It’s a foot chase through Old Havana. Rooftops will feature, because hey, it’s Havana! So will the Malecon, because, well, IT’S HAVANA.
4. Read some of Alejo Carpentier’s ‘The Chase’ to get in the mood. Browse my photos from Cuba, to get in the mood. (There aren’t enough of rooftops. I looked down over rootops every day in Havana – what was wrong with me – why didn’t I take more of rooftops?) Watch the rooftop party scene from Habana Blues, to get in the mood.
5. Finally in the mood, write the Old Havana chase scene; 800 words. That’ll do – half a chapter and I left at a good place – the rooftop chase begins.
6. Pick up littlest daughter from school, acquire 3-year old neighbour boy on the way. Pick apples from our tree. Bake a pie together. Make pesto for tea. Experiment with a new daiquiri that uses fresh pink grapefruit juice and just a hint of coriander. (gently, gently bruise about five coriander leaves in the glass part of a shaker, add 1/2 shot freshly squeezed lime juice, 1/2 shot of gomme, 1 shot freshly squeezed pink grapefruit juice, 2 shots light rum, shake in Boston shaker with plenty ice, fine strain into a chilled martini glass.)
7. Discuss my teenager’s complex love life with her and reluctantly help her to plan a strategy with latest love interest. (It was that or talk all night long.)
8. Laundry. Who doesn’t love laundry? NOT! I read in some newspaper article that Mrs Thatcher admitted that getting the fluff out of the dryer was one of the small pleasures of her life. I try it. It’s surprisingly satisfying – comes off in three nice clean layers.
7. Eat pie whilst reading today’s 800 words. Polish. Write this blog entry.
5000 words to go, by my estimate, until I finish the first draft of ‘Jaguar’s Realm’. I planned this ending ONE YEAR ago, but last week I thought of a major tweak that has allowed me to keep the pace and drama going strong all the way through Act 3. At least that’s the plan, and that’s why I plan. Things can only get better from a strong plan.
Writing the first draft, truly, is so much fun. I even enjoyed first drafts when I had no agent and no publisher. The story is all yours then and you’re the first one to read it.
And look…only 8pm. Still time to go salsa dancing at Freuds…
But I’m too tired.