The Spaces In-between
It’s almost Easter, the sun is shining and I am currently in a position very familiar to writers everywhere … I am in the space in-between – in-between my manuscripts being submitted and beginning again. Yes, my latest projects have flown the nest! The Box of Dreams, a fantasy/adventure for 9-12s, which I started writing last June – 11 months ago – has now stepped foot outside The Burlingham Abode and has gone on a little adventure. Flaine in Crush, also for 9-12s, a humorous look at the life of a tween, has ventured out too. They were both a bit anxious, neither of them having any idea of what lay ahead. I suggested they took chocolate and clean underwear, but they just rolled their eyes at me and tutted as if to say “Oh, Mum, just let us go!”
And I confess, it was a struggle letting them go, so much so that after every intention of waving them off a fortnight ago, I held back and edited both manuscripts agai! Breaking the bond has been tough. But now they are gone, and I have the space in-between to fill. Now, I know some writers like to catapult themselves into the next project, but that’s not how it works for me. I like the space. I want to sit in it a while, remind myself how it feels, gaze out the window without any intention, and I want to do the things I love doing but haven’t had time to do. Writing is not always very inclusive, is it? It’s like an overgrown leylandi and tends to get a bit out of control and shut out everything else.
So, I have been giving my garden an re-vamp, painting a red door white, and writing some poems… okay, it’s writing, but it’s a hugely different type of writing. To me, it feels more like singing and dancing. I have written this:
The Big Issue
I look at you in an
I love you state
whilst the government
is being sarcastic
talking pointed pencils
and sugar-spun mice
and the price of a piece of elastic.
and I have written this:
They came to me
through cracks in the wall
the voices tall and languid.
In lucid sleep they came
not bidding me a moment’s
sliding between the sheets and
shaping their bodies
to my every breath.
“What do you want?”
I asked with silent lips.
“Just a small part,” they said.
“A mere mention, a line or two
But then they changed their shapes –
one was a leveret running
– one a magpie tinged with blue.
They changed their shapes
as they always do –
to puzzle and confuse.
I wrote these quickly, as they came to me, which is the way I like to write poems. A poetry splurge is good for the soul and it’s as if they have been coiled up inside me all the while I’ve been working on my other, longer projects. I have also been doing some arty stuff – again, something I haven’t had much time for lately. So I have been experimenting a bit with lots of lovely papers, and yesterday I completed this:
Incidentally, it’s called ‘Give your words wings’, which seemed very apt! I had soooo much fun doing my first paper picture and have even bought this:
in which to store my scraps of paper, with the intention of doing lots more, a series of them in fact, all containing references to books. There will be a dog in each too, I suspect… and trees! I also treated myself to this:
and it comes with a RULE: Must be used when the sun shines!
I have no doubt that soon I will be eager to start work on another writing project, but for now I am going to bask in the space in-between for a little while longer.
What do you do in the spaces in-between?