16th April 2014

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
will do.”

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:

Words Wings (4)

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:

Paper storage box

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:

Rocking Chair

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?



13 responses to “16th April 2014

  1. I love poem #2, Characters. Poetry is like learning to play an instrument. It’s good for opening new pathways in the brain. I have more than a few poems tucked away. 🙂

  2. I love the spaces between too, Abi. It’s beach for me. Garden. Friends. Family. I’m not in that space atm, but writing a book about writing – could I quote a bit from this post in my book? Lots of SASsies have made contributions, so you’d be in good company!

  3. My word things are afoot, aren’t they?! So good to hear that your books have taken flight so-to-speak. I wish I could get that balance right that you seem to have nailed i.e. working on something with such focus that the ‘space betweens’ are their own thing.

    I have to say, Abi, the poems are freekin awesome! Reading them aloud in delicious! You are clearly in the zone word-wise.

    Love the paper art. I want to do some now! :o) xx

  4. Pingback: The Grand Blog Tour arrives at the House of Dreams! | Writing in the House of Dreams·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s