I was in journal heaven for two hours this afternoon; I sat in my garden with three of them, one for my novel, one for plants and one for wildlife.
Novel first. I was scoring chapters; when I innocently typed my way through the first draft, periodically revising sections as I went along to produce a sound base for my first major editing of the story, I had no idea writers “scored” their chapters by rating the scenes for speed and light. I had instinctively moved between quiet, intimate scenes, action-packed intimate scenes, conversational or action scenes with lots of characters and so on. The more articles I have read about pacing your novel, the more blogs I have read about a writer’s anxiety that their story arc is not ‘on an upward trend’ or the pace of their book is too even, the more insecure I have felt about the construction of my own story. The editing I started in mid-March now seems totally inadequate so I have renumbered everything in smaller parts and described each scene in more detail. Today I began scoring them in my journal; against all the odds I found I enjoyed doing it.
Plants. On Wednesday I had a delivery of plants, lots of them, carefully packed in flats and peeping out of damp newspaper . Only other plant-mad people will understand the joy of unwrapping each one, finding the right-sized pot and standing them somewhere shady to acclimatize for a couple of days prior to planting out. Today I entered their names in my journal; I know they are all listed on my laptop in the order confirmation email and I no longer need to hand-write the list but I have been doing this since 1983 and the feeling of continuity is comforting.
Wildlife (and plants). I sat by a border that is allowed to contain thistles until their seeds are about to disperse at which point they are hacked down and removed from the garden. There is also purple sage, a buddleia alternifolia and the wonderful rose ‘William Lobb’ in this border so the scent is superb and there is an almost constant stream of insects and butterflies passing by. The photos below are of this border. I have identified the butterfly as a female Small Tortoiseshell but if you disagree feel free to say so; she looks a bit ragged round the edges . There were also lots of comma butterflies and others flitting about I did not manage to identify because I was writing. I recorded the ones I identified in my wildlife journal along with all the other species I had seen today; I do this a couple of times a month between March and October.
So, my secret’s out; I’m a Journal Junkie.
If you like these photos please feel free to use them.