Monthly Archives: November 2016

A weighty issue

I grabbed a sneaky forty minutes in a Costa today. I was on a mercy mission for my poorly little boy and big boy who were at home on the sofa watching Bob the Builder. The urge to write what has been on my mind overtook my mothering instinct so I played hooky and got out the notebook.

I had to start writing some of the back story for my lead female character because she seems to be sitting in a cottage in the middle of nowhere for no reason at the moment. It may not make the final cut but I know for a fact that she has a weight problem. She may be active and outdoorsy in the current scenes I have written but I just don’t buy that she would not have a problem with food just like so many women I know who spend their lives trying to serve others.

It occurred to me so few characters are written with a weight problem in modern fiction despite overweight women being ubiquitous in society. In Girl on The Train (which I have finally found time to read!) she does mention it, it is a side effect of Rachel’s alcoholism. Unlike Bridget Jones, where weight has become a central facet of her personality and subsequently the central focus of conversations about the film, I don’t remember seeing Emily Blunt talk about having to gain weight to play Rachel. I wonder then whether avoiding this weighty issue we are shying away from reality. One thought, it could be a challenge in setting a novel in the real, the here and now – are we thinking ahead to filming? or are we wanting to provide psychological flaws that remain hidden and don’t show so easily on the outside?

I would love to know if there are any novels I should be reading where a female character is just arbitrarily overweight, you know, like in real life…

 

 

 

 

 

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Lost scenes

Seem to have lost a notebook. In reality this means certainly two scenes I like-and one I am not so sure of -gone. 

I don’t think they would have won any awards in their current state but I feel their loss painfully nonetheless. 

A stark reminder of the realities of writing for me. I have no time and what time I have I scribble in a notebook. You might see me in a random coffee shops, on the bus sometimes (maybe I left it on the bus). Perhaps what I really need as well as a writing habit is the time to sit quietly at my laptop. 

It is impossible to have this when my son is awake. My laptop is a way for him to scroll through a thousand images of red buses or YouTube (obvs). It demands a different time where my husband could bear to have the telly off or I take my laptop out to an office or maybe the pub?

Definitely some work to be done on demanding this time. I lost the book but it must also speak to the fact I really do not have “a room of ones own. “Stolen from this excellent post https://bookarahma.com/tag/virginia-woolf/

No place I’d rather be

When I was running last year “Rather Be” was my absolute jam. It pumped me up at the beginning of a race and helped me finish park run more than a few times. 

It occurs to me now that the message was taking me further than just the Thames path. I have come to an acceptance of life as it is. Having an son on the autistic spectrum was not my plan nor was taking quite so much time off work (I am very part time!) I keep looking at the students I work with wistfully as they try and plan their lives. Life is what happens. 

I cannot help thinking that this acceptance has freed with to write. You can’t wait for another time or a different life. Now is the only time.