I’m in a peculiar state these days, one familiar to writers and artists. Liminal space is a term I’ve just learned from the book Whatever Happened to Barry Chambers*. It is a time in between, a time of knowing and not-knowing. One door is firmly shut behind me. The next door is right there — but not yet open. Whether it’s my completed novel, now being pitched by my Yes! agent InterSaga. Or another life changing event (think of arriving to start uni, think of late pregnancy with your first baby). No amount of anxiety or imagination can change what lies ahead… but it’s definite and it will happen.
A strange state of forced patience, of trying to just value this in between, moment by moment. ‘Without any irritable reaching after fact’ said Keats, coining the term negative capability. Which is a positive thing. In fact it’s what writing the next novel is all about. A blind plunge into the unknown, the blank page.
PS — see my new crazy papiermache works here. And a new haiku here.
PPS — *By Barry Kay, the book is a memoir of a truly remarkable split upbringing.
Golden November. And it’s NANOWRIMO too. If you’ve never done it and you want a breakthrough in your writing, DO IT; guess I’d better put the link in here. Talk about patterns of writing, this go for broke method led me to the novel I completed in late spring. I am now submitting A Body of Knowledge to agents, a whole ‘nother adventure.
Of course once I had the breakthrough — after two agonising days of facing the blank page and writing rubbish, and only then finding a voice I didn’t know — I had to keep writing for the whole month. The flow was fantastic, and the freeeedom to write any old how. Besides that, there is no such thing as a novel in a month (but it’s fun to say). Once you get to the end of November you’ve got 10-20-30-50??000 words. Rest, recover, keep writing. And then edit-revise-rethink… a very different kind of pattern.
Patterns, seasons… time to add an autumn to my haiku page. Click here for a peek.
And now for a little haiku break. I am a writer of extremes. From plunging deep into novel-land of 60-70-80-90,000 words. To plunging deep into haiku, 12-13-14-15 (17 is too many) syllables. The ridiculous to the sublime?
barring my entry
the gatepost spider
its gossamer strength
An autumn haiku I’m adding to my haiku page. It and other seasons, here.
Catch a vision on BBC4 TV this Tuesday 9pm Utopia: In Search of the Dream. Amazingly it features haiku and a bit of me and other British Haiku Society poets. Over 3 programmes: Utopia for a fairer world, does utopian vision work, is it an inner state? Guess which is the haiku one. For me utopia could be a week’s writing retreat — already booked for it in Devon, Retreats for You. Meanwhile click here for BBC TV listing. And here for my most recent haiku.