Tuesday, October 19, 2021

My New Novel-in-Progress - "A Kind of Winnowing" by Fran Caldwell

That's not my picture, although I would have loved it as a cover. I could find no source for this online, but I'm grateful for the chance to use it here. It's obviously a very old, classical painting. Shame I don't know who painted it. I just hope I can do it justice when I do the art for my cover.

"Winnowing": to remove (as chaff) by a current of air;
to get rid of something undesirable or unwanted;
(winnow) out certain inaccuracies;
(winnowing) what is true and significant;
to distinguish valuable people or things from worthless ones

The weird thing about writing, I've found, is that most of the creative work isn't done sitting at a computer. Although I've acknowledged this for years, it's particularly obvious with this latest book. Computer work is the tidying, the proofing, tweaking the layout. The ideas are born elsewhere---often in unusual places. Having lunch with a friend, for instance, and she notices my glazed stare at nothingness. I don't have to explain; she knows me well. I'm writing. 

New characters, persistent dialogue, that perfect, fine-sounding word, new thinking about the actual structure---it all comes at me out of the blue. I can be in the middle of cooking, eating, showering (and during all the associated bathroom things), or trying to sleep---and it sweeps over me. During the day, I rush to the computer, or grab my notebook to make almost ineligible scribbles, but it can be very irritating when I've just turned the light out at night. Yes, I curse, as I roll out of bed, but I don't mean it. How lucky am I to be able to write at all?

This new book is based on a huge diamond heist that takes place in London in 1972, but it's set in the present, the aftermath of that robbery now threatening the quiet life of a grandson of one of the thieves, and others in his life. Millions of pounds-worth of diamonds were never recovered when the thieves were arrested, and Alistair is faced with the fact that some unsavoury type wants to claim them and believes he might know where they are.  Who's  after Alistair, and what can he possibly know fifty years after The Club of Diamonds job? 

The characters are complex, multi-generational, and the London/Bristol dialogue is demanding, but that's fun for me. Learning about  every facet (forgive the pun) of diamond quality was an eye-opener. Who knew there were such variances in value? 

I'm well into a third of the book, but had to take a break.  Some of the writing is a bit dark, and I'm taking a breather from it. It's violent in parts, and I have to deal with that, but there's humour, too, and romance, of course. While I'm lying low, avoiding the necessary confrontations that are due to happen, I have dismissed all prompting from the wings, allowing no new dialogue, etcetera, to invade my usual day (or night) thoughts. It seemed to be working.

Yet, out of the blue again, I had to write this post. What's that about?

Quotes to Consider

"If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten, Either write things worth reading, or do things worth writing." ~Benjamin Franklin

"Well behaved women rarely make history."~Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

“A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”~William G.T. Shedd (1820-1894), theologian, teacher, pastor

"It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something." ~Franklin D Roosevelt (1882-1945), 32nd U.S. president

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.”
~Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882), essayist, poet, philosopher

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." ~Mark Twain

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."
~ Wayne Gretzky