So I finished Thirst. I mean properly actually finished Thirst. I know I have been saying I’ve been ‘finished’ for ages but now I truly am. Yesterday night I sent my editor back my final few responses to notes. It’s on Amazon and Goodreads. People have started asking for proofs. I’ve seen the first draft cover – it’s very different from Tony Hogan – as is what that cover holds. It’s also very beautiful. I remember when the idea of writing one novel seemed like an impossibility and now I have two. Those of you who’re beginning your first: if I can, bit by bit, 1000 words by 1000 words, then so can you. Do it.
I was trying to explain the writing of this novel to a friend the other evening. I said It’s like I had two oak trees and I whittled them down with a darling needle to reveal these complex matchstick people or like those paintings where the artists builds layer after layer of paint only to scratch it all away again or like building an ocean cruiser with driftwood and glass pebbles. I once saw beautiful close up footage of ants in formation carrying sequins that glittered and sparked in the sunlight – I would like it to be like that too.
This novel has been a constant building up and tearing away again until the shiny stuff has been revealed. Thirst has taught me so much. It’s more ambitious than Tony Hogan and I think probably more mature but I like to think there’ the same fragile bruised but hopeful heart beating at the centre of both stories.
What now? Well I thought I’d take a week off to daydream. It’s like a Snow Day. But it’s a week. For daydreaming. Not to do anything other than wander and watch and eat and make little notes that I won’t understand when I read them back. And because I woke up last Sunday and impulse bought a flight, I’m off to do that in Budapest. I’m going to sit in thermal spas, go to the flea markets, eat torta, go to the opera (twice) and eat an impressive quantity of paprikad pork. A celebration and a decompression and a wee adventure all at once.
When I come home I’ll embark upon my next book. I can’t wait. For me, there’s no greater adventure than a blank piece of paper and a seed of a story in your head. I’ll probably write about that more actually…the joy of the first draft…but for now I’ve got to catch a plane. And buy snacks. Obviously.