Friday, 11 January 2013

Writer's block

One of the expressions that we just do not allow in this household is “writer’s block”. Mind you, the fact that we don’t allow the expression does not mean that we do not experience the problem. I suffered from this last Friday and it was not until (and, if I am really honest, out of sheer desperation) that I typed the opening sentence while sitting in Rumour that the juices began, somewhat turgidly, to flow.

Marcia was in like state last Wednesday. Our mantra, “hit the keys, just hit the keys” was failing to do what was needed and so we turned to something else. After all, it would be an absolute waste of a day to sit in from of a blank screen staring at it equally blankly so, instead, I suggested we go up on Dartmoor and visit the scene of the crime or, at least, the places around which the book is being set.

The weather was glorious. The one day of decent sunshine that we have had for many a long week, and so off we went out through Ashburton (comes into the book) and up towards Buckland-in-the-Moor (which doesn’t – well, not yet) and veering off at Ausewell Cross and so up to the junction under Ripon Tor.

“Left or right?”

“How about a spot of lunch at The Dandelion?”

Seemed a reasonable suggestion (yes, in the book) and so I turned right and swooped down passing Haytor Rocks and so to the bottom of the hill where you will find The Moorland Hotel and it’s associated café, The Dandelion.
We like this place, it has an assortment of different tables and chairs, including a very comfortable sofa (see foreground) and a rather unusual "wine glass" chandelier. 

They had suffered from flooding (not that surprising when you think about it) and the kitchen was out of action but there was carrot and coriander soup available which, with some hunks of their absolutely wonderful bread, was more than enough – especially as it was followed by a slice of horribly fattening lemon sponge.

Back up the hill – as you can see the sunshine had brought out quite a few people who had climbed to the top of the rocks – and so down towards Widdecombe. Just before the village, Marcia asked me to turn right and up to the Bonehills where we stopped and she went for a walk (see photograph of pensive author chatting to her characters among the piles of granite) before heading home.
Marcia on Bonehill Rocks.

Before you ask, I have no idea where the name comes from.

Yes, it worked. Inspiration having arrived, the next section of the book has been written. And it is raining again. And more rain is forecast for tomorrow. Then, or so they say, we shall see some snow. Well, that would make a difference and if it happens I will try and take some pictures to show you.

Before I go, our thoughts go to all of you in Australia. We hope you are kept safe from the fires raging there and remain so for the rest of the summer.