Gladstone Library Retreat: Days Six and Seven


A sign in the Bilberry Wood, Gladstone Estate

Six: Another good day with a draft of a short chapter completed. This one is set in my protagonist’s past, and the second written from this perspective. This bouncing backwards and forwards in time might form the basis of the structure of the novel; it might not. These sections might go completely but it will not be wasted work because it contributes to the building of character, my understanding of her, the way she views the world and this will enrich her and the story in ways that might not be quantifiable but are nevertheless there. To date I have been writing in the first person. It was an instinctive choice and one of the few things I’m certain of is that it was the right choice.
Another beautiful day, in the afternoon I took a long(ish) walk with my fellow writers across the Gladstone Estate and into the Bilberry Wood. We took in the scenery, chatted and gained inspiration. It really is such a gorgeous part of the world. If you’ve not visited this corner of Wales I urge you to do so. En route we came across this sign, which I thought could have been made for me – a city ‘girl’ who loves heels (I’m a titch) and well known amongst friends for my lack of sensible footwear. We also found a deserted mill.
In the evening I visited my mum and stepfather, Mike, who live only a few miles down the road. Talk of my lads, who stayed there earlier in the week, brought on a bad bout of missing them. A pain in the belly kind of missing. It was Ginger2’s birthday today too and I’d spoken with the little fella that morning, which was lovely but also painful. I’ve not spent more than three nights away from my kids since they were born and that’s quite a few years ago now. Ouch.

Seven: Lazy start to the day perusing the papers after breakfast in the reading room. Around 11.30 I headed to library and sat on the upper gallery beavering away. Another chapter set in my character’s past; the teenage years so a challenge to find the right voice.
After lunch I hoofed it down to the Co-op (only a mile away) for essentials – doughnuts, toothpaste. And then back to the library.
Reading and chilling after supper, then bed.


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