Our evening walk
1.Think about (a fact, proposal, or request) deeply and at length: "she began to mull over the various possibilities".
To write well I do believe we have to read well. I was struggling with a short story I wrote that I like very much. For one it's based on truth but for two I have a narrator that just isn't sitting right with me. The story's in the third person and he is an old, wise man with some physical deformities (oddly proportioned body, very short with a large head)that I am extremely fond of. I know, for literati - "of whom I'm extremely fond" sounds clunky and snobbish, so hey, artistic licence, y'all.
He collects stories, and people trust him with their deepest secrets. I've written many stories featuring this wonderful old man but this particular one was driving me crazy. I put it away about six months ago, still unresolved.
I was reading a story out of an anthology yesterday. It was a great story up to a point and then it all fell down as the writer couldn't extricate the narrator and the protaganist from each other. The end of it was a mess. I read it four or five times and it was still a mess. Like the writer gave up and said, I did really well for 90% of this and now I'm tired, so stop bothering me.
I was out with the dog this evening and I was transfixed by the slapping of the incoming tide on the stones. My mind soared off. I was a child again listening to my grandfather who had wonderful stories and songs. "Come here to me, a leanbh," he'd say, "an sceal eile." (child, another story). I don't know how long I stood there but it was long enough for the dog to throw herself on my feet and whimper. But, suddenly, I knew where that writer had gone wrong and QED where I'd gone wrong too by not giving my beloved storyteller, Chester, his very own voice.
It's odd that. How we can think reading and walking and playing with the dog can be pastimes, fun things, but on another level, almost subconsciously, the mind can be opened up anew and a very old ball of knotted wool can be untangled.
Just like that.