Cove Park Day 1

For two weeks I will be here at Cove Park on a writing residency one of 4 awarded annually by Argyll & Bute Council.  It’s a great chance to work undisturbed – no TV, no landlines in the accommodation.   My mobile does work but I’m resolved to leave it switched off till the evening.

 My project is to reconnect to the novel I began more years ago now than I want to admit to.  I intend to create a plot structure, bring the characters back to life and just write more of it.   

Strictly speaking this is day two as I arrived yesterday, but that was taken up with unpacking, settling in and finding my way around, so today has been the first full working day.

 The location is beautiful and benefited from (as the estate agents say) sunshine this afternoon.  The grounds are on a hillside opposite Ardentinny on Loch Long.  I will put up some photos when I’ve (a) taken some decent ones and (b) learned how to use a Mac so I can upload them.  (Shut up all you smug Apples out there). My accommodation is a couple of minutes down the hill from the main centre – so that gives me a mini-workout each time I come up the hill.  I have been allocated the Taransay pod, yes the very one from ‘Castaway’. It was brought here and upgraded along with another, the Oak pod.

Part of the point of being here is to chill out and clear the mind – difficult to be created when you’re knackered.  So R & R is not only allowed but encouraged. To that end, I’ve brought along a selection of books and activities including art books, drawing materials, walking boots and even knitting.  I won’t get round to half of it of course.  Just gazing at the view is a treat.  Out for a walk this afternoon, I spotted a jay!   

As to progress, I have written a couple of scenes between two of the main characters, not necessarily ones that will go into the novel but as an exercise to get back under their skin. I have also crawled around the floor creating a timeline on flip chart paper of what’s already written.  That is giving me a sense of the relative proportions of the narrative.  I’m not strong on plotting so it’s a challenge to create an overarching structure – especially when lots remains to be written.

Can I actually write more of this story or have I shot my bolt already? I don’t know. At least if I work on it while I’m here, I’m giving it a chance. If what I learn is that I’m just not a novelist, well that’s worth knowing!

4 Responses to “Cove Park Day 1”

  1. 1 abf October 23, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    “…difficult to be created when you’re knackered.” Well, yes. The Big Bang wouldn’t have happened if it had been the Big Yawn. The solitude must have well & truly cleared your mind. And long may it continue, along with the fine, invigorating weather. May your lucubrations bear sweet fruit.

  2. 2 abf October 23, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    PS – I notice that the clock on your host has already gone back an hour. Remember to do likewise this weekend.

  3. 3 chris October 24, 2007 at 12:40 pm

    ) learned how to use a Mac so I can upload them. (Shut up all you smug Apples out there).
    At the risk of being a smug Apple: you simply connect your camera to the USB port and switch the camera on. Depending on the camera, there may be a halfway setting to do this – my new one is just the same as to take a photo. If you haven’t already launched iPhoto, it will launch itself at this point. Then you just hit the “Upload” button and wait. When you’re done, drag the icon of your camera off the desktop to the trash before you switch it off – otherwise you may lose data. Then you can switch it off and unplug. Look forward to seeing the fruits of all your labours!

  4. 4 alisonwriting October 24, 2007 at 7:08 pm

    One of my helpful compadres here has managed to get the Wifi to work on my laptop so I hope to do it that way but will bear your advice in mind!

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