Sometimes there are moments of harmony amid the clamour of our lives. Splinters of time when sounds, sights, tasks and tastes seem to align.
While I was working on Book 2 I had a couple of those moments. Book 2 is set at a lighthouse, near a cemetery. Its themes include death, mortality, grief and love. So when I heard Coldplay was releasing an album entitled Viva la Vida or Death and all his Friends, I knew I had to own it. With songs such as Cemeteries of London and 42 (with its very apt lyrics), there seemed to be a real synergy with what I was trying to do in Book 2. I love the album and played it a lot in between writing sessions. Indeed, I was thinking of including a lyric from one of the tracks in Book 2 until my agent advised that the copyright fee would most likely bankrupt me…
Another album that begged attention was Chimney’s Afire by Josh Pyke. I didn’t own any of Josh’s music and didn’t really know it. But when I heard it was his second album and the first single would be The Lighthouse Song it seemed to be a “snap” moment. I bought it. Liked it a lot. Am very glad my creative energy brought me to it.
The book I intend to start writing next is set in Tokyo and Melbourne. I wonder what that story will bring into my life.
Yesterday I printed out the complete manuscript of Book 2 for the first time. I still have some blank spaces to fill and facts to check but it feels like a milestone – another step in the journey from inspiration to (hopefully) publication.
I find that my confidence in a manuscript ebbs and flows while I’m working on it. Sometimes I feel a story works well. Other times I think it flounders and will never see the light of day. While a hard copy read-through will give me a sense of sentences, paragraphs and passages that need more work, I might not get the same insight into the story as a whole until I hand it over to someone else.
I’m all for saving trees and reducing paper consumption but a hard copy read-through of a manuscript is a must. Why? Because you’ll be surprised just how many mistakes you find on a printed page, compared to reading from a screen. (As mentioned in previous posts, reading your manuscript aloud is also an enlightening, worthwhile exercise.)
The best thing about reaching the hard copy stage for this draft of this manuscript is that I can take it with me on my fact-checking mission. Yes, I’m heading back to Kangaroo Island this week to renew my acquaintance with specific lighthouses, museums, shipwreck sites (without diving) and a very special cemetery. I can’t wait.
Did you know? A lighthouse lover is known as a ‘pharologist’.