Tonight the sun will set an hour later which can only mean one thing - summer beckons. I do love summertime dusk; lazying on the verandah before the mozzies come to visit, lingering for an extra five minutes before I get dinner started. I've been unintentionally surrounding myself with hues of buttery yellow; roses now wilted, Moroccan vases, wooden beads - an attempt at distraction from the ever-increasing amount of work that needs to be done.
Stepping away from the desk is easy, forgetting about all those stories is not. Sometimes if I'm struggling to write I'll go for a walk or have a shower or immerse myself in mundane housework and most of the time, the words come. They creep in one at a time and join together effortlessly, sentences become finished pieces and I tick another story off the list.
It's only in the past few weeks that I've recognised a distinct rhythm to the way that I work. A few months ago I wrote best at night, in the quiet dark that settled after the children were tucked up in bed. Now, as the days grow longer I find that mornings and early afternoons are best; short breaks between long stints a necessity. Sometimes it will take me days to find the essence of the story and in those times I'm like the struggling artist, without the stereotypical cigarettes and wine.
I take comfort in knowing that the story always gets finished but I'm unashamedly attached to my words. Sending each story on to the editor requires a deep inhalation and a few lingering concerns. I can choose my words and dictate the flow but I can never control the editing process nor can I predict how the reader will approach the story. With that in mind I try to write like I talk; conversational and friendly; simple words that express ideas succinctly.
Years ago a friend of mine gave me the sweetest compliment about my work. "When I was reading it was like you were talking to me, like I was listening to you chat about this and that. Weird but lovely."
I suppose that's what I hope for you when you visit this space. That you're listening to me talk about work and home and family while you sip your tea or coffee or wine. Perhaps this is the best time to thank you for all your beautiful comments; essential for a good conversation and always received with much gratitude.
I hope your Sunday dusk is filled with warm words...x