Some early mornings, there’s a time when my body is still asleep but my mind is clear. I sneak from bed, fetch a tray of weak Earl Grey tea and I drift to my office to write. I can be productive at this time, especially wandering about my characters’ heads. Mid-morning, my husband will bring me a strong cup of builder’s tea and I’ll work on until lunchtime when I’ll nip over to the allotment to see if there’s anything to eat for lunch.
Other mornings, I fly from my bed, woken by foxes mashing up the lawn of daisies and weeds. I hiss out of the window, trying to scare them off. They're not concerned, staring at me as if to say ‘who do you think you are?’ before wandering off to sleep under the shed. Those mornings are best spent in my office moving post-it notes around, plotting at what stage an element of the story is revealed. I can do that for hours.
After lunch, I might pedal to the British Library if I’m researching something or prepare for a talk. I’m often asked to speak about my first novel, The Huntingfield Paintress, and I like to find an angle that’s particular to the audience I’m addressing. I like doing talks.
If we’ve got a gig that night (I’m a singer in The Scratch Band UK), I’ll find something to wear, grab my tambourine and head off, taking a notebook with me. There’s a long gap between the sound check and the performance so I might jot down thoughts about my current writing, perhaps a short story I'm developing.
If there’s isn’t a gig, I might meet my husband at a local music venue. It's small enough so you can almost touch the musicians. Or we might eat in the local Greek restaurant where people also play chess. Some nights, I’ll cook while my husband draws - he’s a cartoonist with constant deadlines - so I’ll chop and plot. By midnight, I’m asleep with my eye mask on and ear plugs in. Don’t want the foxes to wake me...
Wyld Dreamers by Pamela Holmes is published by Urbane Publications and is out now.
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