Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Very Long Gestation...

As National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) creeps up - thirteen days now - I've been pondering how long I've had my chosen novel-to-write-in-thirty-days on my to-do list.
And the rather terrifying answer is - wait for it - gulp. Um. Gulp again... Just short of twenty years.
When I worked that out I did a lot of blinking, but it's true.
This is a story I've been meaning to write for nineteen years.
All that time I've known the main character.
I've heard her voice in my head. I've known what she looks like and what she sounds like. I've known her two bossy older sisters. I've seen the gleam of the golden ball that belonged to her long-dead mother. I've known she runs across barley fields to the well at the end of the world in a fit of pique with her sisters.
I've known the story is full of sun-ripe summer fields of barley and rye, and deeply green, dim and shady places of moss and dank stone.
The story first started speaking to me on a family holiday back to Scotland when I was fifteen. I was scrambling around an old folly near Oban, dodging the nettles and running my fingers over the ancient stone in awe, when I started hearing Marjory's voice, and then the mocking voice of the Toad berating her.
Back then, I thought Marjory lived in the Middle Ages.
Now, I realise she lives at a far later time - which, let's be honest - makes research alot easier.
Apart from the debt of gratitude I (hope to) owe to NaNoWriMo for finally giving me the impetus to sit down and write the bleeping thing, I owe another to Pinterest.
I kept seeing images on Pinterest and going  That's from my story, that's it! Hmm. Where did I put my notes for that story? 
Thanks to all of Pinterest's micro-photos I know Marjory will become toad sized one Midsummer eve and explore Toad's World - and the world of the fae-folk who cursed him.
Just thinking about it brings me out in happy shivers. What does a dew drop look like when you're toad sized? What does a bed of moss look like, or a fast flowing stream, or a toad?

Thank-you, sweet world of Internet.
I'm truly, truly grateful to you for giving me the kick I needed to bring a much loved story out to play.