Thursday, 21 May 2009

MULTIPLY United Friends Challenge #146: How to write a Book


In whatever format you wish... your challenge today, if you choose to accept, is to write a "1st person" piece about "your perfect sanctuary for writing... if money were no issue". Please detail the sights, sound & smells that would soothe you into a rhythm of continuous writing. It would help, but not necessary, if you were to add... why you would go & how would you get to the hideout. If you wish... you may include a line or two (or more) of the story (or, novel, poem, song, etc.) you are working on while at your perfect spot. (Yes it can be something you're currently working on... if you wish. Who knows, maybe it will be the start of a new project for you???) (IF you do, be sure to italicize those parts so that we can tell it's not part of the main story.)

Enough is enough – my husband thought I am only here to look after the place, but I have something more important to do. Every time I sat down at the computer and started writing he asked for a coffee, or the newspaper, wanted attention one way or the other. Now I have found the solution. He should find the letter I wrote, I left it in the cupboard where he keeps his favourite cookies. Now I hope he has got the message.

Dear Arthur

when you read this letter I will probably be sitting in a ‘plane winging my way to somewhere else, you will not guess where, so don’t bother with the effort. I have been trying to write my novel for the past three months and seem to be writing backwards, three pages every evening and cancel one page the next morning – usually the last one when my patience runs out with the interruptions I am getting in the evening. And don’t blame it on the kids, they are never at home in the evening, but you are. During the day when you are working in your top management job, I am cleaning our little home and preparing food for the evening meal,. now and again (more again and again) washing your dirty shirts and socks, not to mention the underwear, as well as that from the rest of the family, so please don’t tell me to write my “stuff” during the day, it just does not work.

I am sure you will survive for the next few weeks and I will return when my book is finally finished. The ice box is full with frozen pizza, some meat and if things really get bad, tell son Jeff to call in at the MacDonald's for some hamburgers. I know you don’t like junk food, but you won’t die from it. Might even appreciate the meals you get when I return. Please don’t forget to take the dog for a walk in the morning before you go to work. You can bring him to Mrs. Jones next door during the day.

Of course I love you, but I love myself as well, and believe me this is the only way I can finish my novel and stay sane in the course of doing it.

Kisses to you and the kids, see you


PS Just think of the money I earned with the last book I wrote, although the doctor’s bills for the tablets I needed to calm my nerves afterwards took a bit of the profit.

Now I can relax at last. It is so peaceful here, no traffic, no family, just pure nature, a few snow covered mountain peaks and a stream running past the window. I am sure he thinks I am somewhere in Eastern Europe where the vampires and ghosts come from, but if he showed some interest in what I am writing he would have known that this time the action takes place in the Swiss Alps.

I really had a productive day today, ten whole pages written and no bother or disturbance. They were just perfect pages.

As she looked out of the window of the chalet she could see the light shimmering on the snow covered peaks. The air was still, no movement, but there was a storm brewing. She could hear the thunder echoing through the valleys in the far distance and see the forked branches of light flashing. She was frightened of thunderstorms as a child, but now it was different.

His arms were strong and were holding her tightly.

“You are shivering. I am with you now, you have nothing to be afraid of. Your husband will never find us.”

“Are you sure Brad, What did you do with the body?”

I wonder if I should change that bit about the light shimmering, after all a thunder storm is on its way? Decisions, decisions, just leave it until the morning. If I was at home, I would have to wait another day, now I can just get down to the work in the morning again.

Why didn’t they say that there were goats and cows in the mountains when I booked? I said I wanted to go somewhere quiet. At five in the morning a cockerel starts crowing somewhere on a farm, down in one of the valleys. The mountain hut up the road is actually a stable, full of goats; on a warm day you can find them by smelling the way and not to mention the cows. Beautiful cows, wonderful large brown eyes, but they moo and how they moo; all day long I am surrounded by mooing cows and bleating goats.

So I decided to change my accommodation. Did I go back to Arthur and try again at home. Definitely not, that was the last thing to do. No I found my perfect place. A nice little chalet in the Swiss alps sounds nice, but I found something much better. I was looking through the leaflets at the tourist office and what did I find? They really have monasteries here where you can spend a holiday. This is fantastic. So I packed my bags and moved in. Now I have the peace and quiet I want and the food is fantastic; fresh veg and salad from the garden. They have a few cows and pigs, but they are organised and there is no problem whatsoever with the noise. They are kept up on the slopes.

“Hi Honey, I’m home” I said in a nice loud clear voice when I returned. Was Arthur pleased to see me? Of course he was. Ok, he looked a bit thin, but it did him good to lose a few kilos.

“Did you manage to finish the book?” he asked me.

“Oh yes, it really went well. I hope it will be a bestseller. What about you and the kids, did you manage ok? Sorry that I left so abruptly, but it was now or never.”

“No problem, we managed fine.”

“Bonjour, madame. You must be the madame of the house.”

“Just who are you?”

“Oh darling, let me introduce you, this is Monique our new French au pair girl. It’s ok; I put the girls together in one room and gave her the empty bedroom. I found it was a good idea, and Jeff has already started to learn some French, hasn’t he Monique?”

“Mais oui Arthur.”

Yes my book was a success, I changed the story The heroine of the novel found that her new lover was only after her money and she fled to a monastery where the monks hid her. There was a lot more to the story, but you will have to buy the book yourself; and Monique? I think I already have the subject for my next book, but will probably have to spend a few months in Paris. I must see if Arthur can take the time off work to accompany me. I am sure I can use him for some research work. The kids will be fine and Jeff does not seem to mind that Monique will be looking after them.

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