Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Grindstone Day 12

Time: 3.30 pm
Chapter: 4
Pots of tea: 3
Flavour: Yuzu, with honey and sencha green tea
Lunch: oden (fishcake stew) with udon noodles
Snack: hmm, good point. better go find some

My teapot, as you have probably guessed, is my loyal companion during my writing sessions. I have been sampling my way through the box of "flavoury tea" bought from the 100-yen shop, but got near the end of the packet today and decided to make my own tea.

I'd bought a small bag of unidentified yellow citrus from the weekend markets, and have now identified it as yuzu (yay once again for Google!). Inspired by superlative descriptions of its aromatic properties, I decided to make a tea blend from a little of its zest, a green tea teabag and some local honey. Let's just say I'm thoroughly addicted after my first attempt. Yuzu, well the fresh version at least, isn't available in NZ so I'll have to concentrate on enjoying it here. I'm hoping that the aroma will drive me to ever-greater heights of mental stimulation in my attempts to pen the Great Kiwi Novel.

Speaking of which, it's going OK. Using my forward and back, forward and back shuffling approach, I'm currently most of the way through chapter 4. I've been thinking about one of the things that my MCW tutor, Jen Crawford, told me last year. She said that writing a long-form piece was like carving a sculpture. You hack in the general shape first, then gradually refine the detail.

I'm working from a chapter synopsis I wrote a few months ago, so the general shape is in place (for now). But because I'm reusing chunks from a previous draft (and also writing new material) it feels more like I'm squashing and slapping chunks of clay onto a frame, seeing how they look, moving them around or molding them according to instinct. It's a strangely tactile process even though all the chunks are only in my brain.

No comments: