Trying to maintain writing discipline while packing, arranging for (and checking on) tradespeople, and doing all the other things involved in moving house after twenty-two years, is, to put it mildly, difficult. I’ve done my best to keep up with my blogs (three of them now – one of which I started in the midst of all this, for some reason….) but work on Empire’s Hostage has been non-existent. That’s only in part due to the move, and in part due to, basically, writer’s block.
But this last week I’ve been reading – in small chunks, usually at lunch or when I really need a break from something – Malachy Tallach’s book 60 Degrees North: Around the World in Search of Home, a book I chose to read in part because, I thought, it might give me more insight into life ‘north of 60’, as we say here in Canada. I’ve been there, in Canada and the US, but not otherwise. As Empire’s Hostage takes place largely in what might be ‘north of 60’, in a land that more or less parallels northern Europe, it seemed a potentially useful book to read.
It was. Yes, I’ve learned some things that I may or may not use. But it was one passage – a descriptive one, not factual – that suddenly sparked a scene, a setting to begin the next section of Hostage, one accurate to the landscape and mood of the story. I can feel the relief, a lifting of the nagging tension that I wasn’t going to find a way forward. But now, of course, I have to find time to write….