Posted by Tania Kindersley.
Today was hard sledding. The glorious retrieval of the groove, which carried me through the last three days, suddenly dimmed. Today was back to normal. It was cussedness and determination and a deadline that pushed me through. I thought: if I think very hard and force my fingers to move, I might manage four hundred words, if I am very lucky. I could not admit that the groove was a mirage or a fake; it was just a little scuffed and faded after days of hard usage.
In the end, it was a thousand hard-won words. Or: a normal day at the office. Some days, you really do have nothing, and you have to make notes or dutifully do your research, or, as Sarah would say, literally and metaphorically reorganise your sock drawer. On some rare and lovely days you have ideas in your head jostling like cats in a sack. Most days, you have to work hard, and bash through the curtain of reluctance. You have to remind yourself that writing is not a whim; you can't just do it when you feel inspired, otherwise you would be like that character in Brightness Falls, who has been working on a legendary manuscript for twenty years.
So: too tired to blog. My brain turns off like a switch and there is nothing left. It was not sheer joy today; it was reality bites. But there is a good and solid satisfaction in that.
We have horrid weather. There is a slight thaw, so the snow is turning slushy and the three foot long ice stalactites are crashing off the eaves with the sound of gunshots. The roaring beauty has gone and there is just a faint sense of mess. So I took no pictures. Instead, here are some photographs from the prettiness of the last nine days.
This is the garden when the first big snow fell:
This is when everything turned blue:
And then went back to white:
And there was no colour at all except for the flash of the beech leaves:
And the amazing bark of the Scots pines:
And I got obsessed with the snow trees:
Then the sun came out:
And there were of course SNOW DOGS;
PS. I apologise that this week has been all about me. When I am in a work storm like this, even my political geekery deserts me. I have not even had time to develop an opinion on Wikileaks, although I am fairly sure that I do not subscribe to the Julian Assange as folk hero school. (You know I try to avoid ad hominem unless I am absolutely forced into it, but there is something too odd about him.)
I have brief moments of fury as I see that the one thing the Republicans have held out for, the thing for which they threatened to sabotage every single other bill, including unemployment benefits and a vital nuclear arms reduction treaty, was tax cuts for the richest one percent of Americans. Out of the corner of my ear, I hear hapless Ed Miliband being a bit hapless, and Nick Clegg being a bit grumpy about being against things before he was for them, and some bizarrely peculiar story about an MP's researcher turning out to be a Russian honeytrap. But I do not have time to stop and form considered opinions. The tremendous Esther Walker over at Recipe Rifle says that she has given up having opinions at all and is finding it very restful, and I wonder if she is not right.
All the same, I am sorry if I have skirted the danger zone of solipsism.