Saved – by Maltesers!

I miss work! There, I’ve said it.

Of course, I don’t miss the horrible bits: getting up early, boring meetings, mad bosses and all that. But I do miss the banter, the people, the ‘right, who wants a cup of tea?’ and the excitement when someone brings in a cake.

Apart from The Hell-Hole, I’ve always had friends at work and I don’t have friends now,‘working from home’, so I was feeling a bit lonely today. I just couldn’t settle or make myself do anything.

So, I went for a walk. And, apart from being incensed when I spotted a little girl picking daffodils along the grass verge, while her mother did nothing to stop her, it was very nice. I bought a couple of magazines, for research and a packet of Maltesers, for energy. Well, it was a half hour trek each way.

I’ve just finished reading a really good book – ‘Corrag’ by Susan Fletcher, who’s a local, Midlands writer. It’s set in the seventeenth century, at the time of the Glencoe massacre in the Highlands and the main character, Corrag, is a ‘witch’, in prison and due to be burnt at the stake. This novel has also been called ‘Witch Light’ and ‘The Highland Witch’ and for some reason, they keep ‘re-launching’ it, under a different title.

The art of re-launching and re-inventing is a clever one. Chick-lit writer Marian Keyes, whose well-documented battle with depression has stopped her from writing, has, at least temporarily, ‘re-invented’ herself as a celebrity cook! She’s just brought out a book about cake-making, (‘Saved By Cake’), which, as it says in the title, has been her saviour.

But anyway, back to ‘Corrag’. I’ve realised that I have a problem with the main character in the novel I’m trying to write. Because it’s a contemporary story and the heroine is about my age, with my experiences… you know what I’m going to say, don’t you? She’s turning into me! I’m writing autobiography, which I don’t want to do! (Don’t they say, everyone’s first novel is autobiographical?)

At least, if you are writing historical fiction – which Susan Fletcher does in ‘Corrag’ – you don’t have that problem. The characters have to be different from you, the writer, because they have different experiences and restrictions, they dress and talk differently, they have different attitudes, beliefs and ideas. They can’t be you!

Hmmm, maybe I need to re-invent myself – as a historical fiction writer!

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14 Responses to Saved – by Maltesers!

  1. Lauren says:

    I know what you mean about being lonely. I feel the same. Maybe you could set up a little ‘on-line kitchen’ for us all so we can have a natter? 🙂

    • Lauren – I suppose that’s what Facebook and blogs and stuff are there for! They are very distracting though! I’d rather ‘chat’ on the internet than do any work, most of the time!

  2. Prue says:

    I find it strangely comforting to know I’m not the only one who misses the community of work. Being a writer has to be one of the most isolated occupations going!
    Enjoy the maltesers 🙂

    • Prue – the maltesers are long gone! Yum, they were lovely! Yes, it can bea bit of a lonely, can’t it? I think the answer is perhaps to have a ‘day job’ for at least a couple of days a week, just to get out of the house and mix with ‘normal’ people!

  3. Hi Helen, I love going to work to meet the different characters, and get ideas for writing. You have to write the autobiography, then destroy it, then move on. I wrote my story, cried a lot, burned it, then moved on. Now I can write more clearly. You need to do some volounteering, keep busy, and talk to lots of people, then write about them:))

  4. JohnY says:

    Winter SAD, over soon
    Hibernate with Maltesers
    Spring Ideas bloom

  5. bill says:

    Hi Helen – Interesting that you are reading Susan Fletcher’s book about Corrag.
    She lives locally here in Glencoe and we are hoping she will come along to our
    writing group a week tonight!
    Thanks by the way for keeping us informed about the various writing competitions.

    • Bill -that’s interesting! She must have moved then, because she used to live around here! (But I’m sure Glencoe is much nicer!). If you haven’t already read ‘Corrag’ it’s worth a read!

  6. I know exactly what you mean about being lonely hon. I gave up full time work in 2010 and did part time last year, on an ‘as required’ basis. This year, I haven’t been ‘required’ and although all the free time has been great for writing, 3 months in its started to get to me. Thank heavens I’m part of 2 writing groups and go to a writing class once a week!!!!!! Lol


  7. Anne Bravey says:

    Of course you have friends – all your Wednesday evening bunch think you’re great!

    • thanks Anne, that’s kind! I know I have friends, really. I was just having one of those little ‘blue’ days, feeling a little bit lonesome. It’s gone now!


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