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Fighting with writing

I am writing this from Kew Gardens Starbucks, which doubles as a creche. It doesn't really, but it feels like it. Can someone please launch a coffee shop chain that is adults only? Am I old fashioned in thinking that coffeeshops and children do not mix? Why am I here then? Because it's the closest and because there's free wifi. The truth is, I think I would struggle writing anywhere at the moment - I'm fighting with my writing. I have written almost three versions of this book over the past two and a bit years - including redrafts of each of those versions, and I still feel like I'm not digging enough, not ... what is it? What is that nagging voice? I'm trying to listen to it but it's muffled. And then when I do get a hint and try again it doesn't come out right. Sometimes I think I do far too much rewriting, if that's possible. A writer friend says 'just tell the truth', because she feels that I should be putting much more of myself - my background - into it. Perhaps. But I have an aversion to spilling it out that much. Maybe it would be better if I just spilled out whatever it is I want to say, then tidied it up? The truth is I don't know. The quote that writing is never finished, only abandoned, is spot on. I love writing - love these processes that illuminate far more than anything else that I do - but it can often be like walking through treacle. So why do it? Because I love the sense of achievement, I love the feeling I'm working towards an utterance; a voice. Last week was particularly dark with it all - not helped by the fact that I had the flu or something (no, it wasn't just a cold). I escaped cabin fever by going to see The Fighter, huddled up in the back of Richmond Odeon. I loved it. A friend had suggested I would really like it and he was right - the family dynamics and the denial are expertly charted. Christian Bale is an amazing actor, but so too, in a quieter and much more grounded way, Mark Wahlberg. Melissa Leo and Amy Adams were also at one with their characters. I also watched Winter's Bone. Another great film. The actor who really stood out for me was the man who played Teardrop, John Hawkes. He was magnificent. I also went to see Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem. It was interesting and not at all what I had expected. It was certainly dark and unflinching and true, but I wasn't sure what I felt about it when the credits rolled. I don't think Bardem is hot either, interesting yes, hot, no. Penelope Cruz is safe just now then! Anyway. The book. I'm trying not to give into a rising sense of panic. Onwards.

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-Dedicated with love and respect to Dr Bruce Lloyd-


And in memory of my parents:
Thomas Valentine and Joan Theresa
Good people who taught me so much more than they realised

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