Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oh What a Night and Links

You know when you are in light sleep and the noises of the night invade your head...well in an old house like this one the sounds are many. In fact I can usually pick out the ones made by the general creaking of the building to the ones made by living things. So at roughly two am I hear a fluttering sound and begin to wonder if birds have managed to nest in the chimney again (some time ask me about the nesting rooks that I had to evacuate). So with eyes closed I tried to imagine which ones could have broken through the defenses at the top. They must be small I thought. Yet the noise seemed closer than the chimney (the cob walls provide tremendous insulation and a small bird shouldn't be heard fluttering).

As DD and I are here on our own she was snuggled up beside me in the bed sleeping so soundly as children do. I rolled away from her and opened my eyes. They adjusted to the dim blue light coming from the alarm clock and there hovering above the bed was a small bat flying in circles.

First reaction was to slide totally under the duvet or run from the room but I couldn't do either because of DD. I looked to the window which I had left open about two inches. This had to be where the bat had come from so with small pillow on my head I dashed and opened it as wide as I could then flung myself back under the duvet leaving the pillow in place. I lay there trying not to listening to the beating of winds going round and round. I prayed that my guardian angel would help this creature back out into the night where it belonged. I pressed the pillow closer to my ears so that I wouldn't hear the noise. I worried about bat droppings - do they have droppings? Do they carry disease? Then my mind went to vampire bats as the mind at night is a funny thing and DD had been reading the directors notebook for TWILIGHT before falling asleep.

Finally the beating of wings stopped and I removed the pillow from my head. I didn't know the time since I had hidden the light from the alarm clock as the eerie blue light didn't help my wandering thoughts....

Despite this I was still up at five! I don't think DD want to know what hovered over her in the night or she will be truly spooked.

I haven't written in ages which is bad, but I am hoping that the typing time off will have given the old brain a chance to build. I am about 20k from the end of the story. As it stands it is Victoria's story (remember she was my villain) which is okay with me. Her journey has been fascinating thus far and this is a very dirty first draft.

This leads to a few links and I won't introduce them as they are too numerous as I haven't posted any in ages.

Via BubbleCow the link here on editing your manuscript (I know it says for children's books but it applies for all work)

The Ten Commandments of Becoming a Published Author from Julie Cohen

From Nina Harrington a fantastic site with so much I won't link to just one part but the whole (however the first posts are great on first drafts....Billy Mernit

Finally I am totally in love with my garden right now. For the past few years I haven't been here to see the roses in their full glory and it is such a treat.


Jan Jones said...

Your garden is gorgeous and the bat was probably very, very confused. Excellent idea to open window wide.

Oh, but Liz, what an incident for a book!

liz fenwick said...

The garden is just bliss at the moment Jan. I can't get enough of it.

Yes, last night was good research I guess....just like when I had two large rooks fly out of wood burner at me!

Tam said...

Garden is just beautiful - I am v jealous. Less so on the bat front but as I quite like them I might not have minded? Actually, that's utter rubbish, I'd have been just as scared!

Julie Cohen said...

I love bats, but I would have worried about guano landing on my head.

Your garden is gorgeous, how do you keep it so when you're so far away?

Debs said...

Your garden is glorious, no wonder you love it so much.

A bat! Shiver. I'm terrified of the things. How frightening to have one in your room when you are the one who has to deal with it. Well done.

Thanks for the links too.

Liz Fielding said...

Like Julie, I love the little bats that flit about the place at this time of year. But would probably freak if one flew into the bedroom. And have discourage the dh from putting up bat boxes in case they decide they like the place so much they move into the eaves.

Your garden certainly looks a picture. Mine is a bit like the curate's egg. Good in parts. :)

ChrisH said...

Gosh! Where to start, Liz? Well done for being such a brave mummy! I love bats but I'm not sure I'd be that thrilled to wake up and find one in my bedroom! Love the idea of you diving for the window with a pillow for protection. Your garden looks wonderful, we have a lot of trouble growing anything here, maybe next time...
Thanks for the links, I shall go exploring.

Sue aka MsCreativity said...

Beautiful garden, Liz.

You were so brave! Well done for coping without waking your daughter. Amazing.

I agree with Jan, what a great scene for a book!

Best wishes for finishing the last 20k too. Be kind to yourself and don't stress about not having done much writing lately. If you're anything like me you need to recharge the brain cells from time to time, and the story will return demanding attention when you're ready.


gaelikaa said...

Things that go bump in the night - that story had me intrigued. Your garden's lovely too

liz fenwick said...

Thanks for the kind comments on the garden. I can't take much credit myself as the layout is down to the previous owners and she made sure it is always in bloom year round. My additions have been maker it more child friendly (removing some spikey plants) and replacing bits that have died off and fulling it a bit more with things that are in bloom whem I'm here.

Julie - I have a gardener who comes in once a week. When we bought the house we knew that it would be a necessary thing and the pleasure we receive from the garden is huge. Sometimes just looking and other doing the full dirty!!!

Leigh Russell said...

It's amazing the things we do when our children are around - I've trapped wasps, walked close to fierce wolves masquerading as dogs (aaaagh), and even picked up HUGE spiders (not in my bare hands - I'm not that brave)
Your garden looks beautiful.
Welcome back!

Leigh Russell said...

And thank you for your support, Liz. Don't forget to email me for a virtual signature when you have my book - details on my blog. I can't wait to hear you think of it!

Julie Cohen said...

Ah, I thought you must have a gardener...hopefully the hunky type who likes taking his shirt off. It's a wise investment for the enjoyment you get (in the garden, not the hunk, or perhaps both).

Liane Spicer said...

Your garden is breathtaking. Nice of you to share.

Strange coincidence.. I just started a new novel this morning and in the opening scene my MC is hiding from a bat - clutching a cushion for defense!

Kate Lord Brown said...

It's amazing what Amazons we become when the children are around (also in old house, have been known to leap on tables shrieking like the cook in Tom & Jerry when they're not here, but have liberated mice, birds, ginormous spiders when they are). Your garden is divine - hope you're having sunshine to enjoy it.

cs harris said...

Your garden is gorgeous! I just love the saturated colors of flowers in England. The heat here fades everything.

And while I love most creatures, I am totally grossed out by bats! Ugh. Brave you.

liz fenwick said...

It is amazing how when our kids are involved we push aside our own fears etc and just do. It would be great if we could bottle that to use at any time!

The garden is a real bonus and to be able to play with it - tweak it - is one of the things that keeps sanity going.

Yes, CS the intensity of the colours is amazing but that is particualrly important to balance the many grey days :-) In fact it reminds me of my puzzlement at the bright choice of colours for so many of the older buildings when we lived in Moscow. When December rolled around it was very apparently - those bold colours lifted the drab days no end.