Smuggling in 18th century Dorset...
As I am starting to introduce Sir Ron Sinclair's ancestor Algernon Sinclar to the potential future readers of my third novel The Right Place, I have been looking around the internet today for several strange items:
images of smugglers' tunnels, historic maps of Abbotsbury (preferably 18th century), and, possibly, hand-drawn maps showing a network of smuggling tunnels, potential hideaways, etc. - no success here, I'm afraid, so I'll have to completely make it up...
I am quite excited as I have found an article pointing at a possible link between British smugglers and the French Revolution, so will probably add this to an already complicated mix...
The writing is progressing slowly, but surely...
More news as I go...
Writing... Cartoon by John G Walter
I am trying to ignore the civilisation collapse outside and trying to focus on my third novel, The Right Place, which is proving to be a hard nut to crack!
I thought that wonderful illustration by Punch cartoonist John G Walter was just perfect...
Thanks to Matt ArtPix for sending it to me! :-)
People who don't write or have never suffered from writer's block do not know how much of a relief it is when things actually unblock themselves.
I am a satisfied writer tonight as I have added over 1,000 words to The Right Place today.
I have introduced my "King of the Smugglers" to the reader, Algernon Sinclar (1745-1835).
His story is one of rags to riches and will have an impact on the present-day characters of the novel.
Fingers crossed for another 1,000 words tomorrow.
As I type the rain is falling on the county of Dorset... This is much needed rain - the fields had started to look parched - but it makes me even more glad that I did my research walk yesterday.
As I have mentioned many times on this blog, my third novel, The Right Place, will be mainly set around the small hamlet of Abbotsbury.
Sir Ron Sinclair's estate, with his house, Genius Loci, at its centre, is located behind the coast road and Ridgeway, the very same place where I went yesterday for my walk. It is a beautiful and ancestral landscape with its very own elusive atmosphere... I went back to the secret chapel in the woods (Chapel Coppice) which always has an impact on me - a pagan past permeates the whole place, which was abandoned by its Christian founders many centuries ago.
I only caught a glimpse of Ashley Chase, the house build in the 1920s. I had blogged about this specific location back in January 2016, when I was still living in the South East and was at the end of my second one-month residency at Norburton Hall. If you compare the pictures below with the ones from 2016 (Find the blog HERE), you will notice the massive difference the seasons can make! Also, the very thick fog we encountered on our walk back in 2016 has already inspired one of the scenes I have written for the novel! (And yes, four years ago, I was already working on my third novel and still haven't finished it, but many, many things have happened since then, including our move to Dorset!).
Yesterday, it was sunny and dry, and we were able to enjoy the glorious landscape. Alas, my pictures do not do justice to the sheer beauty of the landscape and the variety of the flora. I find the mixture of so many types of trees - some of them looking more like fantastical beasts than actual trees - thrilling and rather artistic.
The two photographs below were taken from the South Dorset Ridgeway, which runs parallel to this section of the coastal road. Once again, all I can say is that nothing beats actually being there: the view literally takes your breath away, and acts like a drug, making you slightly euphoric.
After over two months of writer's block, my brain has started functioning again and I have been desperate to make progress on The Right Place. This novel is really proving particularly difficult to write, and I sometimes lose faith in it, only hoping that I could just drop it and move onto the fourth one, which I think will be much fun to work on.
But "NO", I tell myself, "DO NOT GIVE UP, NOT NOW!"
And I know I won't, because I have invested so much time (and, if I am honest, money) into this that I owe it to myself to actually finish it and somehow get it published.
So my forthcoming blogs will not be wordy - I keep words for my novel!
Here are pictures taken on two separate walks. These walks are necessary for me to find an inner balance between my pessimistic nature and the need to make oneself believe that one's work is not in vain... Something not quite so easy when we look into our present and immediate future...
The Right Place, draft 1: 13,792 words so far.
There are many places in Dorset that have some kind of ancestral beauty, an edgy, vaguely eerie tranquillity...
Some of the paths around the Hardy monument do have that very quality.
Once again, I am in the middle of a media blackout... I avoid the news and only go to social media to post links to the items I am selling on Arcane Publishing and to my blogs.
I am working on the first draft of my third novel The Right Place and enjoying the company of my partner.
We only go out to the areas of the Dorset countryside where we know we will encounter only a few people.
In late August, we will take stock and make some decisions about how to go forward... In the meantime, we make sure to avoid human beings...
Yesterday, we went for a walk in the Langton Herring area - such a beautiful village and peaceful countryside!
The trees, hedges and meadows are full of life. We didn't hear any human-made sound, even in the village.
We even stumbled upon beautiful bee orchids and met a super-cute terrier puppy we wanted to take home with us!
Today, I am working on The Right Place, as my brain has finally started working properly again...
Fields full of daisies... I have never seen that many!
The Feet lagoon behind Chesil Beach.
I think therefore I write.
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