Monday, April 7, 2014

Holey novel, holey road

I'm sure most of us have got an unwritten or half finished novel itching under our skin. I know I am not unique in this. I should take heed of that thing that was going around Facebook a while ago. Rules for writing a novel. 
Think of an idea for a novel.
Write it
 or summin like that anyway. 

Mine is very much like the road that is being built near our house at the moment. They started off with great enthusiasm and gusto. All the equipment, the planning - with their funny little dumpie levels and lumo jackets. They made diversions and brought in lorry loads of gravel and cement and tar. And then it all started crumbling. The enthusiasm lagged. The diversions got so waterlogged people had to drive on the half finished road, buggering up all the work that had been done so far. They've done some very good sections (even tidied up the sides of the road when they've finished) yet there are stretches that are still muddy and bumpy and all dug up. They're getting there though, soon it will be finished I'm sure. I'm not sure what they're going to do when they get to our turn off, right by a karongo where they can't make a diversion. Maybe they have a plan. Maybe it'll come to them at the last minute. 

I'm hoping the same can be said for my very unfinished book (with a couple of completed sections somewhere in the middle). I am reminded of it every time I drive the road tho, so maybe that's the impetus I need to keep going. We'll see. 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tidying Procrastinations

Tidy tidy tidy.

Long overdue.

When we first moved here 6 years ago we had so little. It all fitted in the back of our Land Rover.

And now we have so much Stuff, spilling out the seams of our little pink adobe house. We move into a bigger house in July and no doubt we'll have even more Stuff to fill that house too.

My parents-in-law were in the army and had to move every 2 years. Get rid of what they needed, pack up and move on. My side of the family don't have much truck for Stuff either. My grandfather lived in a little wooden house with very little. My parents are the same. And we don't have anything fancy. Au contraire. But somehow we have a collection of Things. Broken torches, bits of old tap, pens that don't work. I'm doing a big cleanout right now and it feels gooood. (Actually right now I'm writing a blog. Procrastinating. It's a strength of mine).

Any clothes that I haven't worn for a few months. Out! Out! Out! (I have a mitumba* problem though, so my clothes seem to just multiply, like amoebas or something. Or like those exotic plants that you cut back and they just grow back twofold, with more vigour).

Tidying up the office now and I find papers and files from when I gave birth. Remembering the squished purpleness of those little sausages. Thinking they were so very perfect and adorable at the time. And you look at pictures of their newborness now and realise how damn ugly and last-tomato-in-the-fridge they were. Still perfect and adorable but ugly-perfect and adorable! Midwife reports, vaccination certificates. New life admin.

And I find a notebook. Big and black and sturdy. I peel back the cover and feel a stab in my solar plexis. Lots of little notes and drawings and plans. Some in my hand, some in Musa's. Drawings on how to make a lifesize elephant with two actors inside. Scrawled notes in Musa's hand on human-wildlife conflict plays that we performed. Parts of a radio drama script we wrote. Scribbled actor IOUs and little mini budgets and timetables. I miss him so.

This one I shall keep.

And now it's time to get back to it. Lets see what other little treasures I can find.


*mitumba - second hand clothes from the market