Sunday, 18 September 2011

Autumn "Au Revoir"


The vine canopy is starting to drop russet leaves over the summer dining table. Clouds hang in the valley before the sun warms the morning. Autumn is definitely in the air, even if it’s still summer at midday in Provence.

It’s the time of new beginnings, work-wise, as nature dies back. Like many, I feel energised at this time of year, full of ambitious new plans and determined to bring them to fruition. This is when I always start my books, fired up with a full notebook of research and ideas that may or may not work but have to be tried.


This post is by way of an “Au Revoir” for a while, or at least fair notice that I won’t be blogging as regularly during the coming months while I give my full attention to the first draft of a new novel that has been bubbling under all year. And to do it, I have to disappear to my study and block out everything else.

All writers write in different ways, and mine is in concentrated isolation. Sometimes it’s hard enough to fit in real life, let alone any other writing which can only be a distraction. I don’t like to mess around. Writing a first draft is like digging the foundations of a house: it’s hard and precise work, and a great deal rests on it. If the structure is wrong now, the building will never be quite right and ever harder to put right later.

If anyone asks me now what qualities I think writers need to have, I would have to say: persistence, determination and sheer stubbornness to succeed. You also have to love what you do, playing around with words and the use of language to create something new.


For me, there’s no better time to do that than when the skies become heavier, and the colours fade beyond the window where my desk stands. If it’s raining, so much the better. Then there’s nowhere I’d rather be than making bright pictures in my head and trying to find the words to pin them down.

I hasten to assure you, all my lovely blog pals I’ve made this year, I’m not abandoning my blog completely, and that I will still be touring around reading yours when I need a break. I have so enjoyed all your comments, and appreciated your support, for which huge thanks, and am delighted that we found each other. But this one will revert to its original function, which was an add-on to my website to use for any news updates.

Please do come and find me on my official Facebook page, though – the “Like” link at the side here will take you there. That’s much easier to keep going, and we have some lovely little chats about books, Provence and life in general.

Back soon – but for now, cheerio!  



35 comments:

vanessafrance said...

I've really enjoyed your blog during the past year, Deborah, and of course reading The Lantern. You're quite right to focus on your new novel - I wish I had your single-mindedness.

I'll look forward to your future posts when you do them. For now, je suis sûre que ce n'est qu'un au revoir.

Sam said...

Best of luck with the new novel, and look forward to more of your posts when you return.

Pet said...

What a wonderful place for a concentrated isolation that you've got. Enjoy both!

Harvee said...

Happy writing for your new novel. Tell us about it soon!

Yvonne Osborne said...

Deborah,
The first draft is the most exhilirating. I, too, need concentrated isolation to get that one down. Oddly, I just posted some similar thoughts on writing and the writing life on my blog. As you suggest, I will keep in touch with you on facebook.

Thanks for more lovely photos. I'm forwarding a link to your blog to my France-bound sisters.

I just bought The Lantern!

Nelieta said...

Beautiful photos! I love the autumn leaves..so colourful! Good luck with your novel!

Janel said...

Enjoy your time with the new novel! I'll look forward to your posts whenever they come. :)

Kelly Hashway said...

Great pictures. I've liked your Facebook, too.

Spangle said...

Good luck with your new novel. I wish I had as much discipline as you do, with my writing.

Looking forward to read your future posts and your new novel, when it is written!

Maureen said...

Wishing you many months of great writing.

Fireflywishes said...

I stumbled on this blog in the funniest way. Today I was visiting a friend's blog, Kindle Fever, and reading an old review she had done for a book we both loved. As I was reading the comments, I recognized your name and thought "could it really be the author of The Lantern? the book I loved so much??" so I clicked through to your blogger profile and sure enough! I wish I had seen this blog earlier and followed it. It's lovely, and written beautifully just as your book is. I cannot wait to get my hands on your next book, I wish you all the best of luck with it!

If you're interested, this is the link to my review, I also had a fun little giveaway for a bar of lavender soap from L'Occitane! :)

April @ My Shelf Confessions: Book Review The Lantern

Julie Farrar said...

I've enjoyed your blog after I found it this summer. We'll miss you while you're off writing. I'll miss your corner of France. Good luck with the writing.

Elizabeth Young said...

I have enjoyed your blog immensely Deborah. I'd like to thank you for the insight you've given us into your world - even today, for sharing your writing process. It's all I can do to keep up with poems, articles, the Manic Monday mental illness posts I do, etc. I have thought many times recently that if I am going to get serious about my WIP I should go away for a month next Summer and give myself to that entirely, nothing else. The poem on my blog you asked if I wrote, I did, I love that kind of old fashioned genre. Best wishes and stay in touch, we will all miss you. Elizabeth.

litlove said...

Oh we'll miss you! But I quite understand the need for focus. This is a strong and courageous move on your part - I can never quite give up the lure of blogging and concentrate on other things (even though I probably should!). I'm also hugely curious to know what your next novel will be about - perhaps you'll give us a clue when the first draft is done?

Karen Wojcik Berner said...

Best wishes for a wonderful, creative time on your new novel. I have enjoyed the blog immensely, but definitely understand the need to focus. Good luck and have fun.

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

Your blog, the stories and the photos increased my enjoyment of your book. I could see the places of your descriptions and feel the spirit of the place.

Enjoy your focus and time of solitude. I look forward to your return, and to another book, bien sûr!

Bises,
Genie

Olga said...

Good luck with the new novel! I am looking forward to your return to Blogosphere!

Deb said...

Ha! I've just come up for a breath of air. Been buried in the WIP for weeks so know what you mean. Very best of luck with the new one.

James Kiester said...

Good luck with the new book.

Mystica said...

Living in Sri Lanka trying to get to your first book is not easy!! it will take at least two years to come here so my only way is to win it!!!!

Julie@beingRUBY said...

I've just popped in for the first time.. so sorry to see you taking your break but can understand you need to give your new book your full attention...

Love the pics.. especially the 'heavy clouds' as you say.. Julie

Airelle said...

Deborah, I have been enjoying your blog immensely and will certainly be going back to your posts with better time this winter. I hope you'll still have a little time to give us some news of your progress from time to time.
I wish you a fruitfull time writing your new book and I'm excitedly waiting for it, sure it's going to be as interesting as the one I'm reading right now!

Kiki aka Victoria said...

Hello Deborah! Super beautiful images..gorgeous photos that stir the soul! Congrats on your beautiful book and wishing you much magic and success always! The cover is fabulous!Stunning!

Enjoy your time away in the creative cocoon ..I am the same way when it comes to my singing/recording..it is a magical space you must disappear into and create in.. until everything can be revealed! Enjoy your time away!Wishing you many creative adventures!
Victoria
PS: thankyou for your thoughtful visit and kind words!Have sparkling week ahead!

MuMuGB said...

Au revoir Deborah! I look forward to reading your next novel then...Are you back in the UK or staying in Provence?
I am amazed that you like Provence so much. I grew up there, but my family is very dysfunctional...I am so much happier in London! It was hell in paradise there, despite the beauty of the landscapes. Your posts made me remember the nice side of Provence. Thanks for this!

aguja said...

Your post says it all. I shall think of that creative energy whilst you are absent ... and look forward to your forthcoming novel.

Autumn is a truly creative time and when I return from England, I shall be writing in earnest to complete the final part of the Violet Jelly trilogy.

If you have time, check out some of my Ireland posts which I have left for my time out in England. No need to comment, but you might enjoy some of them.

With best wishes, Deborah, for the coming ,months.

Deborah Lawrenson said...

You are all so kind! I'm looking forward to keeping up with all your blogs in the coming months, even if I'm not posting much myself.

PS to Muriel (because she asked): between the two, as usual, though I definitely get more work done in England! It's always good to be reminded of the positives. :)

Relish said...

Am very very excited about your new work Deborah :-) ...good luck and enjoy!!!

Leovi said...

Beautiful photos with a delicious light. I fantasized small to be a writer, because quri a lot of stories to tell than I imagined, but never had enough qualities to get along with words.

le blÖg d'Ötli said...

Je t'attendrai patiemment, en relisant mes passages préférés de The Lantern ;)

Lisa Erin said...

Hi, Deborah...miss seeing your posts pop up, but completely understand your hibernation to write. I, also, find it necessary to tune some things out so I can get sequestered when I write. So glad that Autumn is officially here...I can feel the changes.

Happy writing...

versus said...

Écrire au soleil d' hiver, au dernier mûrissement des fruits..C' est là que les sucs se concentrent pour donner tout leur parfum!
Belle continuation.

Jenny Woolf said...

Good luck with the new book.

Half-heard in the Stillness said...

Hello Debra, I've just this moment finished reading,'The Lantern'and so wanted to let you know that I couldn't put it down!
Your descriptive writing is SO brilliant...in fact it is totally superb! I too love Daphne Du Maurier's books; 'Rebecca''s opening lines are my favourite. So atmospheric and entrancing.
Anyway I trust that your present writing is going well,and in the meantime I know I will enjoy reading through your lovely blog and definitely revisting 'The Lantern'!

Very kind regards,
Jane

Tameka said...

The lovely photos and your descriptions bring me right where you are. I also need to be isolated to write books and maybe that's why I haven't achieved much on my second one. I've been too busy blogging! Ha! Thanks for this reminder about the writers work ethic. We do have to be selective depending on our projects.

God speed to you in all you do. Your blog posts are beautiful and inspiring.

http://lyricfire.typepad.com/lyric-fire/2011/10/lyric-fire-opals-for-october.html

Candice said...

Deborah, je viens juste de découvrir ton très beau site, grace à la liste de sites au groupe Late Bloomers :) Although I never have visited Provence, it is a lifelong dream of mine. Dans une vie antérieure j'étais française ! lol... Your site is so lovely. I'm disappointed that I've discovered you after you have sequestered yourself away to write, but that I will be able to look forward to your return. I also plan to buy your book ! Congratulations and bonne chance with your new book.

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