Day 2 Since last year, I have been sending my Super 8 home movies to be digitalised and saved onto a usb key. Three were returned today. These were filmed in 1975, 1986 and 1988, and since they are over thirty years old, they may be classed as historical documents. We were in Glasgow, Wolverhampton and India (a seven-week trip) during the filming. While watching, I am struck by the number of family members who have died from three generations of family. My husband was the fifth of ten children. He filmed his parents picking chilly peppers in their fields. Dressed in white cotton, they sit low between the green bushes taking each ripe red chilly and placing it in a basket. Nearby their family play around the water gushing from the pipe at the electric well. It is a July evening in Punjab and the heat of the day has dissipated. The sun is setting, and the shadows are long. Wearing a lilac sari, which I have hitched up, I paddle my feet in the stream that takes the water to the fields. As well as the parents, eight of the second generation, six brothers and two sisters have passed on. Revisiting the past is not always a happy experience.
It’s Camp Nanowrimo, and I am doing it my way since I’ve already missed a day. Yesterday, we had a long beneficial zoom session with Bearsden Writers on ‘Page to Stage’ by Neet Neilson. All about the creation of a five-minute stage play. We agreed that the writing process was quite similar to other areas of writing. The method of taking your written work onto the stage seemed to include a lot of other people with the potential of fighting for your words and ideas. That was scary. I should be editing the words I wrote in November, but I might be more productive if I try to fit those into my work in progress. I don’t think I can write a memoir (too many tangled tales in my past), so it will have to be a work of fiction with some stories from my life included, which is how my novel ‘Finding Takri’ came into being. It works that way for me. What did I do since November? I have been busy but not writing, not submitting, although I have been keeping in touch with my writing community. I have been reading, doing jigsaws, knitting and baking flapjacks.
Our only visitors were our neighbours’ hens, who would tap on the patio doors for food. Unfortunately, our local fox got a hold of them on a dark March night when the wind had blown their coop door shut before they could get in. Two children next door were distraught, but so were we adults. Only one of six hens survived, Rosie, who hid in a tight space near a shed. Oh well, the fox and her babies had a feast! My neighbour bought four more hens to keep Rosie company, but they are not allowed out of the coop yet.
Nanowrimo word count 1771, running total 50,277 Success! I managed to reach 50k words in Nanowrimo 2020. I am happy and hope this will give me a boost to continuing to write every day. My memoir has many years to go so, I can’t stop now. I have my lights up for Christmas but as yet no tree. My granddaughter wants a Playstation 5, but there are none in the shops. Her parents have told her Christmas will be late. I remember when the first Playstation came out in December 2000, the only way to buy one was to pre-book at Argos. I did. It didn’t come in until the 22nd. Clydebank Argos on a wet, cold night after work. The things we do at Christmas!
Nanowrimo word count 1991 running total 48507 Tomorrow ‘Write a novel in November’ or, as it is also known, National Novel Writing Month, comes to an end for this year. I have 1500 words to go to make up the 50,000 required. I am writing my memoir, or my family story, as I would prefer to call it. I am about a third of the way into my life, so I’m afraid this draft may take a few more months. I will keep writing but not post up the word count as I did this month. Today I completed my Marmite jigsaw. It was a present to my husband from his son (we think) a few years ago. It was opened, deemed to be difficult, and left on a shelf. In the midst of our latest lockdown, I brought it out again and spent spare half-hours on it. I thought it would take till Christmas to finish, but today it seemed to fall into place! We sealed it with clear jigsaw film on the back. I will try to post a picture of it in December.
There is a film, on Netflix, that I like called ‘Puzzle’. It’s about a woman who discovers a talent at solving jigsaw puzzles at speed and how this changes her life.
Nanowrimo word count 1491 running total 46516 (two more days to reach 50k) I have been having my Super 8 cine films digitalised. First of all, I sent away a small one of 200 feet, and it was fine. Since I was happy with the quality, I sent off a video of 800 feet. It is of the wedding of my sister-in-law who arrived from India in 1976 and now lives in Wolverhampton. Since we were the oldest members of her family in this country, it fell to us to organise and pay for the wedding. The film is 49 minutes long, but after 30 minutes it froze, on both computer and television. I have sent an email to Asda photos, and I’m sure they will sort it. Let’s see.