New fence, old shed, new maples and ivy everywhere

That’s just the play time.

New fence,DSCN8949 DSCN9020

Old shed. It has done 27 years and the roof and floor are slowly being chewed up. DSCN9015 DSCN9064The new one has arrived and will be assembled on Friday. Meanwhile, I have become very thin in order to dig out a sludge of earth, stones and roots from the narrow passage at the back of the shed.DSCN9070Some of my beloved maples are coming into leaf and all my transplanted seedlings seem to be thriving. This is Sango Kaku.DSCN9079 - Version 2 DSCN9086 DSCN9082 - Version 2 DSCN9077 The one below may not look much yet, but I’ll post another photo in a couple of weeks time. DSCN9078 - Version 2

And then there’s the ivy. We have taken three loads to the dump and filled four of the big green bins, and there’s still plenty left. DSCN8976In between these activities, I’ve been trying to finish setting the text of the private family version of Surviving the Death Railway: A POW’s Memoir and Letters from Home, and organising the launch party for the published version.

Oh, and feeding the hedgehog. DSCN9088That’s spring for you. DSCN9056

Writing – the swinging pendulum

I have been feeling flattered that a friend across the country asked me to come and be quizzed by her reading group about my book, Unseen Unsung. This was published in 2008, so last week I started re-reading it. I was quite shaken by some aspects of the prose; too dense in parts, too many scene changes. I think if I hadn’t written it myself, I might have had trouble following the plot. I became puzzled, people I don’t know (as well as family and friends) have told me how much they enjoyed this story. Apart from one moment, when I forgot I had written it and the story brought me close to tears, I felt that this was not a book I would recommend to friends.

One outcome of this re-reading was an increased confidence in my new book, Border Line, endlessly revised and now going out to agents. Then, last night, I received an email from another writer – an old and trusted friend. She had been reading my most recent draft and she felt that the majority of my revisions were a disappointment and that I had thrown out what was best and unique about my writing.

Tomorrow night I will travel across the country to find out what a group of strangers made of Unseen Unsung. On Monday I will look at Border Line again and see if I can distil and replace the missing spirit.

Meanwhile Autumn is quietly going about its inevitable and beautiful business.

Acer palmatum Sengukako

Acer palmatum Sango-kaku