You know how it is.You get a little older and certain things slip your mind. There was me last week listing all the types of footwear I possess, mainly sandals to be honest. Ah! and there’s the rub… to be honest! For in the middle of the night my subconscious goes rooting round and picking up on all sorts of things I’ve been thinking, doing and writing.
Now I usually am glad of this, for truth to tell, (there’s that word again) some of my best work is done by my subconscious. I am, for want of a better description what has become known in the writing world as ‘a bit of a pantser’. Now, this does not refer to wearing only my knickers (as ‘almost’ suggested in comments last week by my on-line friend Erika from the USA – where pants are trousers and not knickers!) It refers to relying on your subconscious to help you fill in the plot-lines as you write your novel. Come to think of it – ‘
flying writing by the seat of your pants – hence ‘pantser” – must be an American saying.*
Extreme pantsers would, perhaps, not even have a plan, but just write whatever comes into their heads. Wonderful if it works. I am not extreme, I have a plan (even if my subconscious has a slightly different plan) and within reason I stick with it. I do not always have sub-plots woven into this originals plan, that is where my subconscious really works overtime, surprising and delighting me quite often. OK … yes it sometimes even takes over and puts a neat twist in the tail… that it had been subtly laying the pointers to throughout the novel (No, I do not always spot these either, so the twist can surprise even me)
SO, usually I hope my subconscious will be busy sorting out what I am going to write next, but, for reasons of its own (probably because I have not yet written up the last section it worked on) it went off rooting round for a pair of trainers …. after I said I didn’t have any.
Now these trainers have a short but interesting history. One, they actually fit me, this may be because they were purchased when my feet were very hot (and therefore already swollen) and two, because they were very, very cheap – I did not to even think of wearing them back home.
About five years ago we were lucky enough to go to Malaysia for a five week visit to my son, daughter-in-law and young grandson who live in Kuala Lumpur. My daughter-in-law is a science lecturer at the university there and is a native of Borneo – Sabah, to be precise. It was a wonderful holiday, not least because we were taken around at the weekends and for a week by the family, benefiting from D-in-Law’s fluency in 5 languages and knowledge of the most interesting places to see and to eat in.
For a few days, however, my son, my OH and I booked into a jungle camp near Sepilok in northern Sabah – Uncle Tan’s. Uncle Tan’s jungle camp was very basic to quote ‘What we have are rough huts with no doors or windows’ and these are shared by up to six in a hut- and just have mattresses and mosquito nets in them. This part of the holiday would make a blog post in itself… but back to the shoes … we were advised to buy a pair of very cheap trainers as any shoes we had would be ruined by the mud in and around the camp. So this we duly did in a shoe emporium in KotaKinabalu, the capital of Sabah. The temperature was around 40 degrees C and very humid. The trainers were light-weight and cheap – even by Malaysian standards – we were not expecting to keep them.
In the end it was SO muddy that we were advised to rummage through the huge stack of wellingtons they kept at the camp, to find some to fit, and use them instead. Hence the trainers came home in relatively pristine condition, having only been worn on the trip into the jungle (mainly by small motor-driven boat) and back.
There they were, tucked right at the back corner, under the shoe shelf in my wardrobe. Would they actually be suitable for venturing out onto the golf course in?
Well, combined with the black cotton trousers that I chose to wear, they were fine. My feet got hot in them… as expected, but they didn’t pinch and hurt, so they are now (for the five weeks course) my golf shoes.
Now, this has gone on long enough – so ‘how to chip a golf ball onto the green’ will have to wait ..
Does your subconscious give you answers overnight?
Do you rely on it… or do you have an orderly mind that knows where everything is?
Do share, you know I love to hear from you
* couldn’t leave that unresearched, apparently the saying amongst aviators of the time used to be ‘flies by the seat of his trousers’ but when written up in an American newspaper about an Irish aviator who flew from America to Ireland in a small plane without instruments in 1938 .. it became ‘flew by the seat of his pants’ and that caught on and stuck.