annanotbob2's Diaryland Diary


Bella takes a walk

I feel as if I probably have left out a lot of Bella Bits but I'm too fucked up to sort it out now - too many places to check - but here's one I wrote today in Friday writing group. We were given an image of a female in a red cloak and a tree, maybe in a park, a bit abstract. I'd thought that my character Paul, who'd featured in the novel with Bella when they were both teenagers, might have grown into the non-binary detective that someone else has created for an ongoing shared thing - it just felt right. But, how the fuck do you deal with pronouns in writing? 'They' is fine for talking about someone, but not when you have two people together, one of whom is non-binary - well, it wouldn't be any different if they both were - it gets confusing - or clunky if you try to avoid confusion. I googled it to see what suggestions there were - I'm obviously not the first person to have encountered this - and there are other pronouns, new ones. But not one agreed set, several, none of which I have ever encountered. So I decided to ignore it for now and stick with 'he' as he was a boy when young and it's too complicated. But I would like Paul to be non-binary - a name change is imminent - there are loads like Chris, Pat, Alex, Laurie... But anyway, here it is

They were walking through a park. The cherry trees were still in bloom, the warm breeze blowing little storms of pink petals, creating a fairy tale mood in Bella's stony heart. She kept telling herself she had a stony heart because she could feel it softening at the edges in Paul's presence. Not that she felt anything romantic about him, but that being with him again made her feel differently about herself, as if more things were possible. He'd brought her a cape and a pair of long black gloves to this meeting. "I didn't think you were doing yourself justice with your shapeless jeans and dull fleeces. This will make you shine out." And here she was now, wearing it. He'd asked her to walk on ahead so he could take a photo of her on his phone and then one on her phone too, so she would see herself, majestic, he said, in her red cloak, under the cherry tree.
They hadn't really talked much, just walked together, three times now. On the beach, up in the hills and now in the park. It felt like laying down foundations.

I love writing this way. I struggle to do it any other way now - I've done so much 'free writing' where you just keep on going without stopping, that I forget about writers carefully choosing each word and freeze up completely as soon as I try. Ah well. I only do it for myself really so it doesn't matter.

In other news I have done the same things again, like all of us. Today I walked the dog along the river bank, mostly along the disused railway line as it was flatter. All the soft paths have been so over-used, with lots of rain creating mud, full of footprints and bike tracks, then it's all frozen so now it's hard and misshapen - terrible to walk on, so better along the gravel paths. I'd put on my warm waterproof boots with a view to going to the beach for the mega-low spring tide which was at sunset, but changed my mind at the last minute, then regretted it when I saw photos other people posted. But there will always be more spring tides at sunset, when it's not fucking freezing and when we're not all scared of catching or spreading a vile virus.

Daughter and I will have a walk next week - we are allowed to walk with one other person, at a safe distance, though I've only done that a couple of times with SB since the beginning of the year.

Three Good Things today
1. Two people in writing group said they'd like to read the whole of the Bella story when I've finished it. I liked that - it keeps me going, although I probably would do it anyway as I enjoy it and am interested to see what happens - something will.
2. B who runs the other writing group and is a proper published author said that on reading through her current novel, first draft just finished, she realised that I'd crept into it - "aspects of you have seeped into it". I probably shouldn't feel pleased with this till I know what it is - my propensity to turn up to zoom meetings without my teeth doesn't need to be set down in print.
3. I cooked dinner again - shepherd's pie. We have a limited range of dinners, but I bet everyone does. The trick is to not cook them too often - this felt like a delicious treat, though there wasn't enough potato topping for my greedy liking.

Sleep tight xxx

12:20 a.m. - 13.02.21


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