I’ve reached that stage again. The final draft. Meticulous editing. Copy and paste. Spotting double full stops. Subtle grammatical errors. The process seems never ending.
I find writing rewarding, but frustrating at times, as errors seem to creep in, almost unnoticed.
I’m working towards a paperback of my life story, focusing on music and the piano. The book – My Musical Journey by Lawrence Estrey – covers a range of topics, including gangs, religion, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Part of the story takes place in Manchester. In the narrative, music and the piano play a pivotal role, creating a distraction from the chaos all around.
You can catch a taster by visiting my sister WordPress site. The book contains additional material.
I hope you will find the story interesting.
Cold, with a biting chill. The UK. I walked down and up the hill this morning, managing not to slip on leaves. Afterwards, I went indoors for coffee, a chat and piano practice. Everywhere is either too hot or too cold. I keep taking off my jumper, then putting it on again when the cold strikes.
Later, I bought Christmas cards – a reminder that the occasion is just weeks away. The seasons go quickly. No more late summer. Spring just a memory of an early heat wave that didn’t last for long. Autumn is nearly over. Soon, another year will have passed.
I’m near the completion of my current writing project, mypianobio.
The project, a sister blog, falls under the category of true life and tells how I escaped danger in Manchester, to find a purpose in my musical studies and aspirations elsewhere.
My next project is to see whether I can arrange the material in a paperback and self-publish as a Print On Demand.
A case of, watch this space.
Freezing, but humid.
I got up early, stretched and did my breathing exercises, but felt tired and groggy.
Had a number of meetings and played the piano, but couldn’t shake off the malaise and exhaustion.
Went back to practise Beethoven’s Moonlight sonata, but couldn’t concentrate.
Arranged to meet a friend for coffee…and ended up leaving my sports bag somewhere.
Now, sitting with the heating on and the window open, and wondering when I last saw the sports bag.
A person wants to share autobiographical material. How do they proceed? Too much, and the reader may get bogged down in the detail. Too little, and the narrative will lack conviction.
Plus, the past is complicated. And messy. And emotional, of course. Can a writer really reduce a period of time to a few paragraphs or pages and expect to convey their experiences?
I think the answer lies in painting pictures first, then providing summary in later parts of the story. Describing new scenes, themes, in detail, bringing the narrative to life. But choosing summary techniques as well, to prevent the story from getting stuck at later points.
Writers also have the task of deciding on various lenses, to borrow a term from photography. Does the person choose an introspective approach, looking inward? Or do they project their material?
I’m currently sharing my experiences as a piano player on my sister blog and facing these structural and editorial issues. I use a number of narrative techniques. You can access the story here.
Till next time.
The sister blog is going well and contains some twenty posts or more, including videos of me playing the piano.
The material also covers difficult themes concerning serious gangs in the north of England, a narrow escape, and the psychological difficulties afterwards in the form of PTSD.
MyMusicalJourney by Lawrence Estrey
Twenty-four years ago today, I arrived in London from Exeter. The day always evokes a mixture of feelings. Pride that I made it work, to the best of my abilities. Nostalgia for a different life, for Exeter. The Roman city. The summer evenings. The lack of responsibility.
Devon, the place where I’d studied.
It took me a long time to get used to London life, but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else.
Fading Sunlight, darker evenings.
Approaching autumn, shorter days.
Cooler weather, breezes from the east.
A blast of winter, another Christmas.
The dull summer has given way to glorious weather again, bypassing the month of July and most of August. Another late summer.
I find it interesting how seasons come and go, often in unexpected ways. I think artists live unpredictable lives that mirror the seasons. Things are never that straight forward, surprises often come from nowhere, some good, some bad.
As for my own artistic endeavours, I can’t work out what to do with the current writing project, a crime novel based in Lancashire, so I’ve decided to put it to one side for a few months and concentrate on other pursuits – my music, blogging. At the moment, I’m blogging my own musical journey as a piano player on a sister site. The new blog is now just over a week old (twelve posts, so far) and takes the reader from my first encounters with music to my early experiences of performing before an audience.
Meanwhile, I hope to pursue the crime writing at some point and go through the publishing process again.
Just a few of my thoughts.
Hi, the good weather has gone for the most part, replaced by Autumn skies and humidity. After such a warm June, August seems almost depressing, a reminder that Autumn will come soon, and then Winter, followed by another year.
In terms of writing, I’ve reached a lull and am uncertain of how to proceed. I miss working on plot and character and churning out page after page of work, but I’m reluctant to self-publish again. I think I need to put the writing to a side for twelve months, then reconsider the options.
Meanwhile, I spend more time at the piano these days and I now have more than thirty videos of my playing on YouTube. I hope to do some more recording at some point in the near future.
Till next time.