Yesterday started well. I was ready for my desk by 10am, after doing household chores and other faffing. I sat down with my ritual cup of tea, and I started to write … and then I got distracted.
First of all I was distracted by some pictures I found online that I hadn’t seen before, and so I grabbed copies of those for my research folder.
Then I got distracted when I realised I could add bigger pictures to the Scrivener file so I didn’t have to squint at the little picture in the top right-hand corner on my screen index card.
Then I was distracted because I couldn’t find my picture of one of the characters.
And then I was distracted again by some of the first person accounts from November 1974 that are suddenly now available – but let’s face it, they’ve waited a long time to share their stories. There’s a lot more information available now, now that the inquest is finally over.
And then I was distracted again when one of those accounts said that one of my locations in the story wasn’t actually there in 1974. It’s a strip club that used to be next to a flyover just outside the city centre (and Brummies will know where I mean).
For years and years we called it the Daddy Long Legs club. But this personal account seemed to suggest that it was only ever called that in real life for about a year. Before that it was Les Dolls, or something – apparently for years. And then it was the Daddy Long Legs club, and then it was something else. And I’m not sure I want to refer to it if it wasn’t actually called that.
I do remember the building. In my memory it was mostly white but with lots of different colours also painted on it. There was a car park in front of it that never seemed to have any cars on it. And it was next door to a company called Sheldon Holdings.
So, I decided to find my Kelly’s Directory of Birmingham, 1973 – 1974 to see if the Daddy Long Legs was in there … it’s a genuine CD not a bootleg, and the entire directory is scanned into this pdf document. But then I remembered that my new computer doesn’t have a disk player in it! (Wail!) And that meant I was distracted again.
But then I started to sift through some old backups on our portable hard drive … and there it was. In all its pdf glory. At some point, Sensible Cautious Me must have thought it would be a good idea to save the contents of the disk.
I couldn’t find the Daddy Long Legs club or Les Dolls, but I might use the name anyway. I am trying to use real places where I can, but I’m also making up fictional places if the real places don’t fit. I might keep the Daddy Long Legs, mostly because I love the name. But I’ll include an author’s note to say this, and the village name I’m using, and the football club name, are all made up.
In the end, I spent all day on my own work – it was such a luxurious pleasure, but I also have paid work in that I really should be doing too, as I have deadlines and I’ve promised people material.
I was still typing away when the poet got home and right until he put tea on the table. He let me read the first scene out to him and we had a bit of jiggle around with that. And then I came to a suitable place to stop, and after tea we went and did the weekly shop.
I did come back to my desk when we got home, but by the time I finished working for the day, it was gone 10pm.
But anyway, I managed a few scenes, and I also split some of the flashbacks into their own scenes as well.
Today I wrote 1,883 words against my daily target of 1,860. That’ll do.