On Friday morning, in the bath, before I started work (a bath can be a MAT, but only if I’m still in it after the practical stuff is over), the sentence, ‘On the whole we resist falling in love’ turned up in my head. This isn’t unusual (not that sentence, but sentences in general, or phrases, often turn up in my head). Sometimes they’re connected with the piece I’m writing at the time, sometimes they’re not, but they stream through my head on what seems to me to be ticker-tape, although they stream horizontally, not vertically, and if they’re not connected with the piece I’m writing at the time, they’re often springboards to the next. (A springboarding ticker-tape?)
I’ve just Googled ticker-tape to make sure it was what I thought it was, and here is a rather beautiful (copyrighted) image of a working replica of a stock ticker, and a Wikipedia entry that explains.
Anyway, the short-story-that-was-a-novel found itself being given, ‘On the whole we resist falling in love’ as its new opening sentence and (I hate to say this for fear of the wrath of the writing gods … but …) beginning that way imposed a structure on the story that works. At least it worked on Friday and it was still working yesterday. And so, naturally, I am resisting getting back to it by posting this MAT-blog in case (a) I’m proved wrong today, or (b) it continues to work and so requires me to continue to put one word after another. One word after another … that was the word I needed in Sunday’s blog – not one word in front of another, nor one word behind another.
And so, with trepidation, to work.