Almost Speechless (2)

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Picking up where I left off last blog …

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Rather than blame the saltatory nature of writing for stalling me in my efforts to outline the plot of a new story, I could equally well blame two weeks in Scotland for leaving me (almost) speechless, at the same time justifying the substitution of pictures for words, because the pictures render words unnecessary.

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So here are Eilean Donan castle, the Highlands, Ullapool, and a rather sad and pensive looking Walter Scott brooding over Edinburgh.

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Almost Speechless (1)

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I survey this blog ruefully, noting I’ve written nothing for weeks, which (so I’ve read) breaks the cardinal rule of having a blog, namely, to write consistently, so that your followers get in the habit of checking out your latest thoughts and insights.

Which probably explains the lack of a recent blog, because over the last few weeks I’ve had only scattered thoughts, and certainly no insights, with regard to sketching out the plot of the story I’m currently working on.

But then I’ve always said writing is an idiosyncratic, situational and saltatory process, so this kind of being stalled is not unexpected.

‘Saltatory’, by the way, means something like ‘proceeds in fits and starts’. I came across the word years ago and thought it useful, but it’s not listed in every dictionary, and my spellcheck insists it doesn’t exist and keeps changing it to salutatory (‘an address of welcome’), and even now WordPress is underlining it in red, telling me to fix a misspelling. Merriam-Webster defines it as ‘proceeding by leaps rather than by gradual transitions’, and the Free Dictionary as ‘proceeding by abrupt movements’, while Roget aligns it as a noun with ‘agitation … fits and starts’, and as an adjective with ‘leaping’ and with ‘agitated’ (‘… twitching, itchy, convulsive, spasmodic, saltatory, skittish’).

Right now I’d settle for even a small leap or two.

On the other hand, I’ve just written 274 words (arbitrarily including the title), which may have no relevance to the current project, but at least have accomplished the basic aim of at least getting a few words on the page, even if they’re deservedly doomed for deletion.