When I get an idea in my head (for a novel) I sit at the dining table with my Stabilo 88, a pad of paper and a coffee and write frantically from start to finish. The only pauses are for the housework, children, cooking, homework, school runs, dog, laundry, toilet, sleep and, of course, the telephone!
5 weeks later the egg has hatched and I have in my hands the fluffy result processed from the weird images in my mind. Next comes the typing. As I type I remove and add in sentences, prose, ideas, dialogue, descriptions, feelings, slowly sewing in extra feathers and sinew and bone until I am left with a very shaky, nondescript, unbalanced bird.
I then pass it round to my ‘panel’ of readers for feedback. From them I manage to get the bird to stand straight and look ahead. Maybe even take a few steps.
Finally I submit it for editing when they embroider in the colours and smooth out the lumps. After another week or so at the computer I end up with a plump well-preened bird. Hopefully it will turn out to be a magnificent peacock, but even if it is a tiny humming-bird I know I hold in my hand the reality of a dream.
Every Mother knows the joy of holding their child. Being a writer cannot compare.
But it comes bloody close.