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Dinosaurs, and all that old stuff

Photo by Thivanka De Silva on Scopio

I’ve just finished creating a lesson about dinosaurs, so they are on my mind. I told someone the other day that one of my childhood nicknames was ‘Diplodocus’ and they thought I should use that as my pen name from now on. I wish I could remember where the name came from – I think it was something to do with bringing an absolutely humungous picture of one home from primary school. I guess we’d painted it in class. In my memory, I think it was life-sized, but since it fitted in the house, I guess it probably wasn’t. (Unless he tucked in his neck and tail?) As I type, I also have a feeling that it travelled home rolled up, and then, on the great unrolling, contained a large spider (also life-sized, probably larger, tbh… and, unlike the dinosaurs, still alive).

Talking of spiders – autumn is here, and with it, early morning dew and zillions of silvery webs:

So, back to the Diplodocus… Something else to ask my parents about. First Jane, then Saucepans, and now dinosaurs. If this Diplodocus stomps his way into the new book, don’t be surprised. You read it here first. The other thing I remember about Diplodocuses (Diplodoci?) is that they had very small brains. Is this true? Or something else warped by time and memory? Funny how since beginning to write Jane, Forgotten, memory is what fills my thoughts – or at least, that’s what I remember from my thoughts…

I haven’t written any more of that book since last week, although chapters are forming in my mind. I’ve been too busy with dinosaurs, and all that. I’m on holiday for the next couple of weeks, and I have notions that I will get many thousands of words written in that time off, but I am equally certain that time, as always, will trickle from me it an untenable flow and I will be back at work before I know it, with as much of the book still thudding in my head as there is little on the pages. I wonder if it’s time to try voice-to-text so I can ‘write’ it while I walk the dogs. Would the neighbours and dogs think I am any more insane than they already do? Does anybody out there successfully do voice-to-text? I expect it would become little more than garbled ramblings punctuated by the rumble of tractors and me yelling ‘Drop it Wilf!’ or ‘Sam! Come here!’ and then I would forget to check it anyway. I’ll let you know how that works for me.

I’ll finally get to see my mum and dad next week, albeit for only a too-short few hours, for the first time since Covid came calling. I hope we have time to revisit some of their memories from my time on the estate I am using for the inspiration for Jane, Forgotten, and that Mum and Dad will be able to give me new old stories to weave among the chapters. I wonder if they will remember any more about the real Jane, or if they will have found any more of the old photos to jog or rewrite my memories of the couple of years we lived there. In the book, the characters will live there for far longer than I ever did. They will stay there long enough to uncover the secrets and the memories, and the people who, to be, are only the fuzziest snippets of an unreliable memory, but in the book, will become real.

I’ll let you know.

Love, Jinny

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