First Footnotes

…the feedback, when it came, was warm and positive

When we first arrived here and I started scribbling,  with tentative thoughts of turning my scribbles into a blog, A Corner of Cornwall was to be called The View from Here.  But when I actually screwed up my courage and looked into it, someone had beaten me to it and a name change was required.  Drat.  I’m used to the new name now though, and  tVfH remains in use within it.  I like The View from Here.  Anyway, together with these View from Here musings, I have been writing Footnotes from Fowey.  My friend, Pat, suggested the title, which is a very clever one, given the strong literary connections in this area, and the fact that it’s to be the title for the emails I plan to send to the girls from my book group back in Mixbury.

The same events are covered; occasionally the same paragraph finds its way into both footnotes and VfH, but the voice is slightly different and the audience is entirely different.  These pieces are destined for a blog for an unknown audience but principally for me: this is my story of my experience.  Footnotes are written as letters and emailed to close friends who know me well.  The footnotes – which may also become a blog eventually, as a way of presenting them as a single body – are much longer and more personal, and for the moment at least, uncomfortably self-centred.

The move, and my response to it, are captured in excruciating detail and to expect others to plough through all that is akin to inviting the neighbours round to view your holiday snaps several evenings in a row.  What has been a seminal and intensely emotional experience for me cannot possibly excite the same responses in others.  But the creative spark has been burning strongly from the moment we arrived here.  I hope eventually that immersion in this area, which has sheltered many well-known writers, will generate inspiration and imagination in my writing also and encourage me to write regularly and perhaps branch out and away from direct personal experience, or at least begin to use it in more creative ways.  For now, though, that spark urges me to capture these early impressions and experiences directly.  And with a courage I’ve not before uncovered, I feel equally compelled to share them.  Hence, with trepidation, I sent off my first footnote today.  I’ve read it so many times I feel I almost know it by heart, and I’ve tweaked and edited and feel it’s the best it can be at this time. Nonetheless it meant for a background anxiety across the day, waiting for feedback.  And fortunately, the feedback, when it came, was warm and positive.  I’m encouraged to continue.

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