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writers block grid

The camera angle distorts the picture (which seems appropriately symbolic given the topic) but those White Agates on the corner really were placed in a square.

I was in despair. The manuscript for my latest book had just come back from copy editing with the weirdest amendments. Strange punctuation, replacement words, distortions and insertions that made no sense. When you’ve written a book and someone butchers it, it’s like having a new baby taken away and returned having had a face transplant. You simply don’t recognise it. And when the publisher says ‘it’s our house style’ and sends a load of weblinks to academic grammar websites when you attempt to point out what’s wrong you really do feel no one’s listening. Not for the first time on that particular project, which was proving more complex than any other book I’ve written. I more certainly didn’t want my book to look like an academic textbook. I’ve read enough of those to know that gobbledegook language and crystals really don’t go together. Several emails flew back and forth. None of the justifications addressed what it was I was actually pointing out. I was so frustrated. So, what do you do?

You lay a grid! The one above in my case. So fast that I didn’t even have time to take the labels off some new crystals I’d bought in the market a day or two earlier. They’d been lying on the table awaiting my attention. What a way to get it. So, onto my trusty Eye of the Storm (Judy’s Jasper) baseplate, I popped a Lapis Lazuli shape that had intrigued me when I spotted it on the stall. It represented me and the knowledge I was attempting to share. On either side went Chinese Writing Stones as the other project on which I was working was being blocked by this one demanding so much attention. Chinese Writing Stones are excellent for writer’s block, as is the Zebra stone that sat at the top of the layout. A Spider’s Web went at the base to unravel the confusion and White Agates stabilized the grid.

As America woke up again, an email arrived offering an apology. My book will be as I wrote it. Do try the grid if you have a similar problem.