It was a pleasant enough experience to get two separate pieces started yesterday while seated in a small independent (my favourite type) coffee shop in Bath.  One, the orchestral work, is going to require a fair amount of splashing around to achieve the desired effect, the other, for violin and narrator, will require micromanagement of a very different kind.

Both pieces are at that earliest of early stages, large chunks of marble falling away from the block as I attempt to free the outline of the design within.  In other words, they are at that stage where, contrary to instinct, one needs to put aside the critical part of the brain and instead improvise onto paper.

As (almost) ever I sketched with pencil and onto paper, the better to see everything laid out in front of me, the more easily to erase, add notes and tinker, and also because I remain convinced that the physical act of putting lead to parchment forges new pathways in the brain, linking the action and the symbol to the sound.

As I wrote on Wednesday, I need to tinker with my writing regime and focus much, much more on carving out spare half hours here and there rather than expecting my constantly changing timetable to accommodate the stability I used to have in Mitcham.  Finishing work at 8.15 and being home an hour later is a very different proposition to coming through the door at midnight after over two hours of driving.

Once upon a time I used to try to hit a certain target of writing every week, so it did not matter whether one day was less productive as long as other days picked up the slack, and I think that is the methodology to which I need to return.  A little time, found often, is clearly far better than aiming for three hours and failing to start, and it also coincides nicely with the time taken to partake of a coffee.

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