Great things


Found $450 pushed up the back of my bedside drawer – excellent.

This morning, I think I solved my structure question about the next thing I’m working on. It’s another novel, it’s the first of my Turkish stories. I have the first draft completed, it’s rawther polished but still is really just the base now and I’ll build on it and layer up – still a long way to go. I reckon going on how long it’s taken me to finish my first MS, this one might take another couple of years easily. We’ll see.

I didn’t want a straight, chronological narrative, I wanted something a bit different (because that’s what I essentially used with the first one, let’s call that one Orange.) This one I’m thinking in a different way, and while there is a storyline (two or three in fact) that go from A to Z (or A to Y and then Z is a flashforward?) there are other narrative threads, more minor but still part of the whole thing, that need to be woven through. I think of these voices/characters as a type of Greek (Turkish) chorus. All interesting things to think about. I love it.

When I was married to a Turkish man who sold carpets, I did a lot of reading and learned a lot about Oriental hand-made carpets and kilims. The kilims are flat-woven, just with wool threaded in and out horizontally between vertical lines strung up on the loom. For a carpet, you have the threads looped, knotted and cut to create the short threads of the pile. So there’s a three-dimensional thing going on, if you can imagine, a ‘kilim’ created when looking from the rear and then the front part, where the pile is, is ‘standing up’ out of the base. The foundation is built with threads coming out perpendicularly. The patterns and motifs – whether geometric, floral or a mix – are created from this upward-standing strands of wool (or silk) and it’s hard to imagine how a carpet can result with such gorgeous, elaborate, yet perfectly regular patterns.

When you look closer, though, at a hand-made carpet, often you will see irregularities in colour or design. Some people say this is the ‘deliberate mistake’ – that a person can’t hope to produce something perfect, only God can do that. Other people pooh pooh this idea and say it’s a simple case of the weaver running out of a particular colour, or human fallibility. I like to think both/all is possible; there is delight and intrigue for me in both these explanations.

So my structure – like a carpet and possibly with a deliberate mistake or two? With motifs and patterns and repetitions, a bold field, vegetable dyes. It will be a large rug –  anything up to 12 square metres. I don’t think it will be either geometric or floral but likely both. Anything is possible on this day when I find a large stash of cash, the breeze is blowing, my daughter is playing Fleur-de-lis on the piano in the other room and I’m closing the office this afternoon so I can concentrate on my structure and what is next.

2 thoughts on “Great things

  1. I like that analogy a lot. Multiple directions are possible but there is also depth, and layering too (the 3D element). Motifs work in both carpets and writing too. This is obvious, but I thought it was worth saying.

  2. Thanks yes I thought it was a pretty good analogy but then I was thinking more about it today and I had it wrong. A rug is not double-knotted onto a kilim; the knots are done onto strands of wool or cotton that run vertically on the loom.

    I did a lot more thinking today about my structure and how it can come to ‘look’ like a Turkish carpet. Talk about complicated, it’s like if I look at it too closely, I lose it. When I fuzz my lashes, I can see it more clearly.

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