Well ... Glastonbury proved to be the inspirational haven I hoped it would, and I made all kinds of tentative, but definitely constructive, in-roads to ShadowNovel.
Most tangibly, I spent a blissful afternoon with scissors and glue and my collection of inspirational images, creating a scrapbook. The main point of this was so help immerse myself in the world of ShadowNovel, and as well as being huge fun, I really did lose myself in it and start to get a clearer sense of the place.
An added bonus was that the wonderful cottage I stayed in was supplied with a collection of CDs, among which I discovered three which proved absolutely perfect for conjuring the mood of the book. I got them on order as soon as I arrived home. They're by artists I haven't heard of before, and it felt incredibly serendipitous that they should be there at the cottage all ready and waiting for me.
Going away with only the pictures and a handful of notes proved immensely helpful, and I've returned home with an outline plan of how to approach the first section of ShadowNovel. Saying more than that feels like I might jinx it, so I'm going to be all mysterious about it instead, and say nothing more for now.
It's really, really early days, but my enthusiasm for ShadowNovel is fizzing, and it's all feeling a little less intimidating that it did before I went away.
Yesterday, I even threw down 1,000 words of story. It's not the first 1,000 words of the book, although it is the first 1,000 words of one viewpoint character. It felt like the right time for me to start exploring, so into the forest I went, sturdy books laced tight and pith helmet firmly clamped to my head (because every explorer needs one of those, right?)
I'd forgotten how much I love this early, exploratory part of a new project. Everything is fresh and bright and so thrillingly full of possibility. There are so many new things to see and try that I hardly know where to begin. But begin I have, and it feels mighty fine.