Despatches From The Querying Trenches - June. Guest Post by Kirsten Hesketh.

Posted on 6th July, 2018

Despatches from the Querying Trenches




Each month, the idea for what I am going to write about on Sue’s lovely blog starts bubbling a few days before I need to put pen to paper. By the time, I settle down to write it, the most of the words are usually fully formed and almost write themselves. This month, that hasn’t happened at all. No bubbling ideas. No fully formed paragraphs. Zip. Zero. Nada. I didn’t even remember the post was due.


That’s because … I haven’t been writing! I’ve sent my edits back to my agent, Felicity and I’m waiting for her to work her magic. It’s the calm after the storm. The eye of the storm …


And it’s been lovely.


Well, except for the exams. My son has been doing A levels and my daughter GCSEs and the process has not been entirely stress-free (understatement of the century!). But, now that that’s over, I have been having a magnificent time on the dig.


We’re excavating a Roman ‘something’ at the top of a wooded hill about three miles from where we live. It might be a temple, it’s more likely to be a farmstead … who knows. That’s part of the fun.


We are (mostly!) competent amateurs under the direction of the South Oxfordshire Archaeological Group (who are very competent). Whilst we hope to find something earth-shattering, if it’s too exciting, the dig may well be given to the professionals - so we’re careful what we wish for!

Anyway, I love it there - the digging (much better than the gym!) the surveying, the camaraderie, the introspection, the FUN! And it’s so beautiful!


This was the view from the Portaloo in the spring!


Many of you will know that an archaeological dig is the setting for Book Two - affectionately nicknamed Muddy Milly. All that trowelling and sifting and daydreaming and people-watching is also research. I don’t think a writer ever really switches off. This one doesn’t anyway – I often stop to write a phrase, an idea or a plot twist into my phone. There’s just so much inspiration!


So, that’s been much June.


Not much writing.


Lots of fun!


Whatever you are doing this summer, I hope you have found your happy place too and have a lovely July.






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Comments (18)

Owing to my UK trip (which was fab!), I missed this post earlier, Kirsten. Congrats on finishing your edits and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed some time 'off.' The dig sounds fascinating and I understand about not truly switching off. For a writer, ideas never stop! xx
Thanks Christina. We won't know if it's a temple or a farmstead until 2019 as the dig has finished for the year. Such a cliff-hanger!!! xx
Congratulations on completing the edits, Kirsten. Your archeological dig sounds lots of fun, looking forward to hearing whether it's a temple or a farmstead you're working on. Good luck with editing book 2.
Thanks for stopping by Maddie. I look forward to your comment each month and thanks so much for all your support. Will keep you posted on the edits - I am really enjoying the process. xx .
How lovely to go on archaeological trips at school, Julie. I would love to have done that. You should give a dig a try … there are lots of things that don't break your back like processing the finds and using the surveying equipment. It's all such fun! How's your writing coming along? x
How have I missed this one? I love these blogs and I really enjoy following Kirsten on her writing journey. I can't wait to read all about muddy Millie! Hoping you get fresh writing inspiration and hope the edits went well on your debut.
I used to go on archaeological trips at school and always meant to go on a dig but somehow it never happened. Don't think it would do my back much good nowadays though - pity. All good thinking time and fodder for your plots. It sounds fascinating as a setting! Good luck with the response to your edits xxx
Thank Tara. I'm so pleased you find my writing journey interesting and thanks for all your support xx
That view! So glad you got your edits done. Exciting to see what comes next. It’s geeat to hear about the process, really interesting.
I agree, Cass - that view from the portaloo is very special. I love the idea of it featuring as a 'view from a country seat.' I'll see you next weekend, Cass, at the RNA Conference. Shame that Kirsten can't come this year.
Fab view from the loo isn't it? That photo made it into SOAGs monthly newsletter as 'view from a country seat'!! Thanks for stopping by Cass and I'm so sorry not to be seeing you next weekend. I expect loads of photos though!!! xx
Loving the view from the portaloo! 😂

So happy to hear you beat those pesky edits into submission, Kirsten! The dig sounds so much fun. I'm a huge fan of archaeological shows on TV but have never yet had the chance to get down and dirty myself, so I look forward to reading all about Muddy Milly'sadventures!!
Thank you Sue. I'm rather fond of Muddy Milly, I must say, and looking forward to editing her story! xx
Catherine and Vanessa, thanks for your comments and for supporting Kirsten. Farm or temple? I'm torn. I look forward to reading about Muddy Milly's adventures.
Thanks V xx The shade makes all the difference doesn't it? And the banter is second to none! Lots of ideas and inspiration for Book Two.
Farm vs. temple. There's a philosophical question for you. Thank you for your comment, Catherine and for your friendship and support xx
In the shade as well! How wonderful! And all the jokes and camaraderie, having been on a couple of digs, the long days, excitement/disappointment and disparate bunch of people make for very interesting banter ...
How fabulous to have a time to breathe after edits and exams. Fingers crossed that all three give everybody what they need. I am torn between a temple and a farmstead ..... as a farm girl I think that farmstead is ultimately more important than a temple