A chance meeting with a friend just returned from the UK has prompted some self- reflection. Thanks to Julie it’s a positive thing and has given me a real boost! #thefrailtemperaementofawriter
The dust of the festive season has settled.
Even though the dust has well and truly settled from New Year until now, it seems some folks are still feeling the holiday spirit! Most of us here is Oz tend to remain in Oz over the Christmas and New Year period – it’s our best weather for the year and definitely down south, you can’t beat our summer. Writing can be a bit challenging when the outdoors are beckoning me – the beaches are calling me and that southern ocean is magnificent!
But some folks take holidays to travel now, maybe because of the specials or maybe because this is the only time of the year they have leave. Who knows, but I‘ve seen on FB a couple of families that have headed to the airport and up and away! Which means they will most likely be heading into the Northern Hemisphere and possibly to snow – such as the Giblin family did. I saw my friend
on FB, rugged up and in the UK, while we were experiencing some 40 degrees days! Talk about extreme climates! So when I caught up with Julie, just back from London, I was keen to hear about the trip.
Although it was cold and yes there was snow, they loved it. What a great opportunity for hubby and the three teenage kids to gather special memories together! What was a favourite spot I asked – the answer was Edinburgh and visiting the site of Harry Potter- this is priceless! Julie beamed with excitement describing the atmosphere, the sheer grandeur of the buildings, caught up in the characters of their favourite author J.K. Rowling. I’m in awe of Rowling's success and how she has mesmerized this family and created such a memorable pilgrimage for them.
She read my book!
But, Julie exclaimed, on her holiday she also read my book. Why does this always catch me off guard? The fact that someone actually reads my book, or the fact that they are standing in front of me telling me – not sure. But what really amazes me is when she takes a breath and intimately talks about one of my characters. It’s as though she may know them more than me, her interpretation of events that surrounds the life of this person is astonishing and what she perceives has led him to be as evil as he is has me thinking. Julie can even speculate about his relationship with other characters and she talks about how children replicate learned behaviours. Here we are now talking about nature vs nurture. Another whole discussion!
I’m so impressed with what she has taken from the book, I’m quite humbled. She concedes that the people smuggling took her by surprise and that she didn’t know anything about that – I’m thrilled when anyone tells me this as I’ve achieved my goal. The fact that my story has delved into family relationships is a bonus and one that I hadn’t seen as prominent but very happy that it has. The family dynamics was complex and took me a lot of time creating, painting this family – getting the timeline right and connecting all the dots. I must admit that writing some parts of the book was a bit of a blur and after I’ve talked to Julie it feels a bit surreal because I really don’t know how I pulled it off.
Need to have faith in myself.
I worry that I can’t do it again – get the pace right, develop the characters and create that detail and dialogue that is all a blur to me now. I feel it will be there again and if I remember right it’s not until about the third re write that the book starts to come together. Big changes are made, whole scenes may be swapped around, re written or deleted. And at the moment I’m just at the beginning and that’s all ahead of me – I just have to have faith in myself I can do it and meeting Julie by chance has gone a long way to giving me that faith.