Today has been the first day of pure writing I have had in too many months to count. I have snatched moments here and there, but never enough time to fully work out what world I am creating and who will inhabit it. Thankfully, all has been settled.
There’s a moment for every writer when you ‘know’ the story you are working on is ‘the one’. It takes time and many false starts to find the right storyline, POV and tone that fits the (let’s face it) masterpiece in your head. But once those three pieces fall into place, you finally have the freedom to pour your soul into draft one. And it is such joy to finally be able to run!
I feel so fortunate to have been shown so much love from everyone who has reached out to me about White Chrysanthemum and let me know how much reading it has meant to them. Their words inspire me to create another story that will touch their hearts just as much, and possibly more. Today is the beginning of that wonderful journey.
Happy (early) Valentine’s Day to readers and writers alike! I hope yours is full of stories that touch and inspire the heart 💘
[Artist: Nico, age 8, ceramic\mixed media]
Not possessing a green thumb, my window box has not fared well this past year. Every few weeks I’ve been forced to replace poor, dead plants with new ones in an effort to keep the winter gloom out of my small London flat. There’s nothing like flowers and heather to cheer up a cold winter’s day. Fortunately for me, the sun peered out from behind the clouds this afternoon and these lovely stalks bloomed. They also grew a few centimeters and now tower above the heather. Noticing the little things in our day to day can lead to a happier outlook on life, especially in a world demanding so much of our attention. Today it was a bit of sun and new growth. What will tomorrow bring?
Wishing you and yours a very happy 2018!
I came across this old book of poems on my father’s bookshelf today. It was one of his college texts, and I’d often leaf through it when I was a girl, paying close attention to the poems he marked up in pencil. My favorite back then was Trees by Joyce Kilmer (‘I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree…’), but tonight this one stood out instead. Especially the final lines: ‘I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.’
For 2018, may we all become our own masters and captains.
The animated skies above Lake Windermere doubtless inspired lesser poets than Wordsworth, their prose just as romantic and picturesque. I imagine a young poet gazing up at billious clouds burdened with snowflakes and the words spring forth in his mind, a ready poem to share with the world. But like so many youth inspired by greatness, he questions the worth of the words he scrawls and their originality, too. Has he made something worthwhile, something to remember? He recites his favorite line aloud as a cold shadow passes over him,
“Hung o’er a cloud, above the steep that rears, its edge all aflame, the broadening sun appears; a long blue bar it’s aegis orb divides, and breaks the spreading of its golden tides; and now it touches on the purple steep, that flings his shadow on the pictured deep.”
and he lets his own lines float away on the gentle waves lapping against the shore.
If you can’t tell, I’m starting to get excited about the release of my book! Publication is still a few months away, but the days are starting to fly by.
You can now read an excerpt from my upcoming novel, as well as an Author Q&A, on Penguin Random House’s website: White Chrysanthemum