I follow blogs from wonderful writers (a couple of them are here and here). People who have been published and those who haven’t, and it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference to me which is which. I read all the fiction they allow to be posted with interest and enjoyment.
As a child all I wanted to grow up to be was a writer, but life – as usual – had different ideas and it seems highly unlikely that will happen now, which is fine. I can appreciate the things I have got, so longing after something else seems redundant and harmful. But sometimes the characters in my head demand that I write at least a couple of sentences about them, just because they are so tasty to my mind that I don’t want to forget them. Sentences can have substance and can fit, most satisfyingly, into spaces in my brain. It makes me happy that they exist and I don’t care how daft that makes me sound.
I have very few story outlines left, it seemed pointless to hang onto them if I wasn’t going to do anything with them, but I recently rediscovered a couple in a writing app I had hidden away (Werdsmith). On the same day I found them I received a new book – The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy, from someone who obviously cares about me very much (Unexpected Books?! The very best presents). I have not read it yet, I am finding it impossible to read books right now, but I did manage to look at the introduction – this is the last bit of it:
“The truth is everyone is winging it”
So below are three small (separate) passages from a chapter called Red:
Crouching at the back she silently gulped huge breaths, the only sounds in the world were the thumping of her heart and the desperate pleas of the voice in her head. With one hand she held onto the wall, trying to make herself small enough to disappear into the shadows, the other was pressed to the side of her head, blocking out what she knew was coming. She was too loud, she was too big. He knew she was there and would be bursting through the wardrobe door any second. Instead she heard a voice, a man calling her grandmothers name from the bottom of the stairs. He sounded concerned, not terrified or angry, but expecting an answer. She knew he wouldn’t get one, she knew that what she had seen had been the end of her Nana. An unexpected hope replaced the paralysing dread…there was another human being in the world.
He held her on the day they met and he hugged her when she got her exam results. He had put his arms around her shoulders and smiled when she had proclaimed her love for him at seventeen, drunk on a stolen bottle of bad red wine, just before she’d leaned over and vomited. But he had never touched her at any other time.
Some people described the place as a dive, and it was dark and dingy with whole corners obscured by smoke, but they weren’t the sort of people who drank there.
I probably won’t ever do anything with these – they were supposed to be about a grown up, modern day, Little Red Riding Hood who is working as bar staff, surrounded by us normals as well as other fellow fairytale characters…but that has been done to death recently so it looks like I missed the boat on that one.
I questioned my own motives before posting this, I don’t think I am after validation or recognition, I think I am trying to simply record them somewhere else, so I still have them in the future…I think…maybe…