Thursday, 16 February 2017

Reflecting on writing

While I was walking Sam, the dog, early this morning, my route took me past our local mill pond. As I rounded a corner my eye was caught by the stunning reflections on the calm water. Fortunately I had my phone, and therefore a camera, with me.  The golden clouds reflected against the dark trees were stunning. I hope my photo does it credit.


Walking a little way along, the reflections became a little more moody as the clouds darkened  and hid the sun slightly. It was still a beautiful scene and I couldn't prevent myself from snapping again. I have to say Sam was all very non-plussed by this. The local sniffs were much more interesting!



It made me think about the different way we use the term reflections. Recently I had been 'reflecting' on where I was up to with my writing.

I'm pleased to tell you that RESOLUTION was returned to the publisher a few weeks ago and hopefully I've fulfilled all the changes and edits they suggested. One change involved a crucial scene which then had a consequential effect on following chapters and conversations. It took some thinking about but I can see how the story has benefited from it.

So, it's back to the fingers crossed stage there. However, ever hopeful, I have prepared a short blurb and come up with some cover suggestions which I have filed away. You never know and I was a good Girl Guide - Be Prepared!

I have tided away all my scribbles and notes and most importantly backed up all my documents.

One day I may look back on these, either with fond memories or sheer horror!

Where have all these reflections led?  Where else but to the start of the next novel. It doesn't have a title yet.  This novel will touch on one of my other passions -history. Whilst it is a contemporary/relationship/romance novel, there is a slight historical bent to it. The story starts at Scarborough Castle and will move through other historical sites as my heroine moves around. She has an emotional journey to make and comes to realise that her journey is paralleled by someone in the Fifteenth century. I'll leave you to guess who for now! I know I'm cruel! But to make up for it here's a snippet from the first draft of a scene later in the book.

A movement caught her eye and Lynn stopped to check. There was a figure there but in the dark it was difficult to make it out properly. She screwed her eyes to focus through the gloom. A man, she was sure it was him. He sat with his back huddled into the corner of the walls. His arms were wrapped tightly around his knees as though he was trying to pull them into his chest. She couldn’t see his face as was he was looking down but the unmistakable shaking of his shoulders told her he was weeping.
Stepping closer she tried not to make a sound. Would he have heard her? She didn’t know, but didn’t want to take that chance. The breeze caught some of his stifled sobs and carried them towards her. Lynn caught her breath and held it for a second. Never before had she experienced being in the presence of so much misery, such sadness and desolation. Not wanting to intrude she hesitated. Could you intrude on a ghost? Shaking her head in answer to her own question she stepped to within a few feet of him. She watched until she was sure that he showed no awareness of her. The quiet sobbing continued. Unsure what to do, she crouched down until she rested on her heels. Even if this was a spectre she couldn’t leave him alone, not like this.
She rocked gently on her heels, unsure what to do. Her heart ached with pain. If this had been a friend or a loved one she would have wrapped her arms around them, wanting only to console and help. She had no idea how long she crouched there. After a while her legs started to ache and leaning forward she knelt on the stony cold ground. This brought her slightly closer and she could make him out more clearly. His shoulder length dark hair was dishevelled and had fallen forward over his face. On his interlocked fingers she could make out a dark ring.
As she knelt there her heart contracted and a breath shuddered in her chest. Tears started to trickle down her cheeks. She put out her hand to touch him, to stroke his head. But she pulled it back immediately. Could you touch someone that had died over five hundred years ago? She wanted to tell him she understood, knew what he was going through. How could she let him know she was there, that she cared?
A whisper caught her attention. He was saying a name ‘Ann, Ann!’ His voice trembled and a long sigh blew away on the night air. As hard as she tried Lynn couldn’t stop the sob that broke loose from her own lips.
She closed her eyes. ‘Oh dear God.’

When she opened them he had lifted his head. His face was puffy and blotched, suffused with misery. Tears coursed down his cheeks, across his nose and over his lips. But, it was his eyes that caught her. Eyes that were brimmed with despair and unhappiness and which were staring straight into hers.