Here we are in June already, the year so far having proved hectic for me, leaving little time for my writing. With all the other things going on in my life now out of the way, I have to admit I am finding it hard to knuckle down to get my current novel done. Those words every author aims for “The End” have been written, but the book is in the process of rewriting and editing, and so far it is a long, protracted uphill journey.
I started the novel some years ago, finished the first draft some three years back and fully intended to have it ready to let loose into the world during lockdown, after all, I had little excuse not to concentrate all my time on it, but it never happened. I simply could not get in the mood. It was the same where my art was concerned, very little was produced in that 2-year period.
Christmas 2021 came and went and still I was procrastinating only to be jolted out of it by the realization I had an art show looming, so I’m afraid art did take over as not only did I need to get some paintings done for the exhibition, I also was asked to run two full-day art workshops tutoring in acrylics. These were a great success with another scheduled for September this year. The exhibition likewise was a major success all round. I sold four paintings, received a commission (which was completed and delivered yesterday) and well… if you are really interested, why not pop over to my art website Kit Domino Art to read all about it.
So now it is time to get back to the writing. I sprint twice a week with three fellow writers and this has been my greatest inspiration to keep going. I love writing, creating the story but find editing, rewriting and checking a bit of a bind, which is crazy considering I used to edit and proof-read for a living. But it’s one thing proofing and editing someone else’s work, but such a chore when it is your own words, at least for me it is. Two great friends who are published authors have since read the opening five chapters of my novel, a time slip with a contemporary investigator trying to solve a mystery. Both have given me excellent feedback and made some valuable comments and suggestions which I have incorporated into the book. This has entailed further rewriting both in the opening chapters and in subsequent ones, so there is still much to do before the novel is ready to go to editors etc.
The only good side at the moment is here in England, we are experiencing not so good summer weather, with lots of rain and wind and, dare I say it, cold! Good because it means I spend a lot less time outside gardening, my other hobby, so I have no excuses whatsoever not to knuckle down and get this blasted book finished.
I’m still deliberating the title too as this work will be the second in a series of stories with the character of Filton Shields from my novel White Stones. That in itself has been a mammoth task as the book was originally a separate entity with no thought to bringing in any previous characters let alone making it part of a series. But I am almost there, and I do so love a challenge.
A small snippet from the current WIP
… The boy uttered something incomprehensible, a glimpse of white teeth showing between his slightly parted lips. He pulled her along, urging her in his own tongue to go with him. He seemed anxious she should follow, as if he needed to urgently show her something.
“Okay, okay. I’m coming.” She was curious to see what was going on ahead, all the while telling herself she really must make an effort to learn the language.
She had not explored this far along the coastal road as yet, yesterday venturing only as far as the bakery, so everything, every house, every glassless window unfamiliar, yet at the same time it seemed to her she knew the place, as if she had been here before. Trying to shake off the light-headedness creeping over her, of being there but feeling as though she were observing everything from afar, she allowed the boy to drag her along a dirt track amongst the scrub at the far end of the village, assuming it led to another beach or hidden cove.
Far ahead, a long winding procession of people came into view, the start of which was out of sight over the brow of a hillock. They all looked to be wearing clothes similar to that of the boy. The sounds of their voices were fading as the last stragglers of the procession were walking swiftly over the top of the mound.
The young boy seemed eager to catch up with them, hurriedly dragging her along, all the while gibbering away. He talked so fast she could not recognise even the simplest of phrases, and if she were not mistaken, it sounded a different dialect too. Harsher. How she wished she had remembered to bring the pocket phrase book along with her instead of leaving it on the hall table.
Glancing out across the water again, she saw the boats out in the bay were making their way in the same direction as she and the boy were heading; at first not being able to figure out why they were not going the opposite way, towards the harbour and jetty. Taking a quick second glimpse, she realised these were not the fishing boats. That fleet was motorised, with little wheelhouses on decks and high radio masts. These boats were being rowed, manned by crews of six or eight men, she tried to count, all bare-chested, pulling at long oars in unison that sent up white splashes of water as they hit the sea in steady, rhythmic beats.
She stumbled. The boy grabbed at her other arm, trying desperately to prevent her from falling flat on her face. As she regained her footing, she saw they had reached the beginning of the path that climbed the incline. Still the boy pulled her onwards, sure-footed in his sandals tied with leather thongs to half-way up his calves. In her canvas mules she slipped and slid frequently on the soft, sandy slope, her feet catching on stones and twigs.
As they neared the brow, the grip on her hand loosened. She looked down.
The boy had gone.
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