My office is usually a quiet, peaceful place. Unless something goes radically wrong and I am having a rant.
Today was almost such a day, but I was trying hard not to lose it, determined to figure out what I was doing wrong and why my WIP was proving so difficult to get right.
I have to sit with my back to the door, something I wish I could change but the layout of the room doesn’t allow for any change. So when I sensed someone standing behind me, I assumed it to be one of the family.
‘Ma’am, that is surely a crying shame…’
The soft gentle voice of a man, inches from my ear should have alarmed me, but my curiosity had the better of me and I wondered what he was talking about. Although I wasn’t entirely sure if I had imagined it, I answered. ‘Pardon?’
‘I have to say that character is all wrong, you know…’
By now, I knew I wasn’t imagining it, but insanity seemed a better fit. I was also fascinated, so decided to play along and see what happened. ‘How do you mean?’
‘If you will permit me to sit down, I will explain…’
I nodded, aware that I was about to see who my mysterious visitor was. I watched as this white haired, distinguished and a slightly familiar gentleman walked past me to sit in the only other chair in the room. He reminded me of someone, but my brain was stumbling around like an idiot at a genius convention.
He had kindly blue eyes and an enormous, also white moustache, a bit like Albert Einstein, but I was sure it wasn’t him. He sat there, next to me, calmly watching me with an amused expression on his face. I wondered id he, like me, wondered what he was doing here. I decided to ask. ‘I feel as though I should know you, but what are you doing here in my office?’
His bushy white eyebrows were moving slightly, reminding me of caterpillars.
‘Ma’am, I have no idea how I arrived here, but judging from what I just read on your notebook, I must be here to lend a hand, so to speak.’
For the next hour, we talked about my progress as a writer, my WIP and one character in particular. I had been worried about this one, so it was refreshing to have another clearly expert opinion.
‘The problem, Ma’am is this. You have not brought him to life yet. He needs to have a life, smell the coffee, and do normal things like a regular human being. He will die soon anyway…’
‘Where did you read that? And please stop calling me Ma’am, my name is Jaye.’
‘Oh, I didn’t read it, Jaye. The poor chap never eats, so he won’t last long…’
I was embarassed but had to laugh. My visitor was right. I had been so involved with the plot; I had forgotten to give him a life. My eyes returned to the chapter on the desk in front of me, eager to see with fresh eyes just what a pig’s ear I had made of it all. It occurred to me to thank my visitor for pointing out what had been wrong all along, but when I turned my head in his direction, he had gone and the chair was empty…
I tried to continue working but my brain was busy trying to remember where I had seen the old gentleman before…