Best Day of the Week!

This is not Francesca, but will have to do for now…

Yesterday morning, the time seemed to drag until it was finally time for us to leave to see the new baby. The traffic was terrible, and we avoided a queue of cars on the A30, only to find another traffic jam on another route.

The sun was shining, and the countryside looked fresh and green after all the rain. I was in the back seat with all the baby presents, wondering what our new baby would look like. Would she look like her sister?

When we arrived, the front door was open. It seemed like any other visit, and it wasn’t until I walked into the living room that I realised the new baby wasn’t in either of her parent’s arms.

I looked around and finally found what I was looking for, peacefully sleeping on a baby bean bag. I don’t know why I was surprised by how small she was, but she seemed so tiny. Still curled up tight, her little fists clenched, she looked so peaceful. She stretched her legs as I watched, barely breathing, not wanting to disturb her. I expected her to open her eyes and was disappointed when she didn’t. Apparently, she even fed with her eyes closed, so maybe she wasn’t ready to see the world yet.

I didn’t think we would get to hold her, as she wasn’t awake, but she was soon being passed around like a parcel. It was like holding a doll, a perfectly beautiful baby doll. I touched her hand, and she grabbed it, her tiny fist stronger than I expected. I didn’t want to remove my finger and was secretly pleased that no one else could hold her.

I took that time to study her face and the soft down-like hair on her head. Sometimes, when I look at a baby, I get a sense of their future life, but the only thing I could feel was perfect newness.  

The baby’s name is Francesca, and she was a long time coming. Looking at her mother’s serene face, I knew it had been worth the wait…

Sixes and Sevens…

I think all this heat has done something to my brain.

My desk is littered with half-finished blogs, post ideas and a load of stuff that I wanted to finish yesterday.

Added to all this confusion are two WIP and a pile of reading matter.

I seem to have been very busy this morning but couldn’t tell you what I have actually done.

It will be another scorchingly hot day, but it’s reasonably cool in my office, so I can’t in all fairness use the heat as an excuse. So, why does everything seem weird today?

Just to illustrate how weird, we were in the office discussing book stuff. All the doors and windows were open on the cool side of the house and there was a gentle breeze, which was very welcome.

Right in the middle of our conversation, there was a loud chirp which seemed to come from right behind me. Anita was nearer the door and saw the culprit.

‘Oh my God, it’s that friendly thrush. He’s in the house, what are we going to do!’

Now, Anita is superstitious and thought a bird in the house was a lot more than odd. But this thrush has been a regular visitor to our garden since early Spring. Loves to follow me around when I’m gardening, happy to retrieve worms from right under my feet.

I grabbed my camera, as he really was a sight to behold, but he wasn’t going to hang around this time, and wandered off down the hall and out the back door.

Quite made my weird day even weirder!

This isn’t our visitor, but looks just like him!

Who Do You Write For?

Image by Markus Winkler from Pixabay

Writing to an audience

I read a post recently about the importance of identifying your audience or readers when drafting a book. I had heard this before and must admit I didn’t understand it then or now. I mean, basically, we write for readers, don’t we?

But apparently, this is not good enough and could be the reason our books fail to meet our expectations.

Determined to dislodge the penny, I tried to get my head around what the article was trying to tell me. Thinking back to my own writing efforts, none of them had made much of a splash, although (in my humble opinion) they were reasonably well written, so what would make a difference?

Sometimes I turn problems upside down to see them from a different angle. Very often, I can see ways of solving them or at least making them better.

My first book was a challenge for me. I didn’t know if I could write well, if at all, way back then, so I probably wrote it for myself.

To be honest, I think my second book was written for me too. And by the time I started writing the third book, I was floundering. I spent a lot of time chasing how-to articles, searching for helpful ideas and advice and getting nowhere fast.

Around this time, people were talking about muses and how helpful they can be for a writer. Not that said how to get one in the first place.

When I did get what I thought was a muse, he wasn’t what I imagined a muse should be. He was sarcastic, almost rude, making me guess what he meant, but he really made me think.

For some reason, I cannot find the link for the post I wrote on that day, and I would love you to read it…

Call me Sam…

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 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 embarrassed 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…

The book he helped me with did very well. I remember feeling very differently about this one, once I knew he had been reading it. Every time I sat down to write, I imagined him looking over my shoulder, and I believe it helped. Remembering how I felt back then, the penny begins to move. I think I wrote that book for him, so maybe there is something to this, after all?

Since then, life has thrown everything at us all. Not much time for anything really. Two years on, the virus seems to have lost its teeth and life is struggling to return to normal.

The current WIP, despite a lot of work on my part, is a mess. I don’t know how many times I have almost binned it, but something compels me to keep trying.

I don’t know why my muse left, or how to get him back, but do you think he would lend a hand if I asked him nicely?

Pretty Please?

#MLMM ~ Photo Challenge #351

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie

Photo by Flo Dahm on

A beautiful spacecraft from an unknown planet
Came to visit.
Standing close to the giant orange edifice
I wondered if it might have been better
had it chosen Petra in the Jordan desert
To make its first visit
It might look less threatening.
It would fit in, colour coded so to speak.
The wind shifts, I hear soft words.
Do not fear, we mean no harm!
I do hope they can transmit that to all.
Make them believe the words.
As humans we are all too aften unprepared for the unknown
If they look like us, it will be easier to become friends.
As if my thoughts had been received, I heard
We can do that; we can change our form to be more acceptable.
That made me feel sad, knowing it would be best.
Yet I could not help wondering if their form
would be more beautiful than our own.
They may be made of rainbow light.
Surely, we would not be afraid then, would we?

© Anita Dawes 2021