And what have we accomplished?
‘The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea.’
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Life sometimes makes me anxious.
I’m sure it makes everyone anxious. But the one place I feel content, free and at peace is in, on or by the sea. I wish Mum was still alive so that I could ask her how old I was when I was introduced to the sea.
When did I learn to swim? My memories go back to a time when I could swim and dive, perhaps I was six. After that, the memories come thick and fast…
Writing can be so demanding that it swallows one whole.
One can spend days sequestered with the doors firmly shut against the world. Even a day’s writing can leave one tired, eye-sore, with fog on the brain. We writers can look up from the computer, see family members and say, ‘Wha…, huh? Who are you?’
It’s a double life. One has mistresses, lovers, enemies and friends that no member of the family has any idea about. A secret life…I tell you, spooks and MI 6 have nothing on a writer.
So how do we anchor ourselves in reality and at the same time, fuel our creative fires? Inspired by Writers’ Unboxed, I decided I’d ask a few writer friends what they do to unwind and yet fuel their creative fires…
My involvement with the beautifully crafted Winters’ Edge Anthology came late, courtesy of my friend, Paul Murphy. He and I belong to a group called Inkslingers Veterans, where anthologies are written to raise money for cancer research. (See Tales from a Carboot Sale, Historical Tales etc on Amazon)
I first met Sharon Bennett Connolly through The Review on Facebook – just quiet interactions that always left a positive mark behind. But most lately – she has been trailblazing! Her book, Heroines of the Medieval World, is acquiring rave reviews and fully endorses her blog which she entitles ‘History – the Interesting Bits.’
And that’s the thing, isn’t it? History ‘can’ be boring, overdone and heavy but Sharon takes the truly interesting facts and runs with them, injecting light and life into what ‘could’ be a crusty subject. It’s therefore with interest that I see she has become castaway on Bodiam Castle! And yes, it is surrounded by water, therefore an island, so why not? Sharon, you book list intrigues.
I met speculative fiction and historical fiction writer Richard Abbott through Facebook. Both of us belong to an excellent writers’ (and readers’) group called The Review.
The desert island that Richard chose charmed me straight away. He says: ‘The “desert island” is actually the north end of Bryher, one of the Scilly Isles. Since these are only 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, calling it a desert island is perhaps stretching a point, but I would happily be stranded there! Some of the Scilly Isles are inhabited, others not, but they’re all within an easy row of each other. Each is a little different in character, but they all have splendid views of sky and sea.’
Over to you, Richard…
My latest book, Michael (the final in the a historical fiction trilogy, The Triptych Chronicle) is taking me the longest to write of all eleven titles in my list. It’s not writer’s block, it’s not that I don’t like the story arc or the characters.
It’s simply life…
Earlier this year, I was asked to join a panel of authors to discuss exploring stories beyond our national boundaries and why we chose to write about times and places far from Australasia.
I’d never really navel-gazed about my predilection for twelfth century Europe. To me, it just was. When I wrote about Venice, Lyon or Constantinople, bells rang – sounds ranging from soft tintinnabulation to reverberating tocsins, and that was all that was required.