In the UK, Lockdown allows us to go out for an exercise period each day and this walk through the woods leads to some of the beautiful beaches of the south coast.
I don’t feel grumpy when the sun is shining and I can breathe fresh air. Yesterday was Earth Day and the perfect day to celebrate the good things nature gives us.
For months, I have complained about lack of time and blamed my failure to complete my second novel on that and on personal circumstances.
Since the Lockdown, I have had time, but the onset of a virus (maybe THE VIRUS) succeeded in giving a justifiable reason for not writing. Serious coughing caused me to hit keys that transformed my carefully crafted words to farcical nonsense. 4 weeks have passed and I can no longer blame illness and so, I am ready to return to my second novel. The great thing about the break is that I have had distance from my book and its weaknesses are clear and can be addressed.
My teacher in the Dream Author Coaching Programme, Sophie Hannah, asks us to set our dream goal for the future and smaller goals to get there. My small goal is to write a short piece of fiction or non-fiction most days so I produce 5 pieces of work each week in addition to moving my second novel forward.
In the meantime, Silencio has been relisted in Ebook format on http://www.amazon.com and http://www.amazon.co.uk and is also available as in paperback through Amazon and at http://www.troubador.co.uk
This week, I wrote this in response to an exercise to write something about the clocks going back or forward. Just a bit of fun for these challenging days.
Mum Don’t frget to put tour clocks bick.
Sally Will do. For God’s sake, turn on predictive text Mother.
Mum How di I di ths>
Sally Don’t you remember. I wrote it down in your book.
Sally Your notebook. It’s by your calendar in the kitchen.
Mum Is it/
Sally Go there and look. Don’t hang up!!!!
Mum I@m here.
Sally Mother. Where have you gone? Answer the bloody phone.
Mum Hi. Beck agin.
Sally Why don’t you answer when it rings?
Sally Your phone. Answer it when it rings.
Mum How de I de tht
Sally Remember, I showed you the last time I came over. Press the button with the green telephone.
Mum Wher are yu
Sally I explained Mum. There’s a problem with a virus. I don’t want you to catch anything.
Mum I dnt car. I wnt to di anyway
Sally Don’t be ridiculous. What would I do without you to remind me to put the clocks back.
Mum Lov yu
Sally You too, Mum. I’ll call you in a minute. Remember press the green telephone.
Mum Ar u thre.
During recent weeks, I have become addicted to the news and flick between channels on the television or scroll through apps on my devices, looking for something good to absorb. It’s a fool’s quest in this new age of the virus which challenges our human race. I have always believed in survival of the fittest, but here I am bordering on the criteria for elderly with a husband already past that summit. When did I become one of the weaker of our species?
Pre-outbreak, I would wake most mornings and steel myself for the spin, aerobics or other intense physical class I had planned, priding myself that I can keep up the pace when alongside those half my age. My sense of fun is not absent and my 2 1/2 year old granddaughter thinks I am one of her favourite playmates. My looks have faded but I do not see an old woman in the mirror. My doctor says my medical file is almost non-existent.
And yet, I saw a video which showed the removal of ventilators from those over 65 to allow younger victims a chance.
Now don’t get me wrong, I do think it is right that we try to protect the young so I do not object if that is what is necessary.
It has made me contemplate my life and my achievements, the greatest of which is the beautiful family I have created. All of the success at work and play pales into insignificance and I miss being able to hug my loved ones. It is for their own good and mine, and as we are reminded frequently, for the greater good of our NHS but if I had known those last hugs had to last this long I would have never let them go.
This is a piece of prose I am constructing for a writers’ group. The topic is pollution.
In November 1999
the ocean extended to the horizon.
From our bow, we saw
an endless bath
on which our vessel bobbed.
Climbing one watery hill
skiing down the other side.
Driven by the wind
towards the tropical islands
with exotic names
and white sandy beaches.
Midway the power of the wind
became a gentle whiff.
We were becalmed, drifting
as we awaited a change in pressure.
Let’s go for a swim, he suggested
and in I dove
to water that caressed my body like silk
and so clear I watched my toes wiggle.
I thought that I was in the purest place on the earth
in those days before our oceans became soiled.
The plastic was probably already drifting
causing death and destruction to our precious planet
suffocating the residents so that the ocean became a watery grave.
Another ocean crossing in 2019
on a ship that towers above the waves
and I look down on specs floating by.
Rubbish created by humans
that scar the blue pond.
Filed under poetry, prose
This is a short story I am working on. It is not finished but please feel free to comment.
In the middle of the ocean, the stars shine bright and the blue water takes on shades of purple, red and black. The hull slaps on the slopes of watery hills formed by the waves. At 38, Alice is the youngest of three crew, and the least experienced, nonetheless she takes responsibility for the yacht on her shifts of the rota. Each night, when the sun disappears behind the horizon, she stills the quivers in her stomach before reminding herself of the alternative. Her colleagues will be at their desks making relentless phone calls in the hope of hooking a deal. Survival and safety are her targets now.
Orion’s belt glows above and she uses it as the base from which to practise her knowledge, working to all sides and reciting the names of the constellations and planets in a whisper; she does not want to disturb the others. Fred is stretched out in the main cabin, on call he says but unlikely to wake unless thunder shakes the ship. Now that the night is set, the peace calms her fears, the wind strokes her face and its air fills her lungs.
It has been 10 days since they last encountered another ship – a tanker crept up behind, nearly running them over before gliding by to fade into the mist – and they were too far from land for wildlife. A seagull had hitched a lift but fled on day 3 and the dolphins had played for a few days but she had not seen a pod this week.
A sail flaps and Alice leaps to tighten the sheet. The wind is changing. She shivers and reaches for her fleece as she scans the skies. The stars have vanished. Should she wake Fred? Shorten the sail? Close the hatches? Or should she observe a little longer?
I wake and stretch
and for a moment, all is well
Then I remember
and another cell in my heart
Another furrow marks my face
and I wish for the past
When my lover was well
and my child had a future.