A Winters Tale

Outside of my office the sky is grey and drizzle swirls in the ice breeze. The leaves on our willows trees and our beautiful acer are falling in cascades to the ground. Natures constant message that time is passing is more apparent today than normal, and I am reminded that it was two years ago when I typed the first words of ‘Shadows in Sunshine’.

As an author I live in many worlds, my own, those of my characters and in that world where time is controlled by the speed of my word selection and typing. When telling somebody on a train that I was an author he replied “Oh, not a proper job then.” At the time I felt a little hurt that my efforts and time commitment were not considered ‘Proper’. Today, however, in my current reflective mood, I must admit that he had a point, though had he used the word ‘normal’ the impact of his statement would have been less. For here I am, having spent many, many hours over the last two years describing the events, covering a period of no more than a month, in the lives of a dozen characters, and still I have two chapters to complete. In the end it will amount to about one hundred thousand words, plus the many words cast aside in the process of selection.

Time will tell whether my efforts will be rewarded, whether this author is, like the carpenter, worth his salt. I learnt this week that an author I much admire, Ian Rankin, worked on his crime novels for fourteen years before he ‘broke even’. How many people would consider that to be, a proper, normal job?


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