I'm writing again.
Suddenly I've got that creative buzz back, and it feels fantastic. I've got new ideas which add flesh to the characters in my novel that will in turn steer the story in a different direction. For now, I'm concentrating on the first chapter. Before this week I had the bare bones of a sketch, and the work I'm doing now seems to be adding colour and depth that I hope will bleed naturally into the subsequent chapters.
I've been reading Stephen King's On Writing which I think is one of the best books on the art I've ever come across, and I've read a few. SK likens a story to finding a fossil. It's already there, and it's your job to find it. He claims you don't know quite what shape it's going to be until you've finished digging around it and can gently lift it into view. You take the intellect out, and let the subconscious magic do the work. Dorothea Brande had a similar idea. I just hope it's working for me.
There's a good reason why I should still be slumped as miserably as I have been, because it's Juliette's 14th birthday on Saturday. The day, as usual in the run-up is very much on my mind. I'm thinking about how with each year that passes she disappears from me. I could picture at six, seven, but at fourteen..? What would she even look like? Be like? I can only see her as a taller version of her five-year-old self, and I cannot for the life of me make her hair grow in my imagination. What would she want to do on her fourteenth birthday? Those of us that she left behind may take the dogs to the beach, or perhaps row a boat from Dedham with a picnic if the weather is nice enough. What will definitely happen is the garishly decorated birthday cake, and the release fourteen pink and purple balloons with our messages to her. We do this every year.
In the meantime, this morning, I'm wondering what would happen if Freja opens the old letter, and not Alec?