I am currently writing a novel entitled ‘On a Shadow’s Whisper.’ I’m about 30K words deep. I WILL finish my first draft before September this year. It’s a somewhat dark and surreal fiction. This will be the 2nd novel I’ve attempted. On my first attempt I wrote organically; not really knowing where it would take me. This time around, I decided I had to add a little planning to the mix. I have learnt that it isn’t inartistic, neither a compromise to inject a little pragmatism into your art. I’m enjoying it! Writing for me is just incredible! It takes me away. It relaxes me like nothing else, and the feeling of satisfaction when you finish a chapter or hit a big word count milestone is amazing! I can almost feel every emotion I write. And like most things, the more I do it, the more I am identifying my individual style. As we become better acquainted, I am able to coax it into places it wouldn’t have dared go a few years ago.
I am learning to understand what works for me. I’ve realised that I write better at night or early in the morning. I know that I can’t write with loud noises around me. If I do, it generally gets deleted on review. Music that I like too much isn’t any good either. It pulls the singer and drummer out of me, like a screaming demon of distraction. Classical music and easy jazz works fine, but silence is cool too.
I currently wake early before dawn during the week and write for an hour or so before work. I then do little bits whenever I can; lunch breaks, when the wife-to-be is editing some of her photographs. I’m lucky in that I can quite happily dip in and out without losing my thread. I’m so focused creatively this year. I might have to change this blog’s title!
Here is the opening…
Today I’m eleven. I can smell burning wood; a smell so intense, my mind has no choice but to expel its knowledge of the dream and sync with its self conjured delusion; like an addict selling his soul to a devil named ‘One Last Time.’ I feel the dream’s connected memories joining me. I can see a man. He’s my father. His huge powerful body engulfed in thick aromatic smoke. He doesn’t cough nor choke. He merely stands strong, decapitated by his impressive black cloud. I can recall his bonfire from times gone by. He would always build a fire when he needed to escape. Escape me, or mother or just the coldness of life. His state of mind could always be measured by the amount of collected wood, paper or anything flammable stored at the bottom of the garden beside the old shed. My father stares into the bonfire as though it holds within its red dance the answer to everything. He steps out of his shroud, turns to me and with his huge Goliathian arms, beckons me closer. I walk toward him. His mouth seems fused by pain, as though, if opened it would instantly betray him. I edge closer. I see in his eyes the out spill of the unspeakable horror caged behind his lips. Despite the composure of his form, his eyes dart erratically from fire to son, to fire, to heaven. I see insanity and anguish in his dilated pupils. I call for the super human father that once inhabited his frame. I quicken my pace. The garden seems to lengthen with each stride. My walk becomes a run. My run becomes a sprint. I can’t reach him! His eyes widen as though being held open by demons, ushering in their entourage. Beads of sweat form on his face, which before having time to mass, evaporate with the heat of the fire. I can’t reach him and then, without warning the darkness bursts in and snatches me away.