My literary fiction novel is going through the final stages and soon I will be revealing the cover.
Thank you to everyone, who have read it, commented and did the editing. I am getting ready to let it go off into the world.
Readers’ comments so far…
There are many gorgeously written passages throughout this novel. The story is gripping, compelling and intense that will have readers on the edge of their seats. I really cared about what happened to the characters.
I really enjoyed the language of this novel. The narrative is dream-like and scenes shift and move in line with the mental turmoil of characters. Clever and appropriate.
A gripping psychological drama. The two wild landscapes in the novel are so strongly described that they could almost be characters themselves. I genuinely cared about the characters fortunes and was intrigued by their story.
The draw to the hut was strong. My body ached with the need and desire to go there.
‘I will come and stay for a month,’ I turned to him and said running my hand across a wooden log, the cabin was made from. I was there, but I was not, not fully, not like I needed or wanted to.
‘I will stay with you. We can go fishing and berry picking.’ He wiped mosquito off his cheek. The stickiness of the summer evening on my skin felt strange and it smelt strongly of jasmine. That place was ripe with everything nature, just like in my childhood. I wanted to drink it in.
In the cabin there were people. They looked happy going about their business. I remember being overcome by jealousy for their fortune of being able to stay there. It was like I was there, but I was not. From my dream I observed it all. I was just a visitor in that place, but in my blood, I knew it as my home from long ago. The ache of wanting to live there rose again.
There were several rooms: a hall, a big lounge, and an attic. Each room had its purpose. A child joined me and began following me everywhere. It was a small boy but had a girl’s name and looks very pretty. I sat on a sofa and a young woman came and covered me with a blanket. A young man, who showed me around appeared to be in charge. The place felt pure, kind, yet it held secrets, codes, treasures to be discovered. I became very curious.
‘Where can I find her,’ I asked him.
He turned away fiddling with a piece of wood in his hand.
‘I should not really tell you. May be just leave it. It has been a long time and you do not know what it will lead to.’ He looked at me with understanding and warmth.
‘I do know what you are saying. I do. I just wondered if she was around.’
And then he said, ‘She is around, all around. She is right next door.’
‘Left, or right?’ I asked.
He looked right but meant left. Somehow, I understood that.
Once outside everything was lush green with rowans lining up the road on both sides. Late summer. Berries were beginning to redden. I took it all in. It smelt like rich soil and home. I was home. And then darkness. I plunged into it suddenly and it felt comforting. The thing about darkness, you might not be able to see anyone, but no one can see you either. I always found that comforting to know. I took my shoes off and walked out of the gate and looked where her house was. It was large and beautiful. Luxurious with big windows. I felt scared. Night summer air intoxicatingly alluring. I took another deep breath.
‘I could not possible go in that house,’ I thought. So imposing and grand, not what I expected, and it was right there, next to the house I stayed in.
Next, I walked back through the gate and stood on a bench lined up against the gate to peek into the windows next door. I knew I should not be doing it but could not help it. Curiosity took over. And then I saw cats, lots of back cats. They were the size of dogs. They roamed the boarder scowling. They began moving towards me as soon as they spotted me. I froze in terror. They snarled at me, and one sank her teeth into my leg. I felt sharp pain. They withdrew.
I ran into the house, but someone followed me in. I turned around and there she was. Young and beautiful, simply dressed. Her hair colour I recognised, as my own, when I was a child. Decorative small earrings, nothing out of the ordinary apart from her face. Intensely kind, shining from within she was. I felt her goodness, but also darkness all at the same time. She was both life and death. She took my hand in hers, which felt clammy and cool, but not unpleasant. I froze, fascinated, honoured, and humbled all at the same time. Then she told me her name… It was her, before she was her.
It was one of those significant dreams, which I have not had for some time. I am grateful to receive one last night. Dreams are products of our psyche. They are from us, about us and for us. Over my lifetime I learnt to recognise various categories of dreams. This one belongs to a ‘telling’ dream that contained several messages for me and reflected aspects of my own consciousness that should help me moving forward. It was fairy tale like with vivid landscapes, vibrant colours, and strong smells. I touched objects and people with intent and purpose that remains with me now on waking. I love sensory dreams like this one and it just had to be recorded. She was there, the young version of her, before she became her…
Do you know how you can feel stunted by pure hatred and ignorance. What does ignorance taste like? Bile, of yellow and beige, I think. The same vibe as jealousy. Well, being stunted is not like being in shock, but more like losing all of your senses, but feeing. No matter what you do, you can not stop feeling and you cannot get other senses back.
This happened in 2022. However, as I have discovered over the course of my life, in every tricky situation there is a blessing, a learning and even a transformation. And here I am, having spent the whole year stuck in a place of intense feeling, yet frozen and devoid of imagination and creative sparkle and that freeing sense of flow, I am claiming it all back. What I have felt through the emptiness and the ugliness of the physical and human was the beauty of the spirit. It’s defiance, strength, unwavering loyalty and an unshakable sense of purpose. This year will always stay with me as a year marking my homecoming in the most profound way. There might be and will be, no doubt, more of these periods coming, yet for today, I am here, sitting fully back with myself, writing again with all my senses back together in perfect partnership.
Life is ugly and stunningly beautiful. It is cruel and violent yet filled with tenderness and grace. It is challenging and complex yet profoundly simple. As one great writer once said ‘do not look closely at life’ meaning the beauty is in simplicity, life itself, day-to-day sparks of joy and just being alive. From tragedy come revelations. A brush with death can release and propel us into living harder.
Let us all remember to appreciate the journey and trust ourselves to know the right way forward even though quite often it is simply one day at a time, one step at a time, and when one day an expansive landscape opens up in front of us and we know we belong and feel that God within us like it’s our own heart, that’s what we all thrive for.
Grab that joy with both hands and run with it until our legs are exhausted in satisfaction of being able to feel the earth underneath us and our face hurts from smiling too much and all that light within is a feeling one can never explain only that it tastes sweet and it is pure like heaven on earth.
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