At last, my second novel is published – hurrah! I was pondering earlier today when it was that I started writing this book and was horrified to see – from an old blog post – that I started it four years ago, in 2011. Pretty tardy progress considering it’s only novella length!
But this is how it goes. Writing is a slow process, interspersed as it is with many distractions. For the past seven months, I’ve had a new, demanding (and brilliant) job, which has reduced even further the amount of time for penning fiction.
So it’s even more satisfying that this is now done, in ebook at least – paperback in a week or so. Although it took an eternity to finish, I did enjoy writing this book – a much lighter tome than the last one, infinitely more fun to work on – and now I can let the germ of a new book that’s been festering for a while come to life… I’ll just somehow need to find the time to write it.
The town that danced is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US and pretty much all the other Amazons too.
This was a little piece written for the Shrewsbury Flash Fiction group. We were given the opening line “I have come to the sea; I hate the sea.” Interestingly, everyone there said how hard it had been to write about hating the sea – we all love it – and this sparked some great conversation about why humans might have such a strong affinity with the sea. ____________________________________
I have come to the sea; I hate the sea. With its wide promise and elusive calm, the sea is a sham. I have failed. I have lost my way. I have come to the sea because you brought me to this point, and I stare now over this undulating plane of ink black and wonder how I imagined the bulk of existence was above me. Faced with the sea’s Truth, I find I have my lived life on a mountain. In just a few strides, that which I thought lower ground will drop into a chasm so deep I can’t even contemplate the height at which I currently stand. It leaves me dizzy and foolish.
I have failed, lost my way, and the sea can prove this.
You said I should keep my gaze on the horizon, but you were wrong. The horizon is an impossibility and all that stumbling towards something out of reach is pointless when a person doesn’t even see where their feet have trodden. You said the horizon would drive me, and it did. But to what end?
I have come to the sea to remind myself of this.
I have come to the sea to show you how wrong you were.
I’ll meet you there, you said. So I scan and squint at the distant blue-black line, take measure of the steps towards it and sense the drop, that vast fall down from this fragile pausing place, feel the churning of fathoms unknown, the closing of darkness, and more and more the way seems lost, more and more I see the failing, and I weep.
I weep because I am still driven.
I have come to the sea; I hate the sea, and as its benign edges curl around my toes, tugging me onwards, I glance down and see the ink black is transparent here, tumbling grains of sand over my skin, frothing gently in pools which swirl and sink and creep slowly back to their source.
I lift my eyes, return my gaze to the final destination, and stumble on.