I have three children. I’m not talking about my daughters here, no, the children I refer to are my paper ones. The ones that have a beginning and an end and about a hundred thousand words between.
Number One, I am sad to say, I’m greatly ashamed of. In fact, I’m so embarrassed by her I can’t even bring myself to look at her. I had her when I was much younger, when I was naive and clumsy, when I wrote before I thought. I wasn’t really ready to have her, and well, she wasn’t quite right: poorly formed, over-excitable, a bit simple, and on occasion deathly boring. I had to shut her in the attic and lock the door. As the old adage goes, out of sight out of mind. Don’t feel sorry for her, for all our sakes, it’s best this way.
My second child, Number Two, I love very much. She’s special to me. All my hopes were once pinned to her and for a while I thought she was ‘it’. My glory girl. The one who’d look after me in my dotage. Finally, I thought, after all those years spent nurturing her and her attic-bound sister, I would get some reward. She was my X-factor auditionee. She did well in front of the panel of agent-judges. One was particularly taken with her and picked her for her team. After a fairly extreme makeover (a head-to-toe edit, two rewrites, and a lot of spit and polish) she was perfect in my eyes. Sadly, she didn’t make it through to the live final. Now she lives under my bed, her beauty gathering dust, her voice ignored. I know, I’m a dreadful, neglectful mother, but what could I do? By then I had a new baby and I didn’t have time for both.
I’m not supposed to say this, but Number Three is my favourite. We shouldn’t have favourites, should we? It’s just this one is that much more successful than the other two, and well, I find it difficult not to love her the best. Her debut is in August and we’re both terribly excited. I’m nervous too – though I would never say this to her face – and every now and then (in fact, more often than not) I panic: I worry she’s not that great after all, that, perhaps, when paraded in front of the world she might let me down. But my fingers are crossed.
I’m right behind you, baby!
|Good luck, poppet!|
And now I’m pregnant again. I know. I know. What was I thinking?! Don’t I ever want to sleep? I’ve just got my life back and, BAM!, I’m doing it all over again. What can I say? I’m a floozy. I can’t keep my pen in its lid. I just love the creational process. (And innuendo, I love innuendo, too.)
So when my friend, and talented writer, Cathy Dreyer tagged me with the Lucky 7 meme, which asks authors to provide an extract from their current work-in-progress, I thought, what better opportunity to share the first peek of my infant child. This is the equivalent of a twelve-week scan: 50,000 words in, narrative structure in place, and if you look carefully you can see a tiny heartbeat.
[The rules of the Lucky 7 meme are:
Go to page 7 or 77 of your current manuscript
Go to line 7
Post the next 7 lines or sentences, exactly as they are - no cheating
Tag 7 other authors to do the same]
He drew his eyes away from Jess and locked them on Will. Will’s heart thumped, the heat of the midday sun beat down on him; he felt faint. It couldn’t be him, could it? But there he was, standing right front of him, infecting this easy Sunday lunch with that darkest part of Will’s past. Marcus smiled and held out his hand. Will didn’t move.
“What a coincidence!” Amelia said. “When did you last see each other?”
I know, she looks like an alien mush – there’s a lot of growing left to do – but I hope (fingers crossed) that she’ll be pretty and healthy when she arrives.
If not, there’s lots of space in the attic with her older sister…