I didn’t really need to stay awake this week to be entertained, but for all of the hours around the clock I found myself riveted by one thing or another. Every night I have had vivid dreams, last night culminated with the weirdest when I dreamt that the bald telephone operator on the TV program ‘Inside Claridges’ had become Prime Minister. I actually had a conversation with someone during which I said, “at least he’s better at it than Tony Hadley was” and went on to complain that celebrities like Ronald Reagan and Arnold Schwarzenegger shouldn’t enter politics.
All in a week when during my waking hours I found myself busy fighting the Christmas rush, contemplating the possibility or impossibility of the end of the world and fitting in the occasional splurge of writing and other business. I watched The Mayan Apocalypse documentary and the thought of a bunker in Colorado seemed quite enticing to me. I could even put up with the freeze-dried food and survival training just to escape the madness of shopping. More writing could be done and I could wear ear plugs to block out the cries of ‘here comes the meteorite’ or ‘look there’s Nibiru, just left of the sun!’
But of course it never came true – the madness of the world continues and the craziness of Christmas is almost over.
I don’t usually watch much television but the last episode of The Hour and the final of Strictly Come Dancing truly finished off any energy I had left – the former because it ended so emotionally and violently and the latter because it turned into a marathon of sofa agitation waiting for results, who knew TV could be so exhausting? And this was supposed to be my relaxation!
To be perfectly honest I cannot wait for this year to be over as it’s not just a week that has left me feeling weak but 2012 has been, well, let’s just call it challenging. Not just for me but as I understand it, for many.
I am hoping that 2013 will bring calm, more creativity and happier times for all.
Just remember, the last thing left in Pandora’s box was hope..
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas time x
If you need a riveting read over the festive season check out Petra Kidd’s ebooks: The Eight of Swords and The Putsi
available via Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.
Early in the New Year I will be publishing my first blog novel of the above title. For some reason I find this time of year kicks me into action. This could be down to a sense of time running out (as in the year disappearing) and the promise of a new beginning, who knows but I love it when I start feeling this way.
I wrote the first draft of Before I was Born in the year 2000. Then I just ignored it for a long time but it niggles away and those who have read it keep on nagging for me to publish it. I sent a few chapters off to agents at the time but got the usual rejection letters. I didn’t take it badly, I was enjoying writing too much and so instead of pursuing publication of Before I was Born I went on to write another novel Clean Living.
In those days I loved writing but really hated editing. I’m the kind of person who can’t read a book or watch a film more than once. That has changed. Now, in some ways I enjoy the editing just as much. I can thank this in part to the Market Scene columns I wrote for the Eastern Daily Press. I had to write a specific number of words every week and it trained me well.
Twelve years ago I went to London and ended up temping for just under a year. Before I was Born is pretty much a product of that period, I drew a little on my experiences but it is not autobiographical. A visit to the London Aquarium piqued my interest, as I watched the fish glide around their various tanks the gem of an idea began to squirm within. People talk about the after life but what about the before life? Many believe in reincarnation so why couldn’t a human become another being like an animal or a fish in the next life or visa versa? And what problems would this pose if they could remember snippets of the life that went before?
It occurred to me that this could be quite a comedy as well as a philosophical exploration.
I didn’t plan the novel, I just wrote it as a stream of consciousness. What it says about my subconscious mind is best not dwelt on!
The intention is to publish one or two chapters a week to my blog.
If Before I was Born receives a positive response from readers I will go on to produce it as an eBook.
All I hope is that you enjoy it as much as those who have already read it.
Keep an eye on @PetraKidd on Twitter or ‘like’ my Facebook page http:/www.Facebook.com/PetraKiddWrites to see when the first chapter will appear.
Inspired by an exercise from a creative writing course, I started to write what was only meant to be a page about the road I grew up in. The first paragraph briefly describes the style of houses and the two extremes of weather most poignant in my childhood memory; then I begin to describe the neighbours. Well before I knew it I found myself up half the night writing.
The road itself provided an unremarkable description, but as soon as I started on the characters living there I became totally absorbed. If I tried to invent such characters from scratch I cannot imagine achieving anything like those who actually inhabited the houses stretching as far as the eye could see. They were indeed stranger than fiction.
Describing our neighbours’ personalities, activities and snippets from their life stories made me feel that I might have dreamt it all up somehow, a subconscious stroke of genius but no, when I read what I had written to my mother and sister they laughed and agreed that any writer would find a wealth of stories from the humble road where we lived.
As an adult, it all seems so surreal as I recount it on paper. The memories are a strange mixture of actuality and my young mind trying to make sense of it all. For example, I remember one of the children next door had a glass eye. I knew at some point she had walked into a pane of glass and in my youthful innocence and strange sense of logic came to think that loose chips from the pane had formed the glass eye, bizarre but true. I would stare at her trying to work out how it happened.
My childhood memories are not formed in any chronological order but enter my head in the same way dreams do, randomly. I needed to seek reassurance from family members that they are real memories and have not been formed by my over active imagination.
Snapshots of a bygone age when we played happily in fields for hours, no mobile phones, colourful characters who we trusted and loved, other characters who we feared, strange happenings, entertaining anecdotes. I’m sure that anyone who started to write down childhood memories might find the same.
I’m not a great one for reminiscing but having started this exercise I’m not sure I will want to stop – while readers might enjoy my fiction, I have a feeling they might enjoy some of the factual evidence of a colourful childhood even more…