It’s taken a while, but I feel my writing spirit stirring again. A couple of years have passed since my sixth and seventh books were published. And then I dang ran out of steam, or inspiration, or something. I’d completed my first try at writing a book and a subsequent follow-up (check), two Jersey historical novels (check), two Irish mysteries (check), and a collection of short stories.
And strangely I also lost interest in a few other things. I no longer coach athletics to the kids, I’m not much bothered about cheering on Jersey Rugby Club every weekend, my blogging is sporadic at best.
Last week was the Human Rights Festival put on by the local branch of Amnesty International. The three films I attended with (sadly) very few others, were thought-provoking and disturbing as one would expect. The first featured the issues of child brides/mothers and their adult children in Israel. Then we saw the fate of many juveniles in the Californian justice system who are sentenced as adults for their crimes. Finally the quite inspiring story of the Waziristan girl who grew up loving and playing squash. She was only able to do so by pretending to be a boy. At age 12 she and her family started to receive death threats from the Taliban for ‘insulting their culture’ so she had to stop playing. Finally she left the country to train in Canada. Maria Toorpakai Wazir is now world-ranked and high-profile, she and her family openly defying the continuing and constant threats.
And I remembered it was after the same Festival a few years ago that I tore into a novel about human trafficking. I got 22,000 words down in no time and got some very valuable critique from one or two people. But I wrote myself into a corner and I put it away. So I have a mind to pick it up again, start over, keep the bits that I think are good and re-write the rest.
A few of you will remember it as a bit of a challenge. I write first person through my young woman protagonist, and the story is set in Nepal and India where I’ve never been and am unlikely to visit. I’ll still need external guidance and affirmation. But also I can maybe find a role for Chantilly, my Aussie punk barmaid/student who is waiting in the wings!
All being well I ought to be on the way to a good first draft by the Spring.