Cuddly Toys and Fairy Doors

s summer finally about to make an appearance? I can’t say I moved to the UK because of the weather, but this is just getting stupid now – come on, could we please get a glimpse of the sun? Seems today we might, as the clouds aren’t quite as dense as they have been after the wash-out that was May and June. At least it’s warmer, so I am defiantly in shorts and a sleeveless top, I don’t care if it turns shitty again because I’ve decided it’s summer, end of. Enough of this nonsense.

And so another weekend has begun and our Saturday looks exactly like so many others – B’s at the gym doing his body pump class (apparently the new instructor is a hot, young thing – hmpf! – but if those weights are easier to lift due to a bit of eye candy, so be it and it’s not-quite-as-hot-and-young-thing who will get the full advantage of fit and toned B), and Monkey is on his Xbox before I’ll be dropping him off at a friend’s after lunch. And me, well, I’m back in writing mode, so on the bed with a coffee next to me. All is well in the world! Speaking of coffee, we finally got a new coffee machine and it’s a bigger version of one I had a few years ago, which grinds the coffee beans before producing the most beautiful brew. I don’t know if I could survive without coffee, I probably drink ten mugs of the stuff every day.

I’m going to see if I can drag poor B to Westfield when Monkey is on his play date. I got paid but also got a lovely cheque from Inland Revenue because I’ve paid too much tax (going from a well paid full time job to a not so well paid part time job in the last financial year), so there are a few bits I want to get. Need to update my underwear drawer, need a new perfume as the one B and Monkey got me for Christmas has now run out, and there’s a bracelet I’ve had my eye on for a while. I do consider all except for the bracelet essentials – no woman should ever be short of fancy undies and perfume goes into the same category. Those two I should be able to convince B are mostly for his benefit, I’m pretty sure I can sell it that way.

Still on a high with the writing and the blueprint I created is working wonders, especially the character bios. I was so confident I couldn’t possibly get to know them better, but how wrong I was! Just posing random (some even down right silly) questions such as “the thing they would save in a fire” and “favourite childhood toy” produced several little stories, some of which worked out so lovely I know I can chuck them in there. I suppose the first thing you discover as a writer, once an editor gets their hands on your work, is that you can always improve. And not only that, it’ll be in ways you never realised. By now, I have learnt how to use and reflect on criticism, even the harsher stuff.

One of the things that came from that little character exercise was precisely the childhood toy thing. At first I couldn’t think when it came to Alice. I knew of course that my protagonist was a quiet and withdrawn child, deeply traumatised by the disappearance of her mother Monica. In the present, she is still a little quiet and withdrawn (well, not in a bad way, she is just a tiny bit like me in that she isn’t a flock animal), but also quirky and unique. A cuddly toy just didn’t fit. As I was thinking about what might fit, I was glancing around our livingroom and then BAM! My eyes fixed on the little clay fairy door that sits on our mantle piece. Perfect!

Alice’s mum was an artist, so I decided that a little clay fairy door would be perfect! One that Monica had once made! As a child, I can let Alice imagine that it’s somewhere in a fairy world behind that door that her mother is existing, and as an adult it can be something precious that her mother once made for her.

Time’s up and B just got back, so best get on with the rest of this will-it-won’t-it-be-sunny Saturday.

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