Moonfruit has decided I am no longer allowed to keep my free website and so my domain and many previous blogs (ok so it was only 4, possibly 5 posts) are now floating in the internet wilderness. Moonfruit’s loss *shrugs shoulders* and WordPress’s gain.
Welcome, anyway, to my spangly new website (being a newbie, I would welcome any suggestions for improvement, still finding my feet with Worpress). This new venture finds me at an exciting and somewhat daunting position. I am standing on a precipice with which every writer out there will resonate. My manuscript is complete (as far as I can tell, following numerous edits, rewrites and many submissions to critique groups) and is out lying on a few slushpiles. With each rejection I see the ground below welcoming me with concrete arms and with each flickering of interest or positive feedback I am pulled back to terrafirmer by the rope of hope. And amongst all this my mind is a whirl with new stories, new characters and new adventures.
Of course, I knew with my next story the setting would be much closer to home, unlike the 9,000 mile distance I set for the last novel. South Africa is such a beautiful country, one I would love to visit someday, but it would be refreshing not to have to rely so much just on the information beneath my fingers. So Hull it is and what a wealth of history lies beneath the skies of East Yorkshire and its coastline. The fishing industry and its past, its families, the tragedies and the characters. I can’t wait to get stuck into the research and of course, being this much closer to home, I might be able to meet some of those characters. Those ordinary people who lived their not so ordinary lives, either out there riding the trepid waves of the North Sea or back home, perhaps somewhere off Hessle Road, wondering when or if they would see their husband, brother or son again, trying to raise the family single handed off the meagre wages left behind after the last trip. A subject so close to the heart of Hull and its people.
And I come to the title of this piece. It always amazes me how some ideas pop unwittingly into our heads, often with me, while out walking the dogs. And this is what happened the other day. It was a beautiful autumnal morning, the sun was shining low and bright, the dogs happily trotting beside me. A Range Rover had poked its head out from a row of parked cars, waiting to join the stream of traffic going through the village. At the wheel sat an old man, complete with peak cap and (probably) Barbour jacket. At the end of his nose hung a large globule of snot, glistening and patiently waiting for a hanky or sleeve. It was this that caught my eye in the split second of glancing as I passed by. It struck me that something, usually regarded with utter disgust, could also be beautiful, if just for a moment, reflecting the sunlight of a beautiful autumn morning. And there it was; I had set the scene for the first chapter of my next novel. I’m sure many an old man could be found working at the dockside, in the early hours of a cold winter’s day, too busy to wipe his nose, too consumed by tide times, the demands of the skipper and no doubt the responsibilities he had left at home.
And this is how a writer’s mind works. It is those intricacies of everyday life that flicker a moment of interest and intrigue. The tiny details that make a story complete and enable the reader to suspend that disbelief, to paint a picture in their mind, to bring the story alive. And all it took (this time) was a large globule of snot.