This next chapter brings me onto a point that is difficult to explain. It is how I am inspired. I honestly don’t know how other writers work, come to think of it, I don’t how anyone else works. How do two people stay together? How does a parent bring up kids that love them? Here I am basically admitting to failing in these areas, but the point I am trying to get across is – there is an awful lot I don’t know but continue to try. And I continue to try to write this blog and explain how and where my inspiration comes from.
In this chapter however, the mystery concerning the locket begins – an antique locket George’s mom, wore and treasured, and tells him in this chapter it is her heart.
(His mom’s name is Miriam, which, I discovered from research is the correct name of Jesus’s mum – George’s mom needed a name so why not make a small tongue-in-cheek remark about this?)
It’s a nice scene, George and Miriam on the bed chatting. Some of the scenes I enjoy more than others, especially if they feel like ‘home ‘.
Anyway, the truth is, at the time I wrote about the locket I had no idea why or what was inside it. I did know it was important, and no longer could be taken out of the book. I often cut things out. If the story is 40,000 words long, I usually have about another 10,000 words removed.
I remember talking to Linda one day about writing stories, and she said that the story needed a twist. I knew instantly the locket was a twist – one I did not know the answer to. I know that sounds bizarre, but it isn’t. My writing is like going on a journey you have planned. I planned the story, and knew its end, right from the start. What I could not plan was the character’s development and interaction. Again, this sounds bizarre, but it isn’t. It’s a chain reaction. Simply by having George’s mom killed in an accident (he was fourteen at the time) naturally influences his behavior and how he will react to certain things. This is shown in this chapter too. How George blames everyone for the loss of his mom. Not forgiving his dad for signing himself into rehab. Personally, I find George bordering on being a ‘wuss’. Sometimes, in the story he shows himself to be a fine young man, but most of the time he ends up feeling sorry for himself, letting his emotions take over and basically sulking or having a tantrum. And he is the book’s main character!
Naturally, I have tried to change this, but I can’t. The story won’t allow it – (smile) GoD is a wuss. He does have some nice character features too, and these I find easy to describe. It is only the rest of the time, that I find myself struggling to write about him.
Perhaps, the book doesn’t have a hero – he is the main protagonist though, (he’s just not a Jason Statham kind of character.) It must be cool writing a book with such a character. Maybe I will do it when I finish this one.
You see, there we have another strange thing. I haven’t chosen any of the characters or the story. It chose me. It has sat in my mind for years – waiting for me to tell it. I didn’t know it was there. I knew something was there – and I would often write things down at night, in Frankfurt, with a glass of wine, waiting for the guests to leave, – but I guess I wasn’t listening. Now I listen by simply not thinking. The story is complete. The characters are how they are, and I must try my best to write what I can see.
This explanation is going round in circles, I know, but that is the best I can do at the moment. In the chapter I use the scene of the funeral to develop the riff that is growing between George and his dad, which in the end all leads up to him going to his dad’s room and opening the locket.
Personally, I have only been to two funerals, my brother’s and my mother’s. I can’t really remember whole scenes, only moments. I have used this for George. Naturally, his moments are different to mine – but I have used the idea that only scattered thoughts survive such a traumatic situation. I know this is not a personal blog, but I will share a couple of such moments with you now, to demonstrate this.
By my brother’s funeral: it was the moment I entered the chapel and precisely at this moment the sound of Whitney Houston singing I Will Always Love You, filled the air. Sadly, my brother had cancer, so he’d had time to plan his own funeral – her voice, pure sorrow and soul, rolled over me causing me to choke. I turned away, only to be caught by my brother Tom, who simply said ‘It’s okay, that’s what funerals are for. It’s okay to cry.’ The rest of the day is blurred. No other words are remembered. By my mother’s funeral it was different. It started out blurred and finished this way, the only think that stuck out was standing in the church almost alone. There was hardly anyone there – my brothers and sisters, and the neighbor from across the road. Yet my mother had spent half her life helping others. It made no sense. It made me feel angry, as if she had been cheated. This was her final farewell, but the world had already forgotten her. This flare of emotions can be seen in George’s loathsome reaction to the memory of the rain.
Well, I hope I have managed to explain a little bit about the chapter, as well as my inspiration, and how it is possible to have no idea why I write things. I am not trying to be special; I just don’t know, an example would be how yesterday, I was on an old PC, looking around for some information for the tax, when I came across a file simply named Ella. That’s the name of my oldest daughter. She left me when she was fourteen.
If she is like me, she will never come back.
So naturally, when I saw the file, I thought maybe she wrote something, left a clue as to why she left, but unfortunately there was nothing, it was just another story I had started. I quickly skimmed across it, unsure who had written it…
Eventually I came towards the end and saw my own notes, and realized it was me.
Now tell me, that is insane! (smile) It’s not Alzheimer or anything dramatic like that, it’s just – natural. My whole life has been like that. I can remember everything; I just can’t remember where I stored the memory (big smile).