A family ripped asunder. A terrible secret lurks in a thrilling novel of love, grief, and mystery.
Patrick thought his grandfather, John, died before he was born. In later life, he finds out that it wasn’t true. For the first five years of Patrick’s life, they stayed in the same small village. So why were they kept apart? Patrick wishes to search the past to find the reason – but only if he can be united with his young daughter first. And that means bringing her home to Scotland. It means journeying to France to take her away from the care of her mother, Patrick’s ex-wife. In 1915, with the war raging in Europe, John is a young man working on the family farm. Not yet old enough to enlist but aware of its looming threat, he meets Catherine. But his attempts at courtship end suddenly when an accident rips his life apart. Told in alternate chapters, set, mainly, in South-West Scotland, this is the dramatic story of Patrick, interwoven with John.
I’d like to welcome author R R Gall to booksaremycwtches today with a fascinating guest post he writing day.
This is me.
It is a new writing day. Breakfast over, I am happy to go to my bare room and sit in my comfortable chair – bought from a small, fairly unknown, Swedish retailer. I’ve recently discovered these stores, modelled on the queuing system at passport control in airports, where you shuffle, mile upon mile, without ever venturing more than a few yards from the starting point. Nevertheless, this passport experience can, at times, bring a modicum of enjoyment – when a plane-load of passengers arrive to an empty room, and the more anarchic of them, rather than trudge the zigzag path to the front, attempt short-cuts by ducking under the tape, invariably catching suitcases and hanking rucksacks, leaving them caught, tangled, and wriggling like fish on a line, as we, the more law-abiding citizens, stroll casually past, without a thought to help, stifling the urge to giggle.
Anyway, as I saw saying, I’m in my austere room. The laptop is on my knee. It fires up expectantly. The cursor winks at me, knowingly, wondering where I will be taking it today – will it be on one of those thrilling rides of discovery, or will it be to some dimly-lit, murky corner where browsing history is deleted, cleaned like muddy, grubby boots on a mat?
Today, once again, the cursor will be disappointed, as, for the last six years now, in a bid to remove distractions, this computer has had no connection with the internet, no contact to the outside world, it has been a prisoner, a recluse, barred from uttering a single word to its fellow-kind. However, this solitary confinement does not stop the virus checker from throwing up regular announcements about boldly and heroically thwarting several severe attacks of late, slaying lots of virus dragons, as well as storming the many castles of malware. (which I think are south of the city of Delaware)
Onto business then. Yesterday’s writing session went well. Naturally, some sentences will need to be changed, a paragraph altered here and there, some things (not sure what as yet) inserted in various places, and some bits deleted – in other words, a handful of sentences can be used. But, overall, it was decent enough effort and I am buoyed and ready for more of the same, eager to set this book careering towards a finish.
There should be no delay, no time to waste. So press the story tab.
PRESS THE TAB FOR THE STORY!
My finger hovers.
I click on the scrabble icon instead, and play a quick game.
What was the point in cutting the machine off from the distractions of the world, if you still leave games on it? Get on with your writing!
I follow up with a second game of scrabble, then a couple of rounds of solitaire, telling myself this warms up the brain.
Finally, at least half an hour later, the screen fills with familiar words, and I begin typing.
Every day. Every-blasted-day it happens – this compulsion to do something else, anything other than write.
What is the meaning of this procrastination? Lack of confidence? A fear that I might not be able to finish, or, if I eventually do, the dread that the result will be poor? Not up to my expectations? No use? A waste of effort?
Is it just me? Am I the only one who feels this? Is there anyone else?
I do some digging and find these illuminating quotations:
“Prowling about the rooms, sitting down, getting up, stirring the fire, looking out the window, teasing my hair, sitting down to write, writing nothing, writing something and tearing it up…” — Charles Dickens.
“Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand.” — George Orwell.
Now I feel somewhat better. If these great men didn’t always find it easy, yet managed to create such immense work, then there is a ray of hope for me.
Some say procrastination is wasting time, being lazy; others say is it a sign you are not quite ready and it’s part of the thought process. I will go with the latter.
I cannot achieve the great heights of those esteemed authors, but, if I take my time and not rush, in my own way, I might produce, eventually, something of which to be proud.
About the author
RR Gall lives in Scotland and is the author of: The Case of the Pig in the Evening Suit, The Case of Colourful Clothes and Kilts, The Case of the Hermit’s Guest Bedroom Two Tides To Turn, A Different Place to Die, Only the Living Can Die.
Social Media Links – http://www.rrgall.com