“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.” -Maria (The Sound of Music)
This week I’ve hit a few road blocks and so as the title of this post suggests, I’ve been searching for the metaphoric window in my writing and in my real life. The good news is that I’m getting closer to that window in my writing, unfortunately in real-life it isn’t so easy.
But enough about the negative, let’s focus on the positive. Last week I told you all that I hadn’t had much time to write as I was working on something else (if you missed it, you can read last week’s post here) and I promised to share with all of you what I was working on this week. Well, a week has passed and as promised I’ll let you all in on the secret, yesterday was my Grandmother’s 80th birthday and as her birthday present I made her a “This is your life” themed book, documenting the years from her birth up until the present. It included her ‘story’ (which I cut down to only 8 pages long!) and a collection of photos over the years including her the childhood, courtship with my Grandfather and her family, only about 110 photos, as I managed to cut it down from around 150! It was an amazing experience to exploring my grandmother’s story and I found out some pretty amazing things not only about my grandmother, but also the world which she grew up in. Here is a short excerpt from her story about the world she was born into,
“It was the year 1934, the world had lived through the horrors of World War I and it was still enduring the aftermath of a severe economic recession caused by The Great Crash on Wall St in 1929. It was an era that is now known as The Great Depression.
It was in this year that Meccano Ltd introduced the first Dinky Toys and Percy Shaw patented the ‘cat’s eye’ road safety device. It was also the year when the “surgeon’s photograph” of the Loch Ness Monster was published in the Daily Mail –although it was much later admitted to being a hoax.
King George V was the reigning monarch and Ramsay MacDonald was the Prime Minister of England…”
What made this even more interesting, is the similarities between the world that my grandmother was born into and the world of Thomas and Rose. I did not purposely make this connection and as you may have read in some of my previous posts, Lonely Hearts originated from a dream I had, however terribly cliché that may sound, so perhaps on a subconscious level the link between the two worlds was made, but it wasn’t until I started to create this book for my grandmother that I realised the depth of the connection. My grandmother lost her mother at a young age, as did Rose (and Thomas) and what makes this subconscious connection even more startling is that my great grandfather’s name was also Thomas.
“…but in a small cottage in a village in the London Borough of Barnet called Arkley, Thomas and Bessie were eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child.”
My grandmother was also an only child, both Thomas and Rose were only children. The more I think about this, the deeper the connection becomes, perhaps I knew these details of my grandmother prior to writing her story, but I know that I did not consciously make this connection between the two worlds when beginning Rose and Thomas’ story.
And…. there’s the segue into discussing where I am in Lonely Hearts. At this point I am exploring Rose’s relationship with her mother and how that has shaped her. I am also up to the point in the story where reader’s are given a small insight into the connection Rose has with her mother in the present tense of the story (just a reminder, Rose’s mother passed away several years before the story’s timeline). Reader’s also gain a little more information about the underlying cause of Rose’s nightmares and the darkness that gives the book its title and I can’t wait to explore these ideas in even greater depth.
Today I have a small excerpt to share with you all. Some of it may seem a little familiar from previous posts, as I usually do a small amount of editing as I attempt to bind one idea with the next. Although I can quite easily spot errors in other people’s writing, I am still horrified at my ability to miss the errors in my own writing, so be kind. Sometimes even in the way I speak, I cringe afterwards at my lack of correct grammar, I think some of my student’s are rubbing off on me!
“What am I thinking? Why am I even considering this? Thomas and I are from two different worlds, it would be best for both of us to go our separate ways. One evening, which will be lovely, I’m sure – perfect even, but it cannot go further than that. I cannot help but feel as though I am throwing something of immense value away and as I catch my reflection in the window, I see my mother’s face looking back at me and as she does in those moments when I need her help or advice she spoke to me, “Rosie, some things are just meant to be.” What does she mean? That Thomas and I are meant to be or are we are meant to go our separate ways? But before I could ask she was gone, the same as always. I missed my mother so much, she was the only family I had ever known. I am thankful for having József in my life, but it’s not the same, a girl needs her mother and she was taken from me when I needed her the most.
I thought about the days after she died, I had felt so alone and afraid. Sometimes I still feel like that, when the darkness closes in and another nightmare consumes me, pulling me down. It’s always the same, it’s dark and lonely, with nobody to love or care for me, then they appear and I’m no longer by myself, but the darkness grows deeper and fear and pain surge through me. Then I hear her voice, telling me to stay strong, pleading with me to hang on and to reach up out of the darkness, then he is there – József is the one pulling me out of the darkness, taking away the pain and the fear, offering me a father’s love and beginning to heal my lonely heart. Lately though, having József didn’t seem to be enough and the frequency of my nightmares have increased. Perhaps it is because I am now older and no longer the young girl he saved, but I feel the darkness pulling me down and the loneliness closing in again, I have to find a way to keep the darkness at bay, I cannot let myself slip into the darkness again, for I fear that if I do, it will be the end and the darkness will consume me.”
© Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within, (2013-2015). Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katherine A. Kovacs and The Writer Within with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.