Hazel McHaffie

The jigsaw begins to take shape

You could be forgiven for thinking I’d buried my writing pen for good. Even I was beginning to be suspicious!! Well, news on that front at last.

We’ve all had to make adjustments during this past six months, but exercise has consistently been held up as a ‘good’ for everyone, even designated a legitimate reason to go out of the house during the initial country-wide lockdown. It’s certainly been an important part of my well-being. Over the weeks, my early morning solitary constitutional along mostly deserted routes has become a valuable time for quiet reflection and uninterrupted processing of ideas.

On the steeper uphill sections, when my muscles protest and my cardio-vascular system is under pressure, the activity in my brain is a welcome distraction. On the easy downhill paths the ideas rush along at an exhilarating pace.

Where the ground levels out I occasionally stop to soak up the tranquillity around me and reflect on where my brain is taking me.

There’s been so much to sort and sift and mull over arising out of this weirdly different experience of a worldwide crisis and its effects on us all, and I’ve made a conscious decision to ring-fence this time when I can leave my mind pretty much to its own devices.

I’ve become very aware that I’ve been unusually reluctant to start a new book. Normally I’m raring to go; not this year. I just haven’t been in the right place psychologically. And strangely enough, I’ve accepted that without protest. Time to concentrate of different priorities.

However, of late, the ideas and possibilities for novel number 12 have been increasingly jostling for pre-eminence in my head and begun demanding action. A structure has been gradually emerging that has stood the test of time, with the pieces fitting together rather like a jigsaw puzzle, and this very week a milestone has been reached: that outline has actually been committed to the computer. Wahey! A fairly robust skeleton methinks on which to hang more new details as they emerge. So, it’s been a long time coming but I think perhaps we might now be on a roll … ? Maybe …? Possibly …? Clovid-19 permitting …?


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