It’s two weeks since my mum died.
As you can probably imagine, life’s gone in to a tailspin of sorts. With things moving up and down and round and round at such a rate of change, it’s been very difficult to get any sense of perspective at all.
The first week was all about my immediate family. Looking after Dad and trying to keep the arrangements on track. It all led up to the funeral and the sense of relief that it brought in ways I was surprised by.
Week two has been very different.
I’m in the house alone during the day, feeling a little insecure about the world outside of my doors and the people who live there. I’m experiencing an odd kind of exhaustion that means I need to go to bed when the need arises. Not that I’m sleeping all day – I just can’t.
One of the things that’s helped has been writing-related activities. I’ve managed to fill the emptiness that I feel, at least until the children come home from school, with creativity.
Hard to say why I needed to put it out there as a collection.
First of all, I had a story (the opener) which I felt needed to be read. I’m very proud of it and the way it should impact upon a reader. It’s a tale from the concentration camps of Poland that caused quite some movement within me when I penned it.
Next, I took a photograph on a visit to the church where Mum’s funeral took place. There are some examples of stained glass that had been smashed and refitted at the time of the reformation. Using it as a cover for something was a strong push.
The final thing, I think, was a need to make a marker for myself to remember this time. For many years I wrote poems to capture moments; they acted like photos do for others. I felt a collection would give me a constant reminder of the pain, which suits me well.
Other than the opening stories, there are a couple of other strong pieces ; I say that with reasonable confidence as they’ve appeared in some mighty collections.
There are also a couple of oddities. One about guilt, one about a couple of American police in 1970, one inspired by Godot and another about a shopping receipt. I have no idea of their value to anyone else, but at this time they’ve offered me a great service.
I hope it works, though I don’t really mind if it doesn’t.
There may be purists out there who feel only the best should ever go out. For now I’ll turn a deaf ear to them as I’m not listening to anything by my heart.
I’ve also completed a first draft of a novella I began before the summer. I had 6000 words already and have finished it by adding another 5000 or so. I’ve been lucky to have feedback on it from my steady pals at Crimeficwriters and I’m ready to redraft.
I’d like to thank all those friends in the writing world who’ve offered support and condolences and I hope I can repay in kind some day.
I’d also like to thank writing for being such an ever-present entity in my life.