The Birthday Gift

Morning. I was in The Cod & Lobster last night chatting about lots of things but in particular ‘The Birthday Gift’ and how you form the idea for a project such as this. The book opens with a frail Grandad and  his doting Grandson in the waves of the Cornish Sea at Porthmeor in St Ives. I actually watched this happening and with happy eyes thought of my own precious relationship with my Grandad and the link to ‘On Ashover Hill’ was made. It was also where the new book was born. 

You then take the idea and rather like a painting, add layer on layer until you get to a stage where you let it go. 

I was wandering around the Staithes Art Festival yesterday and went in to see the wonderful Sue Nicholls show. Thick sumptuous oils, dripping luxuriously down a canvas in bright primary colours intoxicated my eyes. She was chatting to a couple about that question of when do you know when a painting is finished and she was explaining her process of going back and back until she moves on. It’s the same for me. 

Recently we started the process of doing a full edit on ‘On Ashover Hill’ which was not done on the first edition due to cost. There were some changes required to correct a few things and I was asked did I want to change anything else and it was an easy answer of NO! That book is done. I’ve moved on. 

It was lovely to talk through the books last night to someone who has read them and enjoyed them. Brilliant to talk through the questions and say that some of the answers I don’t know either! Like the reader, I can just guess as to what would have happened, where the road will have led. 

So, that process of spotting something is the start of a lengthy process for me in writing a book. The same thing of seeing something has now happened here in Staithes. I just need to get cracking to write it. 

Have the best of days. 

A X 

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