house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Just Write

A short break in the flow of those travel stories from Nepal - for something I know I won't post if I don't post now.

When I was pregnant, I noticed every pregnant woman waddling across the street. 
When I was a student, I saw every notebook and studious face per urban acre, square or park.
Equally, when sad myself, I became a collector of tears. 
And as a guitar player, I spotted calloused fingers and guitars called to me wherever they were - bagged, left behind the furniture, strapped to hippy backs.

These days I find every writing instrument - pen, pencil, crayon or eyeliner - dropped in the street. I know full well they must have dripped from handbags, pockets, backpacks, fingers. But I imagine something grander: that the universe puts them in my path as a none too subtle reminder to write. 

I have even developed - or decoded - a spectrum of subtleties in the message:

A good quality pen, in working order, tells me to stop at once what I am doing and work on the latest Vora (novel series in progress). 

A pencil, sharp, not gnawed at the end: plan Vora, outline, backstory, define the world, work on those characters. 

A broken pen (like the one I found on a street in Nepal, which looked good but was hopeless): no way can you write here / today / just now; don't even try. 

I have become obsessed with pens found in the street. Walking with friends I spotted one on the North Bridge one evening - we were walking fast, talking, I stepped past unable to pick it up, equally unable to leave it. The conversation became a blur, my head began to pound. I had sent excerpts of the first Vora novel to agents, I had no reply. A white pen on the North Bridge. Don't give up hope. Write, write. I faked a phone call, broke from the group, ran back and picked it up. The next day, a literary agent wrote to say she had loved Vora. 

I found a board marker today, in good order; the wipe-clean kind. For notes? Blogs? Frivolous figments that they are, things easily forgotten, things that remain largely unread, even by myself? Words wiped clean and covered with more words? Just like these. 

One last confession: a dream of finding a fountain pen one day - the unicorn of writing gifts from the city tarmac, or the universe.... When it arrives it will say here, to sign your book. 

Art by Nikita 


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