I’ve been writing solidly since 2008, and as I’m somewhat prolific, manuscripts have collected. Not all of them will be published, but I thought many would. Revising would consume a decent chunk of time, but time seemed plentiful. Right now I’m prepping the last three of a series; one of the themes is more time than money. Usually that’s the case, but well into my forties, I have to reassess. And as I do, I start looking at novels, wondering just where do some belong?
When we lived in the UK, we thought we would be there for ages, hence we did little travelling to the continent, concentrating on seeing the folks back home. Those relationships were cultivated on holidays, and in letters. I made (and I do mean by force of will) my kids write weekly notes to grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. The kids complained, it was a tedious ritual, sort of like writing a lot of fiction that might just sit in a computer until the end of time. The kids didn’t get back many responses for their output, but sometimes it’s not what we receive in tangible manner. It’s what comes from the exercise, whether it’s stronger family bonds or paragraphs and chapters, all from one sentence after another. Older manuscripts have their strengths, but many weaknesses. What I write now isn’t just cleaner prose, but a more disciplined craft. And there is only so much time.
As a family, we enjoyed Disneyland Paris. My husband and I loved Spain and Ireland and I adored Belgium. While I never did hit Kettering or Leicester, I embraced Yorkshire and am glad for the rest. Equally I’m grateful for every book I’ve written, but not all will see the light of day. Sacrifices are made; my children didn’t explore Europe, but my daughter’s wedding hummed to the bliss of close family reunited. Time is precious; I want to make mine count.