My bedtime blog is a quick read. It’ll only take a couple of minutes just before you switch off the light and snuggle under the duvet…
What could my 86 year-old mother and my 18-month-old labradoodle possibly have in common? (Er, no — they’re both house-trained.)
They take the shortest possible route to any destination. Regardless of danger, obstacles, political correctness and social acceptance. It’s that single-minded pursuit. They both know what they want and they don’t have time to waste.
Getting there the fastest way, taking the shortest distance is instinctive to them both.
But for different reasons.
Teddy, because he’s excited and Mum because she is in pain and has little energy.
I had no instinct like Teddy does, and when I was growing up I had to find out what I wanted. Matthew Arnold (critic and poet) once said: Resolve to be thyself and know that he who finds himself loses his misery.
The years pass quickly and by fifty, I was pretty much sorted. But when I decided I was going to write my first novel that familiar dilemma resurfaced. I didn’t know what sort of author I wanted to be.
I think many authors persecute themselves with endless thought processes that are quite nutty. (It’s only if we become wealthy then our torturous mutterings are deemed eccentric.) So, I wrote lots of short stories in different genres to experiment.
It wasn’t the most direct route but I did find out what I liked to write and probably more importantly what I felt comfortable writing.
Dag Hammarskjold (Swedish statesman and humanitarian) said: Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find his right road.
So, now I do just that. I set out a timetable:
A structured working day to include writing, editing, designing, publishing and marketing — and walking Teddy. (Especially when he rolls in fox’s poo, covers himself in mud and invariably jumps into the skanky green pond and looks more like a bedraggled lamb than a labradoodle…and needs a bath.)
He’s growing up happy and without over-thinking anything. I love his single-minded pursuit and I want to emulate his healthy, happy and uncomplicated attitude.
That sheer determination is on my Mum’s face when she pushes her trolley along the uneven pavement. She crosses the road on a corner to save walking that extra few metres and to conserve energy.
It’s instinct, a necessity to take the shortest route and she’s oblivious to the danger. She stops to rest, sitting on the seat of her trolley, waiting for her energy levels to rise before trundling off again in that single-minded pursuit to reach her goal.
I admire her. It’s a trait I hope I’ve inherited.
Mary Gilmore (Australian poet and journalist) wrote: Strange how the heart will leap, to see one face at the door. To hear one voice ring, floating out, one step upon the floor!
When I’m reunited with Mum and Teddy I know by their greeting that they love me. There’s the same warmth, excitement and happiness that we share being together. We’re all on the same path: Similar goals to succeed: Ambitions of happiness, determination and enjoyment.
They give me courage and strength to be creative.
To fail or to win and, to accept in equal measure, praise as well as criticism.
Good night, dear reader. Think peaceful thoughts…
For more information about my writing, please visit my blog:
· How I Research and Write my Novels
· Bedtime Reads — Short stories based on unusual relationships
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