Somewhere between excitement and irritation, I told my friend Sophie about my trip to the U.K. Sophie is this amazing French woman who I met via my daughter, who became friends with Sophie’s daughter at school.
Sophie had moved her family here from Leamington Spa in U.K. “You must meet my friend Mandy!” she perked, “She’s published, has won awards and teaches creative writing too!”
In the weeks prior to my trip, I worked feverishly but unsuccessfully to finish the book, sending Mandy the first 20 pages for our meeting in London.
The magical visit to London holds too much to share for this blog. I will say, the taxi driver took me to the hotel by taking Rex Place, stopping in front Kathryn’s townhome before turning left toward the hotel. Uncontrollable tears warmed my cheeks at the surprise of what Synchronicity can do.
Later that week, I hopped a train to some elaborate outlet mall in Oxfordshire to meet Mandy who said three things about my work:
- Put it in the proper layout. (I was still writing in paragraphs; yeah, I know, it’s embarrassing. Obviously, I didn’t take myself seriously as an author yet.)
- Imply don’t tell. Get rid of the opening dream sequence; it’s the kiss of death and finally,
- Take some classes
Mandy also provided a contact she had here in the States, an editing group she had used for her award-winning work with the suggestion that I use them when I had finished my book.
I left that meeting in spiritual tailspin. How could I imply all the esoteric messages I needed to relate? What was the proper layout? I hadn’t read a novel in years!
Back at the hotel, I sat at the little desk, my open laptop and head in my hands, tears bleeding onto my journal. How could I just remove that dream sequence? I had worked so hard on that scene, all it’s symbolism and metaphors. It set the stage for the whole novel, the looking back view and references to past lives lived.
I couldn’t let go but I couldn’t hang on. I pleaded out loud in that hotel room and looked at my journal where I had written the notes from our conversation. What would I do? It felt like my entire book had been taken away, its magic and beauty, the creative power I had used to nurture it swallowed whole by an emotion that defied words.
Afternoon falling on the day, I dried my tears and taking my journal, walked to Grosvenor Park. I laid in the grass, wondering how Kathryn would have felt. How her life would have looked here in 1988, in 1850. I watched the people around me, oblivious to my world falling away beneath me, a prison of my own making, testing my faith.