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It’s early morning, 06:03 to be precise, in Protaras in Cyprus and from my hotel balcony I’m looking at one of the iconic views of Cyprus.
The church of Ayios Nikolaos, or Saint Nicholas. Yes, that St. Nicholas, the one famous for giving gifts. The ones the Dutch called Sinterklaas, better know to many as Santa Claus. If I was looking for divine inspiration then I can’t think of a more appropriate location. But I’m only looking for inspiration for my writing. Or more accurately, I’m trying to rid myself of a sense of guilt so that I can get on with my writing. I’ve been trying to finish writing The Brittle Sea for what feels like years. It’s currently at 52k words and I need about the same again which I’ll then edit down to 75k words. But it’s been hard going. Not because I haven’t got the story in my head, but because of the guilt I mentioned earlier.
Since losing my dog, Harvey, in June this year, I’ve been more than a little lost without him. We still have Holly, but Harvey came first and he was a character. He filled our lives with joy but his last year was marred by illness and it was a long hard struggle. In the end, he succumbed to nasal cancer and we decided we had to put him down. I stayed with him to the end, and that’s where this overwhelming sense of guilt comes into play. Basically I assisted in killing Harvey. I won’t kill anything, not a fly, spider or ant unless it’s absolutely necessary and a potential health risk. So assisting in putting Harvey down was such a hard thing to do and that’s where the sense of guilt comes from. I know, it was the kindest thing to do because he was suffering, but it was still the hardest thing I have ever done and I’ve found it hard going these last few weeks.
So, here I sit, watching people walking, swimming and generally enjoying themselves and I’ve come to the conclusion that life is a gift. But it’s a fragile thing, and it can be here today and gone tomorrow. It’s that simple.
I’m not at all spiritual, in fact I’m an out and out atheist, but I do believe we all have a gift that we can explore or ignore. I believe my gift is writing, and I’m pretty certain that if he could have talked, Harvey would have wanted me to get my finger out and get on with my writing.
Maybe in the end I did need a little divine guidance and the inspiration of a man dedicated to giving gifts to the needy. I’m told The Brittle Sea has the makings of a good novel. Maybe I need to stop the procrastination and move on to getting it done, before time really does run out.
Copyright (c) Tom Kane 2019