Friday, March 21, 2014

That Struts and Frets

21st March 2014

I am being honest with you and glossing over nothing - as a Scot this comes quite naturally to me: this time in a writer's life is terrifying. Waiting, waiting, waiting. She who ferrets herself away in closets and rooms without a view, who buries her identity in mythical characters, is suddenly thrust into a fairly pale limelight and asked to justify her hours. The die has been cast. The die lies on the floor in a darkened room waiting for the lights to go on.  Ironically for a book entitled Veil of Time, only time will tell. The dawn will come up on this particular day and all will be revealed. The rabbit who once sat on my snow-obliterated wall during bitter winter mornings, is no longer there. March has brought some relief to her and moved my good omen elsewhere to patches of burgeoning green.
I have a new omen. I have that black cat that wandered into my book launch and sat in the lap of the druidess. In desperate times, we look to our rabbits and cats. The solid wall of reason provides no comfort in these best of times/worst of times. The paradigm has to shift, and it goes to where are ancestors looked - to the whimsy of animals driven better than us along the flow of our universe.
Here's an admission: every month around this time, I sit for twenty minutes listening on-line to an astrologer named Diana Garland, a fellow Brit, sum up the stars for me, not just for me but for any of these scorpio types. We are heavy beasts, we scorpios. Legend has it that the scorpion iconography used to have to do with snakes. We are the original serpents in the first wet garden of Eden.

 We are slithery, sneaky animals with a ferocious bite, well suited to the arts. But anyway, I listen to Diana Garland because I believe the stars and the moon have as much to do with our path as anything else, probably more so. There isn't anything in this mysterious universe that doesn't work in sync with the rest of it. If we realised that earlier we wouldn't put ourselves through so much anguish. I wouldn't put myself through so much anguish.


So in this terrifying ride of a literary life, I listen to the stars - I go outside at night and am quieted by them. My astrologer wasn't giving me a five star month for April, I might add. Pretty much I am in a time of character-building struggle until fabulous July. It all has to do with planet Mars, but don't ask me for the details. I am looking at all of this through a wide-angled lense.
There is a strain of paranoia in me, I am realising, which gets fed heartily by being thrown onto the stage of life under the hot glare of the spotlight....that struts and frets its hour upon the stage...but let's hope not "and then is heard no more." And that's the rub, isn't it? Even in your writer withdrawal, the quest is undeniably there to be heard. So I have no one to blame but myself.

My publicist sends me the good reviews. My paranoid self warns me that she is withholding the bad ones. A Brazilian publisher has bought the translation rights into Portugese, but the jaded part of me asks why it cost so little and where are the other foreigners? The UK, for instance. My Scottish friends who have read the book declare unilaterally that it will do well in Scotland. But it won't be in bookshops there until a British publishers buys it from Simon and Schuster. Personally I think my book will do better over there, because the way the characters are, the way they interact, might be something of a mystery to my American audience. The older man Jim, wry as older Scottish men so often are, might not make as much sense to someone on this side of the The Pond.
So let me leave you with a line or two from one of the good reviews. It is on a site called Two Classy Chics:
Veil of Time is a thoroughly interesting, wonderfully crafted story that takes you through a journey of a thousand years. Very creative and fun!


  1. I really enjoyed Veil of Time. You are an engaging storyteller. I only wish the villains in your piece had not been all Christians. You wove a lovely tale. I am looking forward to a sequel.

  2. Thanks so much for the comment! Please understand I am not picking a fight with Christians (my father was a well known Christian speaker and I counted myself among the evangelical in my youth!) What I am trying to show is that the church's attitude towards women has been damaging to humankind. All I am asking my readers to look at is when this attitude began and trying to see if there is a better way to think religiously than in strictly patriarchal terms. Some of the church's history with women (the witch burnings, for instance) has been swept under the carpet, and it is always healthy to let these things come to light. My argument is with the Christian establishment down the years, not with people and their individual faith. Thanks for commenting - I appreciate the dialogue. Claire