Lifting back the curtains

Image of Puppet Show Guignol;
created by Mourguet Laurent , France (1769 – 1844)

Its a conflict: do I edit or do I blog?

I’ve finally set in motion tangible milestones for preparing my first novel for publication; steps that are intended to spur me on, to complete the final editing stage. The biggest leap of faith has been signing a contact with a book designer (Scarlett Rugers), who is very much in demand. This means that I really do need to be editing, and not blogging.

However, to keep you company whilst I am busy, below is the prologue of my soon to be released novel, When Rosa Came Home.

Borrowing from genres such as fantasy, magic realism and vintage children’s fairy tales, this contemporary novel is unashamedly whimsical, irrelevant and thought-provoking.

Really this should to be expected, for I have combined the most unusual, most engaging characters under one cover: a zombie poet, nurses who like to crochet magical rugs, a bearded lady, elephants from the dreamscape, a médecin sans medicine, clean electricity generated by cosmic dust, a turquoise python, pirates who like to dabble in acrobats, a jealous stable hand, a sleeping beauty with a secret, and a young girl who longs for a new sister.

As I move closer to the December 2013 release, I will provide more tasters and information on how to purchase your very own copy of When Rosa Came Home.

For now, there is the…………………


We are all storytellers, each and every one of us. In the process of living, unconsciously we compose chronicles to bequest to others: from commonplace tales to fragments of legend. This story that I offer is set in a land not that far away, in a time not that much different from now. It is my recollection of when Rosa came home. The clandestine sister who arrived on a peculiar southern wind, to sweep away the unrest that had fallen upon our home.

With her return came the stories: narratives of a sister that I had never heard of, tales from faraway places, chronicles of adventure. These stories, all these images of Rosa and her journeying, were brought to our doorstep by a most unexpected stream of guests. Visitors from far and near, who gifted us with their memories; which were eagerly added to the family’s treasure box of tales.

Much time has passed since then, and the responsibility of keeping safe these tales now rests with me. Rosa’s homecoming story has become a perpetual favourite, which pleases me greatly, for it is my hope that it will endure the passing of time and stand steadfast against the distractions of an increasingly babbling world. Its telling can easily soothe a disenchanted soul and reinforce the merits of camaraderie and kin. And it will soften even the most locked-away heart as, in the end, love really does conquer all and happily-ever-afters are possible.

Each time I tell this story, Rosa’s eclectic friends and spiteful foes materialise before my eyes, still vivid despite the passing of many years. From those long-ago recollections that her friends shared with me, I have been able to piece together Rosa’s life away from home. And it is these happenings that engage my audience, time after time. Small eyes light up when I describe Rosa, an eternal beauty in her last flush of youth. A collective holding of breath generally occurs when I invoke the image of the bright-eyed young woman, riding beneath the high-topped tent on the back of a snow-white Andalusian stallion. The small audience squirm delightedly, held in awe as I describe the plump turquoise python with golden eyes, nestled in Rosa’s midnight hair; as they both move to music few can hear. Hearts flutter at the part in the tale where her sun-browned beau fights off wily trapeze artistes, secretive black-clad men and blood-lusted pirates; to continue his voyage across the seas, back to his Rosa. A captivated audience hangs on my every word until the very end, when the final pieces of the puzzle are put neatly in to place.

Sadly, not everyone is capable of being enraptured by the magic of story. The cynic will always yearn to pull apart a story, wanting to unveil the exact point where fact slips in to fantasy; as some people have lost the ability to suspend judgement, fearful of even the simplest of pleasures. These same people squint at the marionette, itching to pull back the thick velvet curtain for a glimpse of the puppeteer’s hand. While others may oohh and aahh at the wonderment to behold in the circus ring, the doubter will instead take comfort in tsk tsking the worn costumes, sweat-streaked makeup and soiled sawdust. And those who put their faith in science alone will always try to rationally dissect the magician’s act.

The storyteller is not a stranger to the sceptic’s microscope; and the heaviness of doubt has worn many down. Still, a bard is duty bound to keep the magic of word alive. We are tasked with weaving such an engaging narrative that the decrier is silenced, and their fingers cease to itch, finally content to leave the curtain be.

Rosa’s story is best told through the eyes of the little girl that witnessed Rosa’s enigmatic return to the family; who eagerly collected the visitors’ anecdotes. Sit down and get comfortable, for I will take you back to that moment, to when I was that little girl, back to a treasured once upon a time.

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