Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Just what you would expect in a strange, strange world.

Just the oddest thing happened to me yesterday.  I felt as though I’d been sorting out my clothes and discovered that Narnia really does begin at the back of the wardrobe.
Cast your mind back to my previous blog post, in which I said that I had just finished writing a very difficult passage of human interaction.

For the purposes of this blog post let’s call the characters involved in this Hugh and Eleanor, otherwise I won’t be able to blog this until 4 more books have been published and I want to tell you now, not in 2 years’ time.   And that’s strange enough by itself – giving fictional characters aliases to allow them to appear disguised in the real world!!

Well, Hugh and Eleanor have become very dear to me.  I believe this happens quite a lot with writers of fiction; the characters appear out of nowhere and seem to start telling their stories themselves.  All I have to do is take time out to really look and listen and concentrate, and their story kind of unfolds before the imagination, leaving only the task of actually writing it down.  In so doing, I come to love them dearly; they become as real to me as members of my family.  In fact, between writing novels, meeting people online and stranger-watching in the place where I live, what reality is becomes quite hard to define!

So Hugh and Eleanor fall in love, and through much adversity finally get to be together, only to find that in the daily domestic round living together is not as easy as they had expected.

The humungous row I had to write was Hugh and Eleanor struggling with remarkable lack of success to communicate effectively with one another.  But they do love each other dearly, and their path of love together forms a significant proportion of what the book I’m writing now is all about.

I finished wrestling with this difficult and demanding passage telling the tale of this couple in love on the evening of Valentine’s Day, and I read it to the Badger over the cusp of midnight into Valentine’s Day.  So somehow his and my love, and our stories, got twined together with Hugh and Eleanor’s love, and their story.  Their relationship is not a re-telling of, or even like, my relationship with the Badger, but it has certain ordinary human commonalities that he and I – and I hope all readers – can surely relate to.

So yesterday, Valentine’s Day, after the Badger and I had exchanged cards and a kiss, off he went to work and I went to check correspondence and opened my email.
I sat there stunned, rooted to the spot.

There, in my inbox, sat an email from Hugh and Eleanor, “With love on Valentine’s Day”.

How could this be?  I was actually quite frightened to open it, in case some weird hacker had somehow got into my life and knew what I had been writing!

Well, I did open it eventually, and it was a book promo from a writer whose work I have purchased in the past, whose first name happens to be Hugh, and who has formed a professional alliance with his wife, whose first name happens to be Eleanor, and they are marketing their work as a joint enterprise, using Valentine’s Day as a platform for their promotion.

But, cor!  What a weirdness in a world of weird!  I shall keep that email.  And I’m glad to know Hugh and Eleanor are watching me as closely as I am watching them!!


Ganeida said...

lol You so totally cracked me up. Nearly as unsettling as the Celtic warriors I had heading my way through the supermarket one day. Decided then & then I needed to clear my head before I left the house!

Julie B. said...

I absolutely love when that happens. It's too infrequent for me, but when those God-incidences grace my life, it always makes me stop and look up and marvel, that He really does number my steps, know my thoughts, and graciously reminds me that He's right there. I need the reminders so often. I thought this was funny, but also very, very personal and touching.

Do you have a wardrobe? If so, when we visit might I look around in it for a while?

My verification word is imbedit....I know you could do something with that Ember. :)

Pen Wilcock said...

Imbedit? Nah. Too near Valentine's Day. Those characters I was writing about have a twinkle in the eye. Let's not go there...

Mim said...

Oh my.
Not sure whether I would have hit the delete button in my "EGADS!!!" moment or not!
God works in very mysterious ways....when our son had 'just that moment' had his motorcycle accident, I was listening to an odd, static-y message on our phone answering machine...I instantly knew God was telling me something was wrong with our son...in a way, He prepared me for the next few minutes when we were called that he'd had an accident.
According to our sons phone, he didn't call us!
But I save that message because I know God works in mysterious ways ;)

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness! He is definitely aware of everything :)

I truly love all these God-Incidences!!!


And if you do have a wardrobe...I want to be able to explore also :)

kat said...

Love it - but my first thought was
"I hope you're supporting your back properly, all that sittin' about, following your muse, on the bed"!!! then I wondered if the hot water bottle would cause the notepad to explode!! .... it's a very old fear of mine, the self igniting hot water bottle
Then I enjoyed your thoughtful, thought provoking writing x

Pen Wilcock said...

:0) Hello ladies!

kat, fret not - the hot water bottle is empty - sometimes I have real trouble from electrical appliances (I am a very electricky person) so the hot water bottle was because it is made of rubber and fends off the vibes a bit.

Mrs Bee - that's so interesting about your son! Once when my daughter had gone to London on the train late at night when she was only 16 I was very worried about her at home, and couldn't sleep. Some time past midnight the phone rang. It wasn't her, but it was her phone! She must have left it in her bag with the keypad unlocked, and it had phoned me by itself. So she had no idea I was listening, but I could hear her talking and laughing, and was able to go to sleep in peace.
Weird, eh?

Exactly as simply Maria says, a great reassurance in the heart that we are watched over, that we are not wandering alone, our Father cares and sees :0)

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh - and I don't have a wardrobe, only a clothes rail, which possibly explains why other people get all the way through to Narnia and I can only manage fourteenth century Yorkshire!

Jynene said...

...hmmm, a God Wink!

how fun! i love having 'found' you, your blog(s) and looking forward to more from you, when i thought there wasn't any more. i'm enjoying reading here so much!

you bless me! adding me to your blogroll... i'm stunned.
cyber hugs,
ps-last night was our book club meeting - we're all loving The Hawk and the Dove. What wonderful fun and discussion we had.

Jynene said...

oops! i meant webpages... :o)

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi Jynene - I love that phrase, 'God winks' :0)