Thursday November 15th 2018

Reaching for the light

Hi there everyone,
Things have been a bit hectic in the Cranmer household since Christmas. My long awaited book is very, very, nearly at the finish line, just waiting for the ISBN number and barcode and it’s away to the printers at last. It hasn’t helped that the beautifully designed cover went up in a puff of smoke when one of our computers decided to go “bang” on Christmas Eve, and that mysteriously the back up copy had dematerialised from my computer stick thingy (excuse my lack of technical knowledge), not sure if this was a case of Ghosts in the Machine, or a Devil on my Shoulder, but it certainly helped put a Spanner in the Works!
Anyway, my husband thinks he knows how to retrieve it, so all is not lost.
I’ve been tootling away, trying to network and market, and all those things you’re supposed to become good at, if you’re ever going to build, what is known as, a writers platform. I tell you, with the view from up here it feels less of a platform and more of a scaffold, because, despite all appearances to the contrary, I’m actually quite shy. I’m also clearly a bit simple too, why would anyone who prefers a cosy night in wearing carpet slippers to a night out on the tiles, want to give their private life this much exposure? Why, for that matter, would their first book be a warts and all autobiography of their very private life, thus exposing their potential lunacy for the world to see?
It’s a very good question, and the more the collywobbles of pre-launch nerves hit me, the more I ask myself this.
But, you see, it’s a bit like being on a rollercoaster, by now I’m way too committed to jump off!
A long, long time ago, when I first decided to set my course upon this path, I took a big decision.
I could live my life exactly as I was, nose to the grindstone, being a dutiful wife, mother and employee, day after day, being what one might term “comfortably miserable”. Or I could change.
Change.
That word strikes a thrill into the hearts of some people, and terror into many doesn’t it? And between you, me and the gatepost, I was probably amongst the latter.
I didn’t realise it then, but each of us has a destiny to fulfill, and we can resist it, but sooner or later it will get us and drag us kicking and screaming back onto our path.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t think I’d blundered too far off it, I am sure that the one thing I learned working at my desk examining peoples mortgage requests day after day, was how to type really fast, and a good basic grounding in computers.
Before that job I was a one fingered typist who didn’t even know how to turn a computer on!
When you want to write books for your living a certain fluidity over the keyboard is essential, especially if your longhand is as undecipherable as mine. I would have had to write mystery novels, the mystery being, no-one would have understood what they were about. Even my shopping lists require three call backs from my bewildered husband “Jane, do we want beans, bones, bells or buttons?…What, oh, it says mushrooms …Really?”
You think I’m kidding?
Dan rang me at work one day “Hey Mum, what’s this note say that you’ve left me? It looks like “On 7 no Dan 7 is 7”
I couldn’t remember, I sat there wracking my addled brains…why had I left him a note?
“7is7?” we kept repeating backwards and forwards in bewilderment.
Then I picked up a pen and wrote the message again on7nodan7is7, and my terrible handwriting revealed the secret.
“Orthodentist!”
Yup, Dan was about to be late for an appointment!
So, excuse the digression, you see, there was a point to me being where I was at that point in time, but now I’d come to the end of the line.
I had always wanted to be a writer, but I’d long lost the knack.
I didn’t even know what I wanted to write about anymore.
It took quite a while for the penny to drop.
Over numerous lunchtimes I would be inveigled by my friends to tell them true stories from my familys, and my own, past.
You see, although we were an ordinary family, we seemed to be caught up in a lot of extraordinary happenings.
Ghosts, and spirits, and haunted houses, premonitions, prophetic dreams, psychic pets, possessed dolls, musical instruments that played by themselves in the dead of night.
One day someone said to me “I love your stories… I wish you’d write a book about them!”
Bingo!
So, I have.
But I’m still petrified, and you know what, I don’t know what’s more scary, failure or success.
It’s safe here, in my world of secure mediocrity. Hiding behind my laptop, and my bottle bottom glasses, and my Ghostwriter hat.
There’s a saying, that I am bound to misquote, but it goes something like, we are not afraid of our inferiority, we are afraid that we are powerful beyone measure. Well, something like that, it’s very inspirimg.
That light I was on about, it shines on the inside.
We’re all a bit afraid of it aren’t we?
But who knows when letting it shine might become a beacon of hope for someone else?
Be who you were meant to be.
Jane Cranmer, the Ghostwriter, signing off.
Twinkling, just ever so slightly!

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