Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table

Fish out of Water Chapter 1

Fish Out of Water

by Vivienne Tuffnell

Chapter 1

Isobel could pinpoint the exact day, even the exact moment when her life began its inexorable slide from amiable muddle to downright anarchy and dangerous chaos. She had a number of occasions to choose from, but the real moment stood out like a light on a dark night.

It wasn’t the moment when Mickey, her husband of three weeks said, somewhat apologetically,

“I hate to tell you this, Izzie, but I have a terrible feeling that God is calling me to become a minister.”

It was, however, a supremely incongruous moment, as anyone less like an embryonic priest she couldn’t imagine. He was lying on their brand new leather sofa, more or less naked, and was holding out a wine glass for a refill, and she had topped it up with a shrug and had merely remarked, mildly,

“Well, you could have told me that before you married me!”

“I know. I tried. There never seemed to be the right moment,” he said, apparently contrite, and had set down his glass and pulled her onto the sofa to christen it a second time.

It wasn’t the moment late on a dull Wednesday afternoon when her brother Simon had phoned her, incoherent with grief and confusion, to tell her that their parents were both dead, had in fact died in the strangest of suicide pacts so contrary to anything they had ever done or said that even now, six months later, Isobel couldn’t look at their urns without a burning of sudden rage and couldn’t think what she could do with those ashes if she wasn’t allowed to chuck them on the compost heap as her every emotion told her to do.

It wasn’t the moment when she woke up one morning, counted, then counted again, and realised that not only was she pregnant, not unusual in itself, but that she had passed the twenty week mark she’d never got even close to in previous brief pregnancies, and that the chances were she was actually going to have a baby at the end of this.

Nor was it the moment when the stag stepped out into the headlights of her car.

It was the moment when she straightened up, caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror over the bathroom sink, and totally failed to recognise herself. She’d stood there, her feet bare and wet, and gazed at the face staring back at her and wondered who was looking at her. It had not been a nice moment at all.

It had come on the day when her daughter Miranda, now just over two years old, had flooded the house and called the emergency services, and in one of those little master strokes of irony Isobel was to come to recognise much later, she’d done it all wearing a fairy costume. The outfit, which Isobel regarded as an abomination and refused to allow her to wear except on high days and holidays, had been a gift from Simon’s wife, and consisted of an absurdly frilly pink dress sewn all over with shimmering sequins, a set of pink gauzy wings which shed glitter over everything to such an extent that Mickey had celebrated Communion with specks of it on his cheekbones, raising some unwholesome questions in the minds of the more imaginative in the congregation. To top the whole horrible outfit off, there was a pink magic wand with a tinsel covered star on the end. Isobel hated the damn thing, but somehow, Miranda had that day managed to dress herself entirely unaided and Isobel was too tired from a broken night with the baby to bother making her change. Dealing with the inevitable tantrums of an excessively bright and self willed two year old was actually more exhausting than being up at night with a four month old baby who thought two in the morning was a great time to have a one-to-one with Mum. That morning, Isobel’s nipples hurt, her eyes felt gritty and her back was aching, but she still had work to do, so as soon as Luke was snoozing serenely in his rocking crib, she grabbed her easel and paints and started work while Miranda was happily floating round the house singing to herself in a mindless, tuneless croon, apparently turning everything into clouds of flowers as she informed her mother from time to time.

Isobel set to work to try to finish the painting she’d promised would be finished three weeks ago; a series of photographs were pegged to the top corner of the easel and she laboured with tired eyes to try and capture the light in the eyes of a child on a swing. Miranda was lost in her own little world, and when she did speak to her mother, it generally only required responses like, “Yes, darling,” to keep her happy.

She’d decided some time ago that she was better off using acrylic paints as not only did they dry faster, they could be washed off with plain water, not something to discount when small fingers seemed to get everywhere, but today, she wished she could have used oils, as they seemed to give a greater brightness to the kind of details she was trying to perfect today. She sighed; first thing that morning, she’d caught herself in her materials cupboard with the lids of the bottles of turpentine and linseed oil undone, inhaling softly and losing herself in a nostalgic haze. Poppy seed oil gave a lovely sheen, especially when you were doing faces filled with light and happiness, but linseed today had a perfume that made her think of garlic bread and red wine, of drunken lunches only a few years ago, and not, as Mickey suggested, of cricket bats at the start of the season.

“Must have a wee,” Miranda said abruptly, and ran off up the stairs, waving that wretched wand.

“Don’t forget to wash your hands,” Isobel called and then got lost in the painting.

Luke snuffled in the crib, reminding Isobel of another reason why she couldn’t use oils and the accompanying mess and stench of turps and linseed oil. She moved her foot and the string round it rocked the crib until the snuffling subsided and was replaced by the soft sound of deep sleep. She tried to concentrate, while keeping an ear out for noises upstairs. The toilet flushed. Miranda had decided to toilet train herself shortly after the arrival of her baby brother Luke. She’d stood and watched her mother change a particularly vile nappy and had stood thinking for some time.

“Nappies are for little babies,” she said. “I’m not a little baby. Why do you make me wear nappies, Mummy?”

Isobel had been astounded at that; and even more astounded at how fast Miranda had become first clean and then dry, with minimal involvement from her or Mickey. However, it did have disadvantages. The holding power of a miniscule bladder had meant that any trip of more than half an hour had to be meticulously planned around where public loos were located and which of the department stores had loos accessible to a pushchair. It meant that Isobel rarely went out anymore at all, unless it was to one of those groups for mothers with small children, where such concerns were the norm, or she went alone, when Mickey was able to be with the children for a few hours. Though while Luke was still being breastfed, Isobel’s excursions were limited by that, and she was usually summoned home by a frantic call to her mobile, to arrive back to find Luke red faced and screaming with hunger and her own breasts about to explode.

She sighed again, and wiped away a drop of sweat that was running down her face. Even though it was June, it was still quite cool and she wondered why she was sweating. Another drop fell, this time onto the painting, and distracted, she looked up.

Water was running from the light fitting and dropping like an indoor rainstorm, and for the first time, Isobel could hear running water.

“Oh shit,” she said, and very calmly, unhooked Luke’s string from her foot, moved her easel away from the dripping water and hurtled upstairs.

The bathroom seemed to have turned into a domestic version of Niagara Falls; the taps at the sink were full on and water was spilling out onto the floor, now almost an inch deep in water. The bath taps were on too, but fortunately the bath had not quite filled yet. She tried to turn the basin taps off, which took some time as they had been jammed on, and then turned the bath taps off too, and then turned to see Miranda, standing daintily on the plastic step stool she used to reach the sink or the toilet. Her bare feet were wet but the rest of her was dry and she was happily waving the wand at the taps. When she was the look on her mother’s face, she said,

“It wasn’t me; the fairies made the taps get stuck. I was using magic to make them stop,” and skipped off down the stairs, leaving wet and twinkly footsteps behind her all the way.

Isobel stood silently looking at the devastation around her and was very glad of her daughter’s strategic retreat, because it meant that first she wasn’t tempted to throttle her, and second, because she wasn’t going to be there to hear her mother’s very colourful language as she tried to bail the bathroom floor into the bath with a bath toy like a seaside bucket. She soon gave up with that and ripped up the bathroom carpet and heaved it into the bath to drain while she attempted to mop the sodden wooden boards beneath with all the already damp towels that Miranda had used to make an island around her step.

After ten minutes, Isobel’s hands were red and aching from wringing out wet towels and the floor still looked like a lake, so she fetched the mop and began to use that. At least she could do that standing up. The doorbell rang.

“Go away, I’m not in,” she snarled under her breath and for a moment the charm seemed to work and nothing happened, beyond Luke waking up and beginning to grizzle. Then the doorbell began to ring as though someone had taped it down.

“GO AWAY!” Isobel yelled. This was really not a good time for someone to call to see the vicar, unless of course they were psychic and had come round with their wet’n’dry vacuum cleaner.

As soon as she’d yelled, Luke’s crying intensified and had become his usual enraged bellow of indignation that he had been ignored for more than ten seconds, and not only did the ringing not stop, someone started pounding both on the front door and the back door simultaneously.

Isobel hurtled wetly down the stairs and flung the front door open, ready to yell at whoever was making her life a misery, but the words of anger died in her throat. There was a scared looking policeman standing there.

“Mrs. Trelawny? We had an emergency call from this number and all we could hear was a screaming baby,” he said. “Is everything all right?”

A second policeman, who’d obviously been at the back door, now appeared and stared at Isobel. Luke’s crying had settled into his “I can do this all day if I have to,” mode, and Isobel felt her own eyes fill with tears.

“No, I’m not all right,” she said, feeling her lower lip tremble childishly. “But it’s nothing you two can do anything about. Domestic disaster.”

The first policeman was clearly concerned over Luke’s crying.

“May we come in?” he said.

Isobel shrugged and stepped back and let them in, and went straight through to the living room to pick up Luke and at least assure them that the baby was crying for very ordinary reasons. She was holding a now quiet Luke when she saw what Miranda had been doing while she’d been mopping the bathroom.

The phone was lying off the hook, so it was now clear who had made that emergency call, but Miranda was standing at Isobel’s easel, brush in hand.

“I’ve finished your painting for you, Mummy,” she said and beamed at them all.

Isobel nearly dropped the baby. Six weeks’ intermittent work had now been erased with what was for two years old, a brilliant piece of painting. Isobel sat down on the sofa, her knees weak and felt the first tears begin to fall. A drip from the ceiling fell onto Luke’s face and set him crying with surprise. The two policemen stood there, looking embarrassed and helpless, and said nothing. Miranda put the brush, the handle thick with paint into her mother’s hand, and Isobel stared at it, and passed it from hand to hand, spreading the paint randomly all over her own shaking hands.

“As you can see,” Isobel said thickly. “This is a purely domestic disaster, nothing criminal or dangerous. I think my daughter must have called 999.”

The second policeman bent down and put the phone back on its receiver and then put the whole thing back onto the little table near the door.

“That was very clever of her,” he said, uncertainly.

“On the television,” said Miranda calmly, “They always tell children that if they are in trouble to call 999.”

“Not this sort of trouble,” Isobel said, wiping her eyes with the side of her hand and getting paint into her eyes. “Oh, God, now what have I done. That hurts!”

The policemen were glad of something they could do, and helped Isobel wash the paint from her eyes, and when they’d made certain that there was no real reason for them to be there, they made there way to the front door. Isobel followed them and Miranda was in the process of running after them when she caught her arm and stopped her.

“Now, Miranda,” she said. “You’ve wasted the time of these two nice men. What do you say to them?”

Miranda looked gravely at the two young men and considered her options. Despite having a formidable vocabulary and excellent diction, she had some time since worked out that on certain people, cute worked a hell of a lot better than clever. Waving her wand graciously at them, she curtseyed and lisped,

“Sowwy!” and frolicked back up the stairs.

“I can only concur,” said Isobel. “Sorry!”

“Mrs. Trelawny,” said the first officer. “Would you mind me offering you some advice?”

She looked at his young earnest face and wondered if she had ever been that young.

“If you like,” she said, uncertainly.

“Try to prioritise,” he said. “You’re obviously exhausted. Your little girl is a real handful and you don’t look like you’re coping. Painting is a nice hobby but maybe when the kids are a bit older…?”

Isobel managed to smile and thank him but once the door was shut, she went back upstairs and returned to mopping out the bathroom muttering under her breath,

“I’m a professional bloody artist not some useless amateur.”

She mopped and mopped till the floor was as free of water as she could manage and she knelt down and began to dry the boards with one of those magic micro-fibre cloths that hold huge volumes of water. When she straightened up, she saw herself in the mirror and wondered who it was looking in at her. She took a minute or two to realise that it was a mirror not a window and that the tired, grey looking face with boring mouse coloured hair cut to be long enough to cover the piercing scars on her ears but not long enough to tie back, belonged to her, and a sense of horror swept over her and she began to cry in earnest now.

“Where did I go?” she asked herself in the mirror, so shocked that she no longer looked the way she imagined she looked.

She hadn’t missed the dreadlocks when she’d had them cut off three months before Mickey went to theological college; they’d been a nightmare to keep clean and they’d itched too. She hadn’t really missed all her many, many earrings, and even now, most of the holes had healed up without trace; after all in over seven years nearly every cell in her body had replaced itself. Even so, she’d kept her hair to this length for years just to hide her ears, even if there wasn’t much to hide now. Her eyebrow piercing had healed and so had her nose piercing, but she still had her own image filled with details like that, even though no one now knew anything about them. She’d drawn the line at neat little pearl studs in the only holes left open in her ears, but she’d even stopped bothering with the arty, dangly earrings she’d usually worn; babies and earrings can be a painful mix.

What she couldn’t get over was the fact that the face staring back at her didn’t look like her at all. Surely her hair had a better colour than that dull shade a house mouse would be ashamed of? Surely it shone more than that? Why had her eyes turned to this shade of mud when they should be amber? And why were there shadows under her eyes that made her look hollow-cheeked and deathly?

“I’ve got to do something about this,” she said to her reflection and flung the wet cloth into the bath with the sodden carpet that didn’t look like it was worth saving anyway.

The doorbell rang again and Isobel slowly went down the stairs to answer it, hoping it wasn’t anything important.

They’d only been in this parish a few weeks and they were still getting a lot of the social calls that ate into daily life, and meant that Isobel’s life often consisted of answering the door to parishioners who wanted to meet their new minister and his wife and children. Mickey, of course, was out most of the time, and Isobel floundered at times dealing with people when she was in the middle of something, but had somehow managed to stay on the right side of politeness.

It was Mrs. Hall, a middle aged lady who Isobel had a feeling was probably in charge of the flower rota or something of the sort.

“Hello Isobel, you’re looking well. Is the vicar in?” she said breezily and Isobel felt her hackles rise at the obvious insincerity.

“No, sorry, he isn’t,” Isobel said. “He’s out all day, I’m afraid. I can’t ask you in; we’ve had a flood. The taps got jammed and the bathroom got flooded.”

“That’s OK, I don’t need to use the bathroom.” Mrs Hall said and began to push into the hall. Isobel stood her ground and Mrs. Hall found herself in the uncomfortable position of either needing to shove Isobel out of the way or of backing off. She backed off, looking puzzled.

“Sorry,” said Isobel, managing a nice smile. “It really is like the Somme the morning after. I’m sure you wouldn’t want visitors if you’d just had the morning I’ve had. I’ll let Mickey know you called. Was it anything in particular?”

“No, nothing special,” said Mrs. Hall. “If you need any help, you will just ask, won’t you?”

Isobel managed an even nicer smile.

“It’s all under control now, but thanks. I appreciate it,” she said. “It’s just going to take a bit of time to sort out. See you soon.”

When she’d shut the door, Isobel went back to where Miranda was playing quietly with her baby brother on the living room floor and stared at her ruined painting and wondered what the hell she could do. She eventually decided that Miranda’s additions were still damp enough to wash off, even if it took off what she’d added today, so she took the whole canvas upstairs and using the shower spray managed to wash very lightly until the extra paint her daughter had put on was washed away and the painting was restored to how it had been when she’d started work that morning. So at least one thing has been salvaged from the chaos of the morning, even if the bathroom carpet was ruined. She took the painting and its easel and left it in a corner of her and Mickey’s bedroom to dry and bolted the door from the outside and went down to get lunch ready.

That evening, over a grown up dinner of Chinese chicken and noodles and a bottle of red wine, Isobel told Mickey about her horrible day and wept into his black shirt when they snuggled up on the sofa later.

“Do you think this is post-natal depression?” he said after a while and a lot of tissues. “I mean, you were pretty low after Miranda, and you did lose your Mum and Dad while you were still expecting Luke. It’s only natural you’ll feel low sometimes.”

“Low? Low?” wailed Isobel. “I couldn’t get much lower if I went potholing. I have six commissions to do and I never get the time or space to do them. If I don’t get them done even near to when I said I’d do them I may lose them. And I never get the time to do any real painting any more. It would be bearable with the kids if I didn’t get the parish hammering on the door the whole time.”

He was thinking about it, she could see that.

“Maybe you need a studio,” he said.

“Yeah and how are we going to manage that? Childcare and a studio? On what I earn, never mind your stipend? I don’t think so.”

She buried her face in the dark soft leather and sobbed.

“No, I’ve been thinking,” he said. “Maybe we can manage it. Look, the sale of your parent’s house is going through any time soon. I know it’ll be split two ways between you and Simon, but there’ll be a lot there. Not enough to buy a house for us outright, maybe, but enough so we’d only have a small mortgage. What about looking for a small place somewhere quiet that we can use as a holiday home and we can have for when I retire? If I ask around, I reckon there are a few people who’d help out with the kids during the week if you went off to this small place to get on with painting. Even weekends too sometimes. I know it’s not perfect, but it might help enough to get you through this.”

Isobel sat up abruptly, and gazed at her husband in wonder. He had glitter from his daughter’s preternatural wings on his nose and his lips had a purplish stain from the wine, but right now, he looked good enough to eat.

“That’s a brilliant idea,” she said. “But in the mean time, I have an even better one.”

“Which is?”

She put her hand on his thigh and leaned over to kiss him.

“This,” she said, and just then a thin wail of infant irritation floated down the stairs.

“Damn,” said Mickey and watched as Isobel levered herself out of the sofa and padded upstairs. He waited for some time, and after almost an hour he finally went upstairs to look for her. She was sprawled in the big armchair in Luke’s room; the sleeping baby lay in her lap, her shirt was open, her nursing bra adrift and milk was dribbling down her stomach. She was fast asleep. He took his son from her lap and put him in his cot and then with a much greater effort, eased the mostly asleep Isobel to her feet and guided her along the passage to their own room, held back the duvet and helped her slide into bed. She raised her eyes sleepily to him.

“Where were we?” she said.

“It’ll keep,” he said and tucked her up. She was snoring softly before he reached the light switch.


January 10, 2009 - Posted by | Cafe Literati, drawing, love, personal, Viv's Novels, women, writing | , , ,


  1. Great to see this appearing viv! I will comment on it later, as I have little time to read it properly at the mo, I’m working on a track I need to finish by Monday.

    Comment by kevmoore | January 10, 2009

  2. Yes, great to see this here! I have just come through -I need quite a long time to read in English… – and to tell the truth: I FEEL TOTALLY EXHAUSTED!!!! I feel like a nervous wreck!
    Not because of the reading, but because you create such a true situation that I felt I was Isobel myself(being a painter helps…). Not easy surely to make me feel like that as I never had children, so in fact I should not be able to connect to such a “domestic disaster”… but I did connect, much too much.

    Such a great start for a novel and I can only hope now that you will find one day a publisher for it, wherever, as I definitely want to go on reading it. And I know I will, one day…

    Thnaks for this generous gest, Viv.

    Comment by Miki | January 10, 2009

  3. Various of the events are actual real ones, including the flood and the arrival of the police, that happened to a friend of mine, though not on the same day. She was on the phone to me when water started pouring through the ceiling, and hung up on me with the words, “What the f***?” She had to ring back later and tell me what had happened.
    The altering of the painting was just my horrid imagination: along the lines of, “Now she’s down, what is the worst thing I can now do to her?”
    Good luck with the track Kev, and thank you both!

    Comment by viv66 | January 10, 2009

  4. Viv, I really enjoyed that! I saw it here earlier and thought I’d wait until I had time to sit down and read it properly. So here I am, with a couple of cheese biscuits with cheddar and a small pot of pickled cabbage. Oooh, I know how to live! LOL I love the way you’ve tied the disaster together – its exactly how these things happen (well, to me, anyway!). I want to follow what happens next, now! Does she get her studio? Does she manage to juggle family with time to paint? What does she do about the loss of her own identity? Questions, questions! 🙂

    Comment by jennypaws | January 10, 2009

  5. I did the same, Jenny, I waited until I had the right time to read it, I was so excited to see it here! Ad do you know what! I know how to live too, as I has cheddar myself… you won’t believe it, but we have only English cheese here at home, and what for ones! Some French would want to kill me for this betrayal…
    nd yes, Viv has done it it great so far, and one really starves (good that we have some cheddar though 🙂 )to know how it goes on, which is the best sign ever of high quality.
    I love the intro too, Mickey’s surprising announcement of God’s call,soon after the marriage… what a spectacular way to start!
    Well Jenny, we will need to find a publisher for the novel if we want to get the answers to your questions.

    Comment by Miki | January 11, 2009

  6. Interesting to read how you put some real events together… in fact it is often the way how I sketch when I am outside, I pick elements from all around me and put them together on the paper… it always give a very interesting, real but uncommon, view of the place…

    Comment by Miki | January 11, 2009

  7. Ooh such nice comments….
    I shall post the synopsis to tantalise more.

    Comment by viv66 | January 11, 2009

  8. In some ways, this is the most effective way anyway of writing fiction, because just as the best lies are mixed with truth, the best fiction comes with a fair dose of fact. The saying truth is stranger that fiction is very real because things happen in real life that in a novel would make people exclaim “OH hang on, do you really expect me to believe that?” Case in point, I was ordring drinks at a bar in Colchester a summer ago, and I did as I usually would and chatted to the guys next to me. One of the guest beers was called Nelson’s something or other and had a picture of Nelson on the pump, complete with missing arm and eye patch. I made a comment about the sailors drinking the brandy Nelson’s body was brought back in and said, “Not that there was that much left of him to bring back!” and laughed. The guys gave me a rather odd look and my drinks arrived and I headed back to my table. As I picked up the tray and turned to go, I suddenly saw the the guy on my left had turned a little and to my utter horror I realised he was missing his left arm and his left eye….I scuttled back to our table, crimson with shame and confusion, and told my colleagues what had happened. You really, really couldn’t make it up!

    Comment by viv66 | January 11, 2009

  9. Totally agree with you, Viv. I believe it is exactly the same in painting. No human imagination is able to create the incredible colours, shapes, lines, etc. which we find in nature. This is why, although I have a quite developed fantasy and sense of colours, I always go out in the nature and sketch or paint there, to “refill my cartridges” and my inner date bak of shapes and lines ans combinations…
    as I commented to Atlantic Bridge, it is extremely strange for me to read that novel, as it has been inspired by places where we have been, and true events. It really makes me believe in that fiction. I think the best fiction is “only” an extrapolation of reality, something like that (sorry, I can’t explain better in English).
    Great story you tell us here!

    Comment by Miki | January 11, 2009

  10. I know exactly what you mean, Miki. I am formulating a post about just such a concept, of a creative reality where all things already exist in some form. I mentioned about Michaelangelo and his statue of David, that David was somehow already there in the rock. It’s very very difficult to get at this set of ideas even in one’s own language and in some ways, it’s a form of enlightenment but without the Bo tree. I have a feeling that the answer exists somewhere in quantum physics and in higher maths but they are truly foreign langauges to me and I can about say hello, want a beer in both and no more!

    Comment by viv66 | January 11, 2009

  11. Well, Viv, this is exactly the reason why I loved maths so much. In my time I have done the highest maths one could do, and I have studied Quantum physics too (My studies in France and later in Germany were Maths/Physics) and I think that there is a part of truth in your feeling. The only thing is that I personally don’t believe that something like “an answer”, or better said like a definitive answer, really exists. For me the world is pure dynamism, and with it, the answers to our questions, and the questions too…
    But certainly high maths are a great model for a lot of stuff going on in our universe… for me, the most beautiful language I have ever learnt…

    impatient to see your post!

    Comment by Miki | January 11, 2009

  12. Definitely. It’s still in my head though right now and I am playing with the concepts. I do wonder if they will change when I put them down in writing, in the same way energy can be a wave or a particle but not at the same time. Or not.
    Blah, I wish I had the vocabulary for this. It’s weird because it transcends both physics and maths and wanders into mysticism, which is a language I speak, but I really, really suck at Maths.
    I agree that things are always in a state of flux, and that should entropy ensue, the universe as we know it will cease to be. Just as the search for The Theory of everything in physics is a grail quest, so too the Grail Quest is a search for…. ah I don’t like to say what it’s a search for.
    I did an intuitive collage of pictures a few years back, cutting pictures tht appealled to me from magazines and journals and so on and assembling a picture by instinct and not by intellect. When I had finished it I saw that I had put only one word, cut from a magazine, at the very top of the work. It read simply, “Grail.”
    I was working almost in a total trance, having deliberately switched off a lot of my rational functions to try and get to something I could never quite grasp about my life and its meaning. That one word at the top of a pyramid of pictures is quite revealing.

    Comment by viv66 | January 11, 2009

  13. Well Viv, I’ve just sat down with my coffee to read your “fish out of water” piece finally! I enjoyed the “domino effect” scene of chaos you create, and could imagine it as a great opening scene in a film. Also, your lead character seems to have an interesting backstory, which I think is important. Any chance of any more?

    Comment by kevmoore | January 20, 2009

  14. Rihgt now, sorry no. The whole novel is about 110,000words long and I’m not ready to put the whole lot up.
    The lead character does indeed have an interesting back story, and has been in two other novels as supporting character.
    I felt she had a novel of her own; this came in the middle.
    The thing is, they aren’t actually characters to me; in my head, all the characters are real living people who exist whether I write about them or not.

    Comment by viv66 | January 20, 2009

  15. I totally get that with your characters – When I write, the whole thing is actually happening in my head, and I just sit there and describe it. there’s probably some pills i can get for that, but I won’t cos it’s too much fun!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 20, 2009

  16. I suppose Kevin was not really asking for 110 000 words!!!
    But judging by the comments here, I am sure that many people will wait with impatience for the fish to come really out of the deep and dark waters of anonymity 🙂
    Be sure, Viv, that we will be among your first readers when the novel comes out!

    Comment by Miki | January 20, 2009

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