And A Happy New Year
by V Rose Dahrke
Lo, I return to you as I left: endearingly insane, mildly inebriated, and permanently your fucking hero.
Sometimes you have to let the quiet voices have their moment.
I have a legitimate reason for my absence this time: I’ve only lately returned from my post-graduation pilgrimage to the UK. As you would guess, there is much to be discussed.
First, however, there is this: one of my closest friends and most consistent readers has started a blog documenting his own novelistic adventures. If you like what you read here, yet occasionally yearn for evidence of an actual linear thought process, you may want to check it out. You can find him here.
Secondly, yes, I spent the first two weeks of this new year living in a small town in Cambridgeshire with my parents. My father has been stationed at a local RAF base for close to a year now, and since Pat decided to take a winter break course that consisted of a tour of London’s museums, art exhibits, and theaters, it seemed a perfect opportunity for myself and the baby to go visit my parents and brothers. It was a lovely trip, and I did make time to go up to London twice to see a few things.
The one thing that I absolutely demanded to see was Poet’s Corner in Westminster Abbey. I had a rather strange experience there, one loosely tied to my primary goal in going: seeing the tomb of Geoffrey Chaucer. I did indeed find it, and as I was standing there, elated, high on the surreality of moment, I turned my father who had followed me. The shocking realization came to me that, for once, he actually, totally, completely understood my thoughts and feelings in that moment. This is, as anyone who has ever met my father knows, no little thing.
I do suppose I left myself open to it; my family has never one that was terribly accepting of emotional intimacy, and from the moment I got there I had been less concerned with defending the vulnerabilities which the five of us take such care to guard. I suppose I had just stopped caring. For example, while I had told my brothers about Descent and even discussed portions of it with them, I’ve never told my parents that I was working on a novel. This time, I took my manuscript with me, all four hundred pages of it. I fitted it into a binder sitting in their living room, my father not five feet from me. I worked on editing it while sitting at the kitchen table next to my mother. I have always been desperately secretive, and this time I at least let them see that there was something to see, even if I didn’t let them read a word. I haven’t the least idea why I did it all.
Of course, I didn’t get a huge amount done. I started reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun and for some reason it stirred an older project of mine to the forefront of my brain, an epic poem that I abandoned some years ago due to lack of, well, plot and characters. Somehow, I have these now, at least in a vague, nebulous, prototypical form. I made notes, and once I have finally finished Descent I will return to them.
For now, though, I must go refine some things. I can’t let it be seen in the state it’s in just yet.