My current favourite title for my new book is “Calling to Kill” (previous title “The Pastor” was no good). I like the double meaning of “calling” (ringing on the phone, shouting, and a religious calling – and that is actually a triple meaning, I realise), and I also like the alliteration of the k-sounds.
I have completed the story (notice I do not say “finished the book” – the story is complete, but the book isn’t). 73 and a bit thousand words, and now I am up early every morning to edit, re-write, add and take away, until I reach at least a satisfactory result.
This story will be a lot funnier than my previous one. In Good Faith had its funny bits, but they were spread out, shall we say. This will have a constant comic thread running through it, and then the serious stuff will hopefully be like hidden gems that are uncovered little by little.
One of the challenges of writing is to transform what may be a clear enough visualisation in your head of physical places, to a description that makes sense to the reader. I’ve had to make drawings of the most important rooms that feature in the story, so that I could concretize the spaces, and make sure that measurements and ratios make sense.
I have a trusted friend who, as I finish my rough edit, will proofread, before I start sending the script to publishers. Been here before, but unlike the first one which took me years, I managed to finish this book in less than half a year, so I am hoping I shall have it published next year. Fingers crossed.
The picture is my drawing of one of the characters’ room. He lives in a bedsit in Acton. The place is based on a house in which I lived with my wife in 1999.
On Remembrance Sunday, 13th November, I had the pleasure of taking my daughter and two of her friends to the tiny village of Clare in Suffolk. The village sports an antique/second hand emporium that I like to visit, and the ruin-remains of what was once a motte-and-bailey castle, that my daughter likes to visit. But the main purpose of our visit on the 13th November was to take part in a Remembrance Sunday service.
The church of St Peter and St Paul in Clare is one of the around 500 medieval churches in East Anglia. The size and beauty of the church testifies to the wealth and importance of the area in the medieval period. Some interesting facts can be found on the church’s own website here. More on the history of the church on this Clare history website.
A remembrance service is yet another opportunity to reflect on the importance of sacred buildings, such as this, to our communities and to our souls. I may not share the regular church-goer’s literal belief in God, but there is no substitute for the sense of sacredness (in Norwegian we have the term “høytid“, which literally means a high, in the sense exulted, time) that the physical frame of a church building provides. It is one of the few remaining places where we come together, not to be entertained, but to create meaning in the occasion, by our actions and our togetherness.
In the case of this service to remember with gratitude and respect those who gave their lives in the two word wars of the last century, to save us from the tyranny of totalitarian regimes. Coming shortly after the divisive referendum, there is, I believe, healing in knowing that the entire nation is coming together, in similar actions all across the country, to unite around the values that bind us together as democrats and believers in the freedom and dignity of the individual.
The view from the top of the motte-and-bailey castle ruin of the village and church.
The straight and narrow(ish)..
The beautiful gallery was taken down in 1883 and restored in 1914, thank goodness.
The 18th century gotch, a word defined in OED as “A big-bellied earthenware pot or jug.”
The gotch was presented to the ringers in 1729 by the vicar, and the bell signifies it was from The Bell Pub. I wouldn’t mind being a ringer with such a vicar.
Stairs to gallery.
Close up of the wood in the gallery.
4 different floor surfaces in one shot.
Living ringers – the ring of eight bells is the heaviest in Suffolk