Happy 13th Birthday
Today I am celebrating the thirteenth birthday of my novel. It is not a published novel, but it came into being thirteen years ago. I like to think it has matured with each birthday but as I continue to write I feel it has simply become a stroppy, unmanagable teenager, thinking it knows better than I, throwing tantrums and obstacles in my way. It will not be controlled or obey house rules, bringing home strange characters that I do not know and that I do not like. They are troublesome characters who want to get in the way, who want to go in their own direction and not in the direction I planned.
My novel of course, like all teenagers is getting the better of me. I wish it would come of age and evolve from the ugly duckling it is, to the beautiful swan I envisioned thirteen years ago. It certainly lacks ambition. It defies my best efforts to discipline it and insists on running off using language I am not at all happy with. It seems to lack style. Sometimes I ignore it for days on end. It remains in its room and I don’t go near it. I have read self-help books to help me deal with the issues. I am in a support group. I get regular advice from people more experienced that I, and still it misbehaves.
When I began to write this birthday celebration of my novel I was tempted to call it an anniversary. But anniversaries are more connected to death or marriage and I know some people might see similarities, but this unruly thirteen year old novel needs to move out and soon. We have outgrown one another and now I find I keep one eye on the shredder in the corner. But it has been around for a long time and I really do love it.
I am embarrassed at this stage and I know that it is time for this teenager to find a new home, but no matter how often I send it away it still finds its way back to me, full of regrets.
(c) Eithne Reynolds