When writing my novel Tethered Braids (still in revisions) I worked with a brilliant writing coach, Kemlo. She kept me on track and when I had doubts I could ever finish, she was there telling me I could and should. As the scenes piled up and the story of Josefina, the main character, unfolded, Kemlo drilled into me the importance of making a connection with what happened to Josefina to how it affected her internally. Over and over again I heard Kemlo say, “What was she thinking? How did it make her feel?” Bring the senses to life.
As Johnny and I continue our travels on land I’m aware of how applicable Kemlo’s writing advice is to our days events.
I could tell you about the scary bus ride to the botanical garden in Ponta Delgada. Experiencing 40° C / 104° F heat in Cadiz. A splendid morning at the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. An outstanding dinner at Los Caracoles, family owned since 1835. A visit to Winston Churchill’s family home, where Johnny let everyone and I mean Everyone, know he is Winston’s direct descendant. The friendly fox that came every evening to our friends home in Kent to eat and take food back to her kits. Standing in Charles Darwin’s study where he wrote, then published in 1859 The Origin of Species. Walking up the 253 steps of the Great Pagoda in Kew Gardens and only stopping to catch my breath twice. Reconnecting and sharing laughs and memories with long time friends in Spain and England.
But what am I thinking/ feeling? I can say this–sometimes, I wish there was a magic wand to slow time down. Time to fully absorb the brief period of time before moving onto the next encounter. We’ve taken oodles of photos of places and people but the real emotional impact comes from the snapshots in my mind playing out the special moments on a continuous loop. Glimpsing a glint of sunlight on the stain glass church windows, the smile on the mother fox’s face (yes foxes smile) when she sees the food, how my food tastes better while sharing a meal with friends, smelling the garden flowers at the homes of historical giants, the hustle & bustle of the underground, hearing music in the streets. All the senses coming alive, making me feel like I’m dancing on sunshine.