Confessions of a Random Blogger

Dear Blog,

Today’s the day I muster the courage to confess: I have been cheating on you. You have never been far from my thoughts—in fact, I think of you many times per day, wanting to connect but unsure how to cut through the excuses and get in touch.

You mean so much to me.

‘Tis true that our relationship is still new and fresh but already you have become an invaluable part of my life. Our connection has broadened my world, added meaning and given me space to thrive, explore my playful self and express my vulnerabilities in words. You have introduced me to a vast number of fellow creatives across the globe—writers, photographers, poets and brilliantly-colourful characters. I miss my blogging world.

It’s not you, it’s me.

So, this is the reality–I miss you. My days the last fortnight have either been:

  • An exercise in awakening with head buzzing with fresh ideas, then I burn a beeline to my laptop, eager to write some zingy blog post then check in with those blogs I follow and cruise around for others. Do I do it? No. Instead, I descale the kettle, pair up my socks or perform any other procrastination sloggery that distracts me from sitting down and writing a damn post. Then I chastise myself when the sun goes down, slip between sheets with promises I shall rise with birdsong the next morning and embrace my blog. I have been sinking into I-need-to-blog-but-cannot-concentrate quicksand. Sheesh!
  • On rare days when my writing brain triumphed over fidgeting body and I sat determined at MacBook, fingers have danced across the keyboard, writing the penultimate chapter of my novel. You see, this is the confession: I have been cheating on you with my novel. You are both lifelines in ‘My Write Life’ but this novel keeps demanding I bring it to the boil, that I set each page alight and give readers a mighty fine page-turner. I am determined to complete this so, until my manuscript nets 100,000 words, you and me and the novel-in-progress must work together as a happy threesome.

Perhaps other bloggers sometimes feel this way?

Life can prove distracting. Procrastination is the devil’s work. Creative inspiration sometimes morphs into an elusive or even absent friend. But do hear me, my lovely blog—you are never far from my mind.

Let’s do lunch soon!

My best to you,

Estella x

P.S. As a writer, I am a perpetual magpie who collects images and ideas then ferrets them away for a day when they require an airing. I saved this brilliant comic by Summer Pierre a couple of years ago—I loved her fine cartooning and how adeptly she captured ‘Things I Think Every Day.’ It resonated with me, this daily cycle of life. Today, Summer’s illustration screams a wake-up call in my direction, an urgency to leap out of the daily slog cycle and write. Check out her fantastic Paper Pencil Life blog.

Jolt to the Heart

Flash fiction writing in twenty minutes–the perfect means to kickstart a day of carving new chapters in my novel. Thanks to The Daily Post for providing a morning prompt to write.

A Tale of Love and Loss

There is a man. He looks eighty. He is crossing the road whilst gently scolding his Pekingese for the dog’s meandering pace. She will have dinner waiting and promised to make his favourite: roast lamb with homemade mint sauce.

There is a woman. She looks young. She is navigating a sharp bend whilst swiping left and right with thumb across illuminated screen. She is seeking passionate connection on her mobile phone but most faces are a disappointment.

Ten seconds until they collide.

The woman is now kneeling, cradling the old man’s head. His legs are crumpled and his wee dog squeals. The woman is baying loudly, cursing her choices, fearing what next. This is a gut-churning scene.

Strangers amass around this pair—the crackled-faced man with slowing heart, the guilt-filled woman with broken heart. A heart-connection. Consequences of two lives making choices.

A crowd now surrounds. Some onlookers weep, some try to console. Sirens blare loudly, the alarming volume increasing as help nears. The old man is mumbling softly into the lap of the young woman, where her hands hold his head with comfort and shame.

‘Tell my wife I loved her all my life.’

An indiscernible shape approaches and wraps his jacket over her shoulders from behind. She does not see his face. Her shaking is soothed slightly by the fleece lining of his coat. Two figures sporting green jumpsuits take action swiftly, disentangling the woman from the lifeless man. They unfold him carefully onto stretcher and wheel him with dignity to the open ambulance doors.

She watches the flickering blue lights retreat down the dark road ahead as police approach.

Then hands on her shoulders. Her head tilts up, catching glimpses of a tall man’s profile beside her. He has come to remove his insulating coat from her body. When the swirling lights rhythmically cast against his cheek, she notes his kind and handsome face. Her heart jolts. She would have swiped ‘yes’ if his photo had graced her screen.

But in that moment, there is no place for love to be found. Love is lost. And so it shall be forever more.

Estella Lynch,  2017

All writing and original photographs published on my blog are copyright of Estella Lynch and can only be reprinted by my permission.

Book Bound in 17 Syllables

Book Bound

Musty, old book smell

Shrapnelled, leather-bound Tolstoy

Gripped in my left hand

Is it the emotive heavy scent of yesteryear or the heaviness in hand that boosts the importance of leather-bound books when we peruse a library or open their yellowing pages?

Today’s New York Times piece about bookbinding is fascinating insight into what I had thought was a lost art but am grateful for a glimpse of what remains a thriving, daily day at the office. Stitching, slicing, pressing leafs of printed paper together where an author’s work is enshrined in one beautifully-produced tome. Book-binding–a true craft.

For writers, readers and antiquarians, the video footage in this article is worth the price of admission:

Much More Than a Peaceful Read

World Book Day last Friday prompted my reflection of books I read before hitting the landmark age of 18—what lingering impact did certain novels have on my life, books that packed a literary punch I have yet to shake (and likely never will) and I pondered the everlasting question of ‘why’ those novels and not others.

Lionel Shriver once again upped the Radio 4 listening stakes on Valentine’s Day when she appeared on Harriett Gilbert’s A Good Read slot. Shriver’s choice of a good read? A Separate Peace by John Knowles, promoted as ‘an intense story of adolescent friendship and betrayal’. It had been decades since I read A Separate Peace but, just as Shriver highlighted and the panel agreed: this is a clever coming-of-age novel (Knowles’ first) that ‘wrong-foots’ the reader and is well worth the read whatever the reader’s age.

This is a novel that embeds beneath the skin. The decades elapsed since its 1959 publication have not diminished nor dated this story. Being reminded of its plot, characters and twists by the BBC last week triggered my teenage self to float reluctantly to the surface. I felt nostalgic and teary-eye for that teenage girl I was when I first read Fowles’ novel, but I also felt grief for this story of two distinctly different boys who cascade down a waterfall of adolescent descent together.

Are there homoerotic undertones to this book? The reader is left to intuit what they wish; what is clear, however, is that A Separate Peace can still rattle the bones of its audience and is relevant today.

Looking for a book to share with a teenager or seeking a novel to engage your adult self—this is a mighty fine choice. If my recommendation isn’t enough, Lionel Shriver apparently knows a thing or two about what makes an enduring, captivating classic.

Check it out:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08dnrqg