Thursday, 28 February 2013

Listening to the Past and Moving Through The Fair

Much research for fiction involves listening to the past. It so happens that in Researching this new novel I am becoming absorbed in all things Bronze Iron Age and British-Roman. 

Then the ineffable Lola Borg drew my attentions on Twitter to the programme Soul  Music on Radio 4. Lola said,  "All about dreams and longings and unexpressed desires". If you just missed this on She Moved Through the Fair 
The programme  featured commentators and singers - most centrally Sinead O'Connor  -   trying to nail the peculiar magic of this song.

 It's a song sung on international stages by celebrities and in pubs and  hearth-gatherings of families and friends by un-lauded singers. Sinead tells a story on the programme that at the end of the  funeral after the early, unexpected death her partner Padraig they played a recording of him singing this song. As it's a story of the fragility of human experience and of obsessive love that lasts beyond the grave this was curiously appropriate. She said,  'My dear one had departed. He always had  a huge sympathy for people who were in trouble. He was an old soul and a very kind man... He 'sang' at his own funeral. I found it consoling.'  

Perfect circularity.     I listened and was  swept away.The song and its music have been whirling in my head ever since. Apparently the music is older than the song they are both lost in ancient times.
black swan
There are words here about worries rooted in the soul. There are strands of meaning here about collective memory and human history. The song and its music ask questions to which we can only invent an answer, Line by line the words are perfectly honed to pose the questions and offer answers in shades and revenents.

Every  lines (in full below) are worth quoting but  the I particularly like the lines -

Then she went her way homeward with one star awake/
As the swan in the evening moves over the lake 

- which are full of pain and with the keening sounds of the ancient music allow the singing of this pain. 

The Soul Music programme showcases several versions of the song including that of Sinaed O'Connor herself and Van Morrison and The Chieftains.  I have found many versions and everywhere the meaning of the words and the music transcends style and fashion. 

I liked this one by Loreena McKennit. 

 Although the setting is rather grand for such an apparently simple song, she sings - very appropriately -  to the harp and she definitely looks the part,

(LATER) And the lovely blogger 60 Going on Sixteen (See comment below) recommended the purely exquisite 1941 version by the legendary John McCormack. I see he is accompanied bu Gerald Moore, the equally legendary  pianist. Give yourself a treat and listen to the past in two dimensions - World War 2 and The ancient past.

(EVEN LATER...) and this version by Van Morrison and The Chieftains appropriately sung - almost spoken  - by Van Morrison  shows the tragic young man at the centre of the story.

Listening to the past makes sense not just for writers but for all of us who are trying to solve the puzzle of what it is to be human and spiritual at the same time.

She Moved Through the Fair

My young love said to me, my mother won´t mind 
And my father won´t slight you for your lack of kine, 
And she stepped away from me and this she did say, 
It will not be long love ´til our wedding day. 

She stepped away from me and she moved through the fair, 
And fondly I watched her move here and move there, 
Then she went her way homeward with one star awake, 

As the swan in the evening moves over the lake. 

The people were saying no two were e´er wed, 
But one has a sorrow that never was said, 
And I smiled as she passed with her goods and her gear, 

And that was the last that I saw of my dear. 

I dreamt it last night that my young love came in, 
So softly she entered her feet made no din, 
She came close beside me and this she did say, 

It will not be long love ´til our wedding day.

Friday, 22 February 2013

The Royal Society, Tommy H, and the Matter of the Hinternal Combustion Engine - second airing

Note from Wendy: I wrote this following post in 2010. It's still getting so much attention - - many page views from all over the world -  I thought I'd give it a 2013 airing. Hope you enjoy it. The stories are true and the issues are still outstanding.

So, Wendy,’ said A, arranging his six feet of lean muscle on my very inadequate chaise longue, ‘How do you teach someone to read?’

We had been listening to the first of five of Melvyn Bragg’s magnificent roundLEGS table discussions on the foundation of the Royal Society.* A, among other things an embryonic scientist, listened with interest as the narrative unfolded of the foundation of systematic scientific enquiry in Britain.

Somehow our discussion leapt on to my own early days as a very young teacher (twenty going on twelve…) when – trained to teach art and history – I was faced with a class of eleven year olds in a sink secondary school. There were two streams, A and B. I was given the B stream, only fifty percent of whom could read or write at all adequately. The A stream – not much better - was taken my new friend Anne, an accomplished musician, who came at the same time and thought she was here just to teach music.
I loved these kids, They were funny, anarchic, bubbly, hard to contain. In a year I learned so much from them. They were very helpful. One day, when I showed my exasperation at the noise, ‘June ‘– round white face, black bobbed hair - told me, ‘You should do what our last teacher did, miss. Put Cellotape on their mouths.’

Young as I was, I learned very quickly that I cofuld survive by dint of hard work, a sense of humour, and by seeing these eleven year olds as individuals needing good feedback to make any progress. Liking them was half the battle. (In my teaching career i met quite a few of teachers who didn’t like children…)

Despite ‘June’s’ kind advice I managed without the Cellotape and gradually they got used to me. They listened, talked, and worked with stunned interest at the odd things I asked of them. One of these things was to sit quietly and listen as I read to them a whole range of stories. The other was what I called my Friday Lecture.

On Friday afternoons, when we were all exhausted, each week a member of the class took a turn to give us a lecture on anything they chose: it might be keeping rabbits or their favourite football team, a pop star they admired or the people who lived in their street. I often supplied them with visual aids and helped them of they stumbled a bit in their delivery .J

Now in this class was a charismatic boy called Tommy H. He had this large white elliptical face topped by hair sticking up like a yard brush. He was quite chunky and - this being a non-uniform school - he wore a tweed jacket that was a bit too small. He couldn’t read but he wrote very swiftly - pages of writing that would have been more at home on an Egyptian tomb than in an English schoolbook. I would call him over and ask him to read the pages to me. He read them fluently and they had syntax and meaning. Dyslexia had not been indentified in those days but he was prime example of this condition – often intelligent but non-reading. Then, he was just labelled as illiterate and of low ability.

When his turn came to give the lecture I asked him what his subject would be he said, ‘Well, miss, I’d like to talk about the Hinternal Combustion Engine.’ Tommy put aitches in front of most vowels.

‘Do you want any help, Tommy? With pictures or anything?’
‘No. Miss. I’ll manage.’

That lunchtime he came in early and drew on the blackboard, in coloured chalks, a picture of a car engine in perfect detail. In his lecture he patiently explained to all of us how an internal combustion engine worked. It was the first and only time anyone has ever explained to me , with any clarity, that arcane process .

The class enjoyed Tommy’s informative lecture and he was treated to a loud and long round of the applause. The head teacher popped his head around the door and asked, ‘Is everything all right, Miss Wetherill?’

It was. After the year most of those children left my class being able to read and write. Tommy made all kinds of progress and went on, I am sure, to be a successful adult. I survived.

I was still thinking about Tommy when A asked me this question about reading. ‘So,’ he said ‘How do you teach someone to read?P1150891
I took a deep breath and launched into the familiar mantra.

‘You need to know they can hear words in all their distinction – this needs lots of story and conversation. Lots of speaking and listening. They need to know how books work and what they are for. Some children arrive at school having experienced all this at home. Some children with this background almost teach themselves to read. But if this hasn’t happened at home then it needs to happen at school.
Most children recognise the shape of some words and know their meaning. Most children can readMcDonalds. They recognise the word and its meaning almost from their first hamburger. They recognised that it as a shape – like a chair has a shape. They collect lots – even hundreds - of words like this, through the shape. These shapes have sounds and meaning. They know that. Then you show them the magic! You help them begin to learn that they can build up any word in writing, de-code any word in reading, by understanding the range of sounds offered by each letter and blending them.
Magic! One day you can’t do it on your own. The next day you can.’

‘You’re right,’ says A. ‘It’s a kind of magic really.’


*The Royal Society started as an "invisible college" of natural philosophers who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the ideas of Francis Bacon. Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when 12 of them met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, the Gresham Professor of Astronomy, and decided to found 'a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning'.


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Knives, Short Stories and Supporting Your Libraries

 Rat-tat! Postman at the door with bulky parcel. I am delighted to see my copies of the Audiogo edition of my short story collection Knives.

This is the second edition, a  large print edition published by Audiogo. The book looks very smart - mainly white with touches of black. This is interesting, as the first edition, published by Iron Press, was mainly black with touches of white.

Audiogo Editiion
Both cover designs reflect the dramatic element of these stories.

In looking this collection again  I find myself surprised at  how much on the edge they seem: on the edge of society but also on the edge of darkness.

Some might say I have been influenced by three years working in prison with people who are on the margins and are consummate experts on the darker side of human experience. It’s not that simple.

Iron Press Edition
 The better truth is that I was drawn to work in prison because my own lifetime experience of living on the margins, of knowing my own edgy shadows.

Dark as these stories may appear they reflect my view of the shining recoverability of the human spirit and the qualities of stoicism, wit, humour and irony that aid survival and can bring about recovery and growth.

(I have written more extensively about this book  in 2009 here on myblog)

This new edition will also be available in libraries so please order it if you feel inspired. Using your library like this is one way to support this threatened resource.  The present day saying   ‘use it of lose it’ really does apply to libraries.  It applies to your own library. 

(I am pleased to see from the PLR record that all of my books ares still being borrowed from British libraries – last year 90,000 times. Like all writers I love my library readers out there across Britain...)

Enjoy your library

Happy reading.... W

Monday, 18 February 2013

Is Grammar a Building Block or a Stumbling Block for Writers?

When I was in my second year at grammar school, aged twelve, I handed in a composition (called now a piece of creative writing…)  called  The Fox. My English teacher - a magisterial, handsome figure of a man -  returned it to me with a high mark. I treasured this, having learned very quickly the high gold-standard currency of marks.

But much more important, in the margin he’d written in his flowing hand ‘Good Syntax!’

So, what was this thing I was  good at? I had to go to the big dictionary – one of the two big books in my little house. There I read:
  • The study of the rules whereby words or other elements of sentence structure are combined to form grammatical sentences
  • The pattern of formation of sentences or phrases in a language
  •  A systematic, orderly arrangement of words

I was very pleased by this revelation. I reckon that was the point where I actually decided to be a writer, even though I’d never met a writer and had actually never met anyone (except my teachers) who wore a white - not a blue - collar to work.

The rules of good syntax were only peripherally taught at that school; I really learned the nature of  syntax and grammar when I started learning French and German  I had to do this in order to get to grips with languages whose grammatical structures were different from (different to?) my own. I still remember the exotic feeling of getting to grips with the subjunctive form in French and realising that form exists in English..

So how did this little girl who lived in a small crowded house that had only two big books get be the mistress of very good syntax at twelve? 

Books on my shelves now
The way we all do. I’d been speaking this language since I was eleven months old  -  talking,  listening and arguing in a verbally oriented  family for twelve years.  Very importantly though, thanks to the library, I had also been reading it for eleven years and was now up to five books a week.  Reading voraciously when young  is the key to high literacy necessary in a writer.

Proper language is already there. I well remember a child in my class saying to me ‘You mean I already talk in grammar, miss?’

Early in my teaching career I remember reading that by the age of five a normal child will have incorporated all the rules of grammar of his own language into his brain structure They don’t have to learn it, they speak it. It may be useful for them to learn  the rules they already operate at some point  - for example when you learn a foreign language.

Or perhaps it is useful when you become a writer and have to edit your own work…

I know from my workshops that some writers get jumpy and defensive about grammar and syntax.. Either they’re hidebound by the memory of bad teaching or a clumsy editor. Or terrified of looking stupid. Or -  however good a storyteller they are -  they are innocent of grammatical conventions in written language and that very innocence could send their work flying onto some editor’s floor.

This is a pity -these natural storytellers can make very good fiction writers. They have the most important qualities  a feeling for the trajectory of a story, an ear for dialogue and a fresh world view.

Good, self-developing writers reach out for help where they can. A 2009  page on my blog , which has Semi-Colon in the title is still very much visited although it is also about my collection Knives and the writer RC HUtchinson

Syntax as a Valuable Building Block

The first crucial building block for a writer is the ability to create a world, to build a narrative, to have an extensive vocabulary (all that reading!) and a mind that sees the world afresh –dreaming dreams and having visions.

The second building block is to build on their innate comfort with the magic of  their own language and become comfortable with the value in knowing syntax and grammar when they starte editing their own work.

When my students begin to trust that I won’t laugh at their innocence they will ask crucial questions and these questions are the key to their further writing development,.
Just what is a sentence?
What is a paragraph?
What is the difference between dialogue told and dialogue said.

My very best advice is to read more, to look at how sentences, paragraphs and dialogue presents itself on the pages of modern novels and short stories.
These works must be modern because grammar is a dynamic force in prose; it changes through time.  It evolves.

For example page-long paragraphs – acceptable in nineteenth century and early twentieth century novels  - will give a modern novel a dated feel,  

One evolution is the way some writers (look at Roddy Doyle) have a very clean way to present dialogue which made the purists tut-tut when they came out. But modern writers can make a choice.

The rules on paragraphs can be ambiguous. I suggest that a paragraph is a whole idea, a piece of speech or an aspect of the whole setting, building up the  climax of the narrative within the chapter or the short story. It promotes the transparency of the narrative. It does not get between the reader and the narrative.

Top tip. When the idea, the speaker, the setting changes changes, try a new paragraph.

Look at the paragraphs  on the page. White space promotes clarity; it allows the reader to breathe his own way into your narrative.

When students are in doubt about technicalities, I recomment the plain, easy and accessible Elements of Style by Strunk and White.- a volume written (I heard) for American students coming to study at universities in England. There you will learn what since childhood you have known instinctively.

Once you end up knowing how the rules of syntax work then you can choose, if you want, to break them. But that will then be a knowing process. And you can comfort yourself in knowing that there are some individuals who know syntax up to their eyeballs but could never pen a good story in a hundred years.

Syntax as a Stumbling Block

This happens when you – perhaps from school or a clumsy and thoughtless editor – become frozen like a rabbit in headlights at the embarrassment of being seen as stupid when you don’t quite get the difference between verbal story telling and story telling on the page.

At one time editors would work with very promising writers who were not quite there. But nowadays they are very busy, exhausted with their corporate strategies and business models, so you have to do it yourself,

So don’t let it be a stumbling block. If you edit yourself with a clear knowledge of syntax the manuscript you present will not have laughable flaws that could blind the readers to a wonderful story.

This process of ultimate self editing is even more crucial in these days of indie publishing and eBooking. One of the biggest criticism of the flood of self published eBooks is the variable standard of editing without the filter of a publisher’s editor to catch the flaws.

In any case, syntax is intricate, it is relatively easy and - dare I say it? -  it is fun. Every writer should be the master of his or her own language. Grammar stands there alongside originality, vision, vocabulary, narrative skill as a crucial tool for the successful writer, whatever their approach to publishing.

And more books....

Happy writing. W

Friday, 15 February 2013

Picture This: Ways of Writing About Yourself.

It might be fair to say that all writers write about themselves. Even biographers tell us about themselves – their attitudes and values - as they are writing about quite another person.

Poets write about themselves - sometimes in a deeply codified fashion sometimes quite directly. They reveal themselves to you as long as you know the code.

Look at Philip Larkin:

Life is first boredom, then fear. 
Whether or not we use it, it goes, 
And leaves what something hidden from us chose, 
And age, and then the only end of age.
                                       From Dockery and Son.

…And Ted Hughes:

She had too much so with a smile you 

took some.
Of everything she had you had
Absolutely nothing, so you took some.
At first, just a little
                                               From The Other

And novelists do this too, even if their subject matter is apparently distant from their own lives. When I was writing my writer’s memoir The Romancer (see sidebar) I was quite shocked, looking back over a dozen novels, to see  just how much of my own life is buried in there underneath the fiction, informing it and giving it a touchstone of reality,

In the Romancer I experimented with another approach to writing about myself  across the distance of years. This was a series of cameos called Picture This, where I wrote about this little girl and a  growing your woman (me) in the third person, ‘I’ becomes ‘she’.  This gave me a fictional distance but allows me to tell a truth.

And so I discovered that it’s a great way to write sketches which in later times can inspire and give life to further, longer fiction. A whole novel or a short story can grow out of a single 'Picture This'

Here is a new ‘Picture This’  just written:   

Picture This:

The girl was first a stranger, then a resident in this small town set in a necklace of dusty coal mines with a shiny new brooch of light industry on its lapel. In time she finds herself on a high corridor in a castle, in a room with a coal fire in an Adam fireplace and a bed in each corner where four nearly- grown girls sleep at night.

One of these girls kneels by her bed each night to say her prayers. Another has wonderful bright penny hair and skin like porridge, and tells tales of being punished by her father by being locked in a cupboard . The third, a very merry girl, is quite stout when clothed but looks better when she strips off, taking on the aspect of the prow of a sailing ship.

And then there is our girl under the covers with a torch, reading again and again a letter on yellow paper covered in small black writing: an academic hand. There are pathways in our lives and this might have been one of hers. That was one future that did not happen.

She didn’t cry when she left home to take a train and two buses to reach her castle. And she doesn’t cry when she feels lonely there and out of place. But after three months when she comes home for the first time and turns the corner onto her narrow street tears fall unbidden from her eyes.

 But when she opens her own door she wipes away her tears  with the back of her hand and says hello to her mother. They do not hug or kiss.

Who knows where this might lead?

Why not try a Picture This’ and become she or he in your writing?

Happy writing! W

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Advice for Writers – Myth or Magik?

Who am I to pose this question? I have been offering advice to writers – in person or in print – for twenty years. That is five years less than I have been publishing.
But now advice to writers has blossomed and boomed into an industry powered by the internet and the social media embedded in it. Does it promote the myth or engender the magik?
Writers I know are being encouraged – nay instructed – to get out there with the blogging and twittering to back up (more probably replace) the publisher’s press department in their attempts to get the book known.
Even well known writers are put on the talks/appearance/literary festival trail (unescorted) to do promotion not just for their book but for their publisher *  The writer often performs at festivals for nothing, supporting the festival’s profits and funding huge fees for celebrity speakers – Bill Clinton for instance. Ah, you say, the publicity for the individual writer is their payment. It seems to me not.
And now there has evolved a tribe of travelling writers – some of whom are shy creatures only happy when they are on their own hunched over a keyboard or a notebook – dragged blinking into the limelight for the delectation of  festival groupie audiences sometimes more interested in celebrity that the reading of books.
(Scroll back for my  blog post on Howard Jacobson’s Zoo Time for his witty tale on the ubiquitous literary festival.)
That brings me to outcomes. When I was teaching educational research we were always careful to point out that aspirations and objectives are not outcomes. There have to be some measures in place which demonstrate true outcomes – positive and negative – from any project. For me in the case of writers a positive outcome should be a general rise in sales, not just a cluster of sales at the event itself. Or the rosy glow of feeling famous. I would like to hear evidence, or even discussion, on the matter of outcomes from these performances.
And what about the as-yet unpublished writers – often writers of talent who have been unrecognized by the behemoth publishing industry? For them the internet and social media have been seen quite rightly as a vehicle where their writing can be showcased, where an audience can be nurtured, and publication can be achieved through Kindle and other outlets without the destructive intervention of nay-sayers of the publishing trade.
I think this is a wonderful evolution. It has had its starry successes of course – writers who have become best sellers through this means. These, one has to say, are exceptional cases among thousands. But the benefits to lesser selling writers are still manifest – their book is out there to be read and appreciated by strangers; they have taken it up to its best form and the good ones becomes a valid part of a writer’s showcase. And in the case of Kindle there are inbuilt outcome measures in the sales visible to the writer. Even a trickle of ten books in a month tells the writer of strangers who have read their work. Over a year or ten this becomes a significant number and is indeed part of that writer’s showcase.
Of course this open process does mean  that also out there are some publications that  have missed the filter of the publisher’s front desk and have also  missed the sharp pencil of a literate editor. To this I say so what? There have always been dubious, ill-written books on the market. We only remember the good ones. The rest were quite rightly pulped.
The internet has also spawned quite flourishing peer writer support networks which like any peer review set-ups are only as good as the peers involved. The art of critiquing and nurturing creative work is subtle and complex and should not be approached lightly. Crude criticism or unbounded praise should not come into this process but it often does.
We need to be careful. Sometimes there groups take up so much energy that there’s little time for ongoing solid, personal and progressive writing.
But it is all kindly meant and can give support and nurture development outside the umbrella of mainstream publishing.  
More widely there is lots of advice out there. On the internet

One way to cut down a tree...
Lots of  ‘Ways’ out there - eg:.
  1. Five ways to beat the writer’s block
  2. Five ways to get the attention of an agent
  3. Five ways to find what a publisher needs
  4. Five ways to create a believable hero or heroine
  5. Five ways to make your novel a best seller
I have to say if it were as easy as that just anybody could be a successful writer.

So, in this world of advice here are my Five Ways to Develop Your Writing

1        Evaluate any advice you are offered. Does the adviser have a successful record in the writing field rather than the advice-giving industry? Is adviser a successful and seasoned writer?
2        Write at least a page every single day. (One year makes 365 pages) Bibles for this approach are Dorothea Brande’s On becoming a Writer and Julia Cameron’s A Writer’s Way. You could take a look at my On Being a Writer
3        Give yourself short term targets for positive outcomes. Competitions are great for this. Sign up for Avril Joy’s ( Newsletter. She is great and very informed on the benefits of competitions. Of course this  befits this year’s  Costa Short \story Prizewinner who has thus proved her theory. Even so, regularly entering  competitions should not be about winning. Remember every entry is a five finger exercise in your development as a writer. And this valid form of writing also builds up your body of work and develops your sense of audience – a very subtle aspect of a writer’s skill.
4        Write what you really want to write, what in your deepest heart you feel impelled to write, not what some egregious expert says the market wants at this time. They are always three years behind, any way, copying trends rather than creating them...
5        Let people know what you do. Talk about your project with affection and information.   Blog posts too can be five finger exercises in expressing thoughts, ideas and work in progress – a coherent expression of your writing self. Twittering can be a more casual notice board  to express an occasional spurt of joy and inspiration and to let a wider group of people know what you’re up to. Some people make an art form of this (not me) showing distilled wit and real character.  
6         Most importantly don’t do any of this a) if someone has instructed you to do it. b) if it is a chore(that will show!). Or c) if it is instead of doing your proper writing: your ongoing work must be a priority.

In answer to my own question Advice for Writers – Myth or Magik? -
It remains a myth if you don’t sort out that good advice from the weak and self serving. It becomes magik if it helps you to your transform your own writing to a point where you know it is  good and worth publishing, whatever form that publishing takes,
Happy writing

Friday, 1 February 2013

Making them live – Peopling your novel

I think perhaps you have reached the end of the beginning of your novel. I don’t know about you but I begin a novel with three things – a time, a place, a person. My feeling is that they all come at once, although I could be wrong. I have written here about  the place which is my present obsession with my  invented map of a particular place. The time is unambiguous: the year 383AD. Research for this involves many umpteenth-hand stories, only marginal written evidence and many objects. Not easy but in the spaces in between there is luminous space for inspired fiction.

But before all this there was always the person, lets call her H. Now after these months working on the beginning she breathes; she talks; she is fully clad in clothing that suits her time and her place. Much of the story is told from her point of view. The more I write about her the more she lives.

So I can think about her in a non-literal way I have drawn her at the centre of a web. Spiraling out from her at the centre are the other characters in the novel: the great and the small and small. Some of them I know almost nothing about, except that they touch her life and influence her fate. Others I am beginning to know much better - both through her eyes and by flexing the well flexed muscle of my imagination.
Now I have five characters whose voice I hear and whom I can see when I close my eyes.

Top tip for you: In your notebook but not in your narrative write a top-to-toe detailed description of a character first in physical terms – height, weight, face, hands, feet, stance, expressions, speech style, expressions. Secondly write a psychological profile – personal history, attitudes, pains, pleasures. (You will discover much about them in this process.) Now write a paragraph from their point of view of how they see another character in your story. And one line of speech. Then he or she should be there in your head, available to act and react in your story. Almost none of your description should actually be there in your narrative. However they will influence your writing and will be bedded down underneath the surface of your story.

Work in Progress extract from my beginning:  

... I look up, water streaming into my eyes and down my face. I flick my plait out of the pool, creating an arc of water that fragments and glitters in the sun. The man walks out of the  green glow of the forest,  leaving his horse with the other man, the dog skulking at his feet.  He says some words in Latin, telling them to stay back.
I focus now on a wind bronzed face under thick black hair threaded through with silver. He’s quite old, perhaps as much as forty years.  He’s as tall as Konan but more thickset. He wears his hair forward in the imperial way, held in place by the thinnest of golden bands. His thick black brows almost meet over a thin finely arched nose. His eyes are bright and blue as cornflowers.
When I first meet him I notice everything about him. But of course he’ll never realise this. Not now and not later...

Happy writing!


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