In New Zealand, I made another last ditch attempt to get this thing going. I asked a publisher friend to cast a critical eye over some parts of the novel I had written. We spent a weekend at fabulous Hanmer Springs, a spa town near Christchurch. Her response was, “Do you have a thick skin?” She put it to me as diplomatically and gently as she could. It stank! Looking back, I’m embarrassed to have even given her the material.
I refer to her as my literary mid-wife who told me the ‘baby’ was breech. She turned it around by suggesting that I write a memoir. I replied I thought memoirs were for important public figures. Anyway, I took her advice and once I began writing in this genre, the words simply began to flow as I tapped into my wellspring of memories. Some were extremely painful and embarrassing to drudge up, but it forced me to confront my fears that I had well insulated myself against with layers of walls. Breaking them down was excruciating at times.
It doesn’t help that I live a very transient life with having moved umpteen times, and with spates of illnesses in between leaving the memoir to crawl at a snail’s pace. Close to three years ago, I knuckled down while wintering in Savannah, Georgia, this time with my dearly beloved ‘Prince’ as my editor (and a fine one he is too!) Last winter I took my manuscript on vacation with me to the Dominican Republic where I made huge strides with it. It was there in the dreamy atmosphere of the Caribbean that the present working title jumped off the page, presenting itself as An Immoral Proposal