In The Early Morning Quiet

“Good, I like that. [Tap, tap, tap.] What a struggle. I think maybe I’ve finally got that…”

“If I might say, sir, I know I am not the novelist, and I wish not to intrude, but I have my deep concerns about your plans, that if such is practicable…”

[Photo by me, 2018.]

“Robert, uh, Mr. Rutherford, will you please stop looking over my shoulder, you’re making me self-conscious. I’ll get back to that other bit later. I don’t know about you and John Adams yet.”

“And I have never been to Amsterdam, as you know. I hope ’tis interesting my stay and that your readers shall be much seized by events…”

“I hope so too. But, hmm, Edward and…”

[5:35 UK, June 21, 2018. Sun coming up in the back garden.]

“…I’m new here I know because for some reason I am not in the previous book. Do you often write so early in the morning?”

“Ana? Of course, Miss SΓ‘nchez. I think about Edward, then you appear. At least he hasn’t turned up yet. Yes, I do love the English early mornings.”

“But this must be very tiring for you, Robert? Shall I see England too? Oh, but I know you are still creating me. I hope I shall be beautiful and memorable…”

“Why do I suddenly feel like Alfred Hitchcock? You aren’t even actors. And this office is too small for three of us.”

“Uh, quatre.”

“Not you also?”

[Original photo used for the cover of “Passports.” Photo by me, France, 1991.]

“Eh, I hope that my role shall not be, uh, more little because of this new woman. From the south of America. Ouf. She is not even French…”

β€œNow, please…”

“…Ugh, the Frenchwoman is here. In Cartagena, we have a saying about ladies such as you. You go away now, Robert is writing more me at this moment, Ma…”

“Don’t say her name, Ana! I don’t want readers knowing who she is yet.”

“How will they know? They are not here?”

“They’ll know, Ana.”

“Oh, so maybe I, uh, introduce myself here, no?…”

“No, say nothing! Rien!”

“Well, Robert, but we do exist in your mind, and will in your readers’ minds.”

“Definitely, Mr. Rutherford. Believe me, I know you are on my mind. You all are way too much. You drive me crazy sometimes. Anyway, please stop. I have work to do…”

[Screen capture of blog home page.]

…One of the challenges of writing is – and I never really realized this before I took up writing – how “attached” you may become to some of those you create. And by “attached” I mean also overwhelmed by them now and then. It is difficult at times NOT to think of them as actual people…

“Sir, with whom are you conversing? I see no one else is present…”

“My blog readers, Mr. Rutherford.”


“Never mind. Please, let me finish…”

…Remember usually you have sourced them from a real person or combinations of two or three, etc., so you “know” vaguely who they are supposed to be. I’ve read of writers who’ve revealed they keep pictures of characters systematically in front of them, but I don’t go quite that far; I may just have portraits in eyesight of individuals representative of their time. Regardless you still “know” them in your mind’s eye and, like anyone else you know, there are those times you really like them a lot… and there are those other times – particularly if you are having a tough span with writing them – that they do get somewhat on your nerves. πŸ˜‰

Have a good weekend, wherever you are. πŸ™‚