Sometimes a story unwraps like a ribbon. The words just tumble out in the right order and, better still, reflect what I want them to reflect. But not today it seems.
I blame last night and that whistling wind and the clack of the plastic air vents and the scritch- scratch of Virginia creeper, not yet softened with leaves, sounding like the bony fingers of a witch against the window glass. Today is a big day.
It’s launch day for Island Wife, my book published by Two Roads. Actually, to be correct it is Launch Number Two. We already held one on the island, for the folk who see me often and I them for over 35 years now.
The people, who will come this evening to Jarrold’s Book Department in Norwich, will wear faces I haven’t set eyes on for 3 decades.
I guess, like me, they will look older, a bit worn, a bit broken too, but we will know each other in a heartbeat. Faces, hair colour, shapes may have altered dramatically or barely at all, but voices stay the same. I could close my eyes all evening and still know exactly who speaks, even if I have to dig deep into my memory bank.
So many voices and no two the same. There won’t be time to hear the stories, the tales of joy and sadness, the lost and the found in that short 90 minutes, but when it is done and books are signed and drinks are drained, I will walk out with those voices darting around inside my head like swallows just back from Africa. And they?
Well, they will drive or walk or catch a train back into their own lives with a new book in their hands. I may never know their stories, but from tonight, they will all know mine, perhaps hearing my voice for the very first time.