You've heard the phrase one door closes and another opens. Last night I was expecting to go somewhere special today but the day was cancelled. I wasn't expecting to get the call of the Marsh this morning, but it was such a beautiful day I couldn't resist it. After a few mundane jobs were taken care of I decided to go to Midley, the middle of the Marsh. It's a beautifully peaceful place with nothing but the wind and sheep to spoil the silence of the place. I left the car some distance away and walked across the fields and the old railway line to get to the ancient ruins of the chapel. The face on the remaining wall looked softer, more serene than it had the last time I was here but then so did the wall itself. The constant erosive force that is slowly eating away at it seems to be winning its battle. As I touched it I swear I could hear the ancient voices of the farmers and their families rounding up the sheep. This place talks to you in the silence.
As I rounded the wall I jumped at the sight of another human also relishing the silence of Midley. Sitting on a stool with an unusually large watercolour painting pad on her lap a woman looked up and greeted me. I hadn't noticed another car when I had parked and she apologised unnecessarily for startling me. We started talking about the history of Midley and then onto our respected passions for painting and writing. It was a lovely way to spend an hour with a complete stranger.She returned to her painting and I started my writing and for the next two hours it was a companionable silence that was totally comfortable. Before she left we shared what we had created and made arrangements to meet again at another of my favourite places on the Marsh.
I was asked by somebody recently to write a book about him and his never ending fight combatting a mental illness. I didn't realise that this man had a twin brother that suffered from the same illness and I met him early this morning. I talked with him for half an hour or so and he shared with me a lot of details of how the illness can affect them. It must be so difficult to live with. I had promised to research the illness and I have finally done that tonight. next on the list was to find a perspective to write it from. Although the purpose of the story is to promote awareness of the illness, I still want to write it in the context of a novel. It's a powerful medium to promote something. It's a responsibility taking something like this on and I want to do it justice. I found the perspective and have decided to break my normal habit and plan this one out thoroughly.
So only one day to go and I will reveal the cover image of Walking with the Smugglers. many might be surprised at my choice but those in the know will recognise the significance of it. I will reveal the image on social media as I cannot get it onto my website until mid week.