I was writing a love story/romance, of all things, when Silk Threads ‘came’ to me. It came to me all in a second. In one moment, I saw Eugene lean into Lisa on the flowerbed, and murmur, “Come next week,” demand she no longer cut her hair. I saw his beautiful face and Lisa’s lonely life. I wanted to write about how easy it is for a smooth man to seduce a young, shy girl. I forgot about the love story, I am sure it was boring anyway, and began furiously to write Silk Threads. I finished the bulk of it in about three months of exhilarating imaginings. I was totally caught up in Lisa’s world. You see, I know about how difficult it is to be an Aspie in this modern world because I married into a family full of them. I had so much to say, so many different themes to intertwine, but I didn’t want to force them on you, the reader. I just kept them in the background of my mind. Some I managed to fit in, others I didn’t. I hope I managed to portray Bulawayo and Johannesburg, and remember, it is my image of them in Silk Threads.
It took ages for me to get round to publishing Silk Threads on Amazon. Smashwords is so easy to use in comparison. When I eventually did, I found Amazon had all sorts of rules and regs., restrictions and I also discovered my readership there, more conservative. Eventually, I changed the name of the book to A Silken Thread on Amazon because slowly, it became a different book. That’s the joy of ebooks, I guess… it costs you nothing too republish.
Several people have asked if the scene with the story of the snake and the little girl is true and the answer is yes. Its true. Not only snakes. Scorpions too. Even leopards and lions have been known to look after the young of other animals (that they often eat as prey!) and it seems it is because the young animal is not aware of the dangers. The snake bites the little girl as self protection, self protection from the mother, not the child. The child doesn’t realise there is any danger, she doesn’t intend to hurt the snake, and the snake enjoys the feeling of the little hands stroking it and playing with it. If it didn’t it could always slither away, any time.
I hacked the beginning of Silk Threads to shreds – several of my proof readers thought the beginning was too long and ‘thumped’ the idea of how much Lisa’s mother scared her. The problem is, I wanted to write about Bulawayo, the way it is laid out all in little well planned suburbs. I wanted to explain what Barham Green was like, and the huge square houses in Khumalo. I wanted to explain how confusing it is for a white person to negotiate around the many differentiations in the Bulawayo coloured community. I also wanted to write about conservative Bulawayo and how Lisa’s affair with a coloured man would not go down very well. I guess I’ll just have to write another book! Last week, chatting to a woman we were working for, I discovered a coloured suburb which existed in the 1960’s and 70’s called Brickfields. I want to find out more about it, because it would be very convenient for one of my characters in my second (longer) book. Our client came from Rangemore Plots, and she described Brickfields as a ‘very rough’ area. Perfect for my requirements!
My word count dropped slightly more than ten thousand!!! I dropped some of my favourite scenes, though! Isn’t it crazy – I wrote Silk Threads, and yet even now, after reading and rereading the thing SO many times, I still have favourite scenes, some for stupid reasons. I love the Marrakesh scene, and the one when Kim visits Henrietta. (It’s Henrietta’s long words I like…I wish I could talk like that. I only use long words when I’m cross.) I love the scene when Lisa first sees her flat in Borrow Street. The reason I say stupid: I love it because I struggle so much with describing places, rooms etc. (example: look at the terrible job I did with Henrietta’s house…) I’m just not interested in them, and so I can’t imagine my readers would be! Usually, my descriptions of places are dry and technical. I always thought it came together so well, because poor old Lisa stood, forcing herself to look at the decor trying to dream up something to say about it. That allowed me to describe it from her point of view. I chopped a scene where Eugene takes the place of a concert violinist and plays for Lisa at a concert held at the Academy. Cush says its utterly unbelievable…(for goodness sakes, the whole book is a novel and therefore unbelievable!) But since the only attachment I had to that scene was to use it as a foundation in my second book, I trashed it willingly and in doing so, disposed of more than two thousand words. I also ditched some of the early ‘education scenes!!!’ I was inspired to write a short (steamy) story after the Dion, Ascot Racecourse chapter. Plenty interesting characters in that arena!! I have not finished it yet, I find writing vanilla very difficult! Now I have got Silk Threads off my hands, I’ll work on it full time. Maybe soon…
One of my fabulous critics, a nosey parker of note, but one who gives honest feedback asked me how much of myself was in Silk Threads!!! Yes, Trace, I’m talking about you…insisted she could hear me in the story…and mentioned particularly the anniversary scene (I thought she was talking about the BJ at the end) Oh no, she meant the candles all over the lounge – you know the whole romance thing.
Cush and I couldn’t stop laughing last night at the idea of the candles. He said he could just imagine himself getting all romantic, sticking candles all over the place. He says he could just see the scenario: Cute little round table, food, wine, lace…hundreds of candles. Him all dressed up!!!!! (Oh man!)
In I walk, “Oh shit. Don’t tell me the power has gone off again. Bloody ZESA.”
“Ah, no,” says Cush, ever the romantic, “It’s our anniversary, so I cooked dinner…”
“Oh. Ok cool.” says I, “But hey, lets blow out these candles, since the ZESA is on for a change, wax is murder to get off furniture.”
Ever resilient Cush says, “Ok. Would you like a glass of wine?” (you know, he really talks like this…)
“Wine? You know I don’t drink that stuff.”
“Ok,” he says, finally cutting the idle chatter, “how about a quickie?” (Nah, actually that’s artistic license, he would never say anything like that!)
When we first got married he did do romantic. I remember he woke up at sparrows once in the freezing cold, collected a carnation from the garden and put it on my early morning coffee tray. Problem is, he put it in a long tall fluted vase, and they don’t stand up non too good in the early mornings…
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