I like my dreams at the moment. I have an extension on the house. We’ve bought the land next to our house and doubled the size of our house so our kitchen is LOVELY and makes me enjoy cooking. There’s an office so we don’t need to keep work stuff piled up in our hallway and the children have nice big bedrooms and when someone comes to stay they don’t have to sleep on an airbed in the lounge – they can use our very tidy ‘guest room’. The other part of it is that Joel has a big old antique desk and sits and writes overlooking the big lake (yes just think of Love Actually). I don’t think I’ll mind if these things don’t happen… but I like to believe that Joel, currently writing a book, will get published and that we might have something change that we can always tie to his hard work and perseverence and just the fact that he has got on and done something a bit scary but doing something that he is really good at. Whether or not he gets published, he makes a best seller that Richard and Judy like, my mum discusses it in her book club, or earns a penny from his efforts I will still think of him as successful in a way… simply for being really good at what he does… discovered or not. I think that we tend to be cautious about our expectations and assume the best things wont happen… or that we don’t want to set our sights on something that might not happen… well I reckon nothing good happens when you expect nothing good to happen … and so I’d rather spend my thinking time proud of my husband overlooking a lake whilst cooking happily in a nice kitchen with a collection of his books on the shelf -rather than assume he would be wasting his time! Well I’ve just been proud to see an old friend, Andrew Hawley, who I used to be in a band with, who went off to do drama at Glasgow … I don’t know if I ever expected him to be successful but he was just in, been on telly the last 2 night and available on DVD in Wuthering Heights and is in a film later this year. Why shouldn’t he be? – he’s good at what he does. One of the most crazy things about Joel is that he used to claim he was ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ and didn’t see himself as the type of person who excelled at any one thing. Well, clearly, its often the case that the things we are really good at, we assume everyone can do to the same standard – so sometimes we miss getting stuck into what we are good at as we try to emulate something that doesn’t come naturally and we have to work really hard to do – why? – that makes no sense. Why shouldn’t the things we are naturally really good at not go well!
Here’s a little excerpt of the 60,000 words so far of an extremely good book by a writer I totally believe in and am so very proud of, Joel Toombs.
Howie pulled his leg away in panic and floundered out of his way. He couldn’t even make out now which out of the crumpled pile had spoken. He turned and ran. The ground began to rise and with the breeze picking up over his shoulders he quickened into it. He began to sail across the choppy slope in a diagonal tack into the wind. Faster and faster, remembering as if for the first time the exhilaration of the Whitby moors springing beneath his feet, cold and precarious. Freedom from the line was intoxicating; the realisation of months of monotonous longing. He skipped across the rocks, trousers slapping his thighs, negotiating the clumps; the exhilarating rhythm of the memory growing with the patter of machine gun fire. Figures appeared in the cold blue of pre-dawn before him, picking their way forward, stumbling; tripping; falling. He began to pass them. Some crept slowly, low to the ground, trying to pretend to the flying barrage of death that they weren’t really there at all. Others mazed across the open ground in a bid to simply outrun the violently pursuing lead shot. Men fell as Howie ran; one man in complete silence, another with a piercing scream. Howie ignored them, immersed totally in the task of the race, his rifle gripped in the middle like a big stick chanced upon in his childhood haunts…
Before long He had made up all his lost time and was charging ahead towards the front runners. His competitors in the race were becoming fewer and as he approached the leading English; they appeared to have stopped, many of them and were hiding behind whatever they could; shell holes, large divots; sods of tall grass… A man caught sight of the running boy, “Howie! Howie! “Over here!”