I think at some point, all writers encounter obstacles. Life, simply gets in the way. This past year has been the most challenging for me, since I was 17, in terms of being able to find enough time to sit down and write (or illustrate) stories. Many things (including redundancy) have thrown invisible scatter bombs into my routine, and I’m finding myself scrambling around attempting to find those precious moments I used to take for granted. I am seeing only fleeting glimpses of Alexand’s world at the moment. My son and my cats depend on me making a living. My new job is hard, and I work longer hours than before, and so, Alexand doesn’t speak to me as much. It’s not because she’s upset with me, but because she understands I need to exist in this physical world, and that I have responsibilities outside of her own. I’m grieving for her, of course, but I know this lapse is only temporary. I also know I’m good at scheduling. I have eleven stories in my story bank, issues which last up until late February 2015. I’ve got others which need illustrating, and so many unwritten stories inside my head, which go as far back as the time I first met Alexand on a park bench in Farnham in 1992.
In the illustration above, (From a story called, Love in a Box,) Alexand is grieving for the loss of her fingers. She thinks she will never play the piano again, and that makes her deeply unhappy. Like my writing, Alexand’s music is her life. She feels lost and empty when she isn’t creating something. It’s one of the things we have in common, and possibly why she chose me to write her story, and not someone else. But, as with a lot of things in life, she was unable to see that things would get better for her.
In fact the woman she is deeply in love with, a very practical and misunderstood scientist called Katherine De Somme, came up with a solution. She cared so much about Alexand that she had a fellow scientist develop some metal fingers for Alexand. This enabled Alex to play again, but not only did Alexand get her music back, she and Katherine, finally admitted that they were in love with each other. Who knows, maybe my own life will get better some day, and I just can’t see it yet.