An interview with Solicitor, Sarah Wenham

 AN INTERVIEW WITH SARAH WENHAM

When I first thought about the subject of my next book, my mind was filled with questions. Who is the main character in this story? What will happen to her? I had the bare bones in my mind, but as a writer you have to put flesh on them in order to gain a reader’s attention.

I was told at Creative Writing Classes that you have to write about and describe ‘rounded’ characters: they have to be believable; they have to have problems, or conflict of some kind. But they have to be likeable, law abiding (well she would have to be because she was a solicitor), stiff and starchy when needed, but able to enjoy life to the full. In my mind, my heroine was Mrs. Sarah Sensible. She was a solicitor (or a lawyer to my American readers). Yes, she was very attractive, slim and in her mid-thirties, and married to Tom Wenham, also a solicitor.

Some time ago, I read about a “Character’s Interview”, so here is my version. I will set the scene for you.

***

Sarah and I are sitting at an old wooden table in the garden of the local pub and I have a piece of paper with several questions written on it, to which I’m dying to know the answers.

Author:  Hello Sarah. This is a “getting to know you” interview. Are you happy to tell our readers a little about yourself?

SARAH:  Hello. Yes, although I am a little reluctant to have you delve too deeply into my mind. It has been quite a hard time for me.

Author:  I do appreciate how you must feel. It must have been extremely difficult for you. Firstly, can you tell us a little about yourself and Tom, of course?

SARAH:  Yes, well… it was my first day at Law School, and I was feeling a little nervous, and…  I was introduced to Tom. He was young, handsome, intelligent, and we hit it off immediately. It may sound improbable, but we sailed through all the studying and exams together.  About a year after we qualified, we decided to get married: we were very much in love.

Author:  Your father was a solicitor too, wasn’t he?

SARAH:  Yes. He had started up a law practice several years before. It was a big step to take, but Tom and I decided to join him. I have my father to thank for my enthusiasm for anything to do with the law and helping me to become a more rounded person.

Author:  And Tom…?

SARAH:  Yes of course. He was amazing… utterly amazing. Not only was he intelligent, but he was… he was wonderfully open. His knowledge of the law was infinite, and Tom and my father would often talk for hours about every conceivable aspect of the law. Oh, but don’t run away with the impression that I was a disinterested party; quite the opposite. Then my father died. I loved Tom dearly, so I was quite happy for him to be an equal partner in the practice.

Author:  I know this is painful for you, but you must have been unimaginably distraught when you learned about his accident. How did you cope?

SARAH:  I don’t really know how I coped really. I was living and thinking like an automaton. Nothing seemed to matter anymore. I was sitting at home waiting for him to return from a conference in Geneva, when I heard the telephone ringing. I had no inkling of the disaster which was about to unfold. The small aircraft in which Tom was travelling, crashed and he sustained injuries which were so serious that it seemed impossible for him to survive. He was in a coma, you see.

Author: Can you describe your feelings while he was in a long-term coma?

SARAH:  My feelings were complex. How could you sit and watch the man you love more than anything in the world, struggle to survive? I couldn’t eat, sleep or work properly. My mind was totally fixed on waiting for him to wake up again.

Author:  What was it that made you agree to end his life?

SARAH:  I knew that I really had no alternative but to let him go. Once there is no brain-stem activity, life is impossible. Half of me wanted to scream “NO”, but the other half argued with me. It was an horrific battle. “THOU SHALT NOT KILL” screamed at me. But it was no use. Tom, the man I loved so dearly, was no longer a living sentient being and never could be again.

Author: Then what happened, Sarah.

SARAH:  I signed his life away. I…

Author:  I know this is a really difficult question to answer, but how did you feel afterwards?

SARAH:  Numb, grief-stricken and so terribly guilty. In fact my heart felt like a solid lump of ice.

Author:  Can you tell me exactly how you felt when the ice melted?

SARAH:   How long have I got to answer such a question?

Author:  As long as it takes, Sarah. Thank you for being so candid.

SARAH:  Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my life with Tom…

******

 

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Medieval Castle, Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland

Medieval Castle, Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland

Source: Medieval Castle, Tollymore Forest Park, Northern Ireland

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Fourth April Blog.

Fourth April Blog Poppy Harvest. The fields lie fallow, with brown bare earth, Seed of the corn has been sown. With April droplets and bright sunshine, New shoots will show, wind-blown. Green tops …

Source: Fourth April Blog.

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#8 – Yay For Family!

The Rambles Of A Filmmaker

I’ve only gone and got myself some cash! Things have taken a dramatic leap forward in terms of the first film for The Fear trilogy, Killer Bird. Since January I have managed to save up roughly £600 for the project from my own pocket, which is not nearly enough – nowhere near. Not even enough to tentatively start casting with the hope I save another £600 by the time we start shooting – knowing that I can afford to for at least food and travel expenses. Whilst I was doing all I could do ready myself for eventually being ‘ready,’ if I was honest with myself, I may have been able to start one project this year, but definitely not until much later on in the year. Not until I spoke to my Dad.

I now realise that I was probably walking into this idea blindly and naively hoping…

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LOVE is on my mind

LOVE AND ROMANCE

What is love and what does it mean? Love is LIFE itself. One description of the word in my dictionary describes it as: “To have a great attachment to, and affection for…” Yes, but what does it really mean, because there are so many different kinds of love? The list is endless, for without love what kind of a world would we live in? It would be a cold, austere place where people go through their lives selfishly without thinking of other people and their feelings. Love makes the world go round.

Poets and playwrights over the centuries have written much about romantic love. Their words live on and on.

The following sentence was written by A.E Houseman:

“Look not in my eyes, for fear they mirror true the sight I see and there you find your face too clear and love it and be lost like me.”

Virgil wrote: “How I saw you. How I fell in love! How an awful madness swept me away! Now I know what love is, Love conquers all things. Let us too give into love.”

And who can forget Shakespeare’s hapless character, Romeo as he utters these words as he stands beneath the balcony and looks up to his love, Juliette:

“It is my love: O! That she knew she were. With love’s light wings did I o’er perch these walls, for stony limits cannot hold love out and love can do that does love attempt.”

In the play Twelfth Night, Shakespeare wrote:

“If music be the food of love, play on.” And in The Taming of the Shrew, the well-known saying: “Kiss me Kate, we will be married o’ Sunday.”

“O, my luve’s like a red, red rose, that’s newly sprung in June. O my luve’s like the melodie that’s sweetly played in tune.” were written by Scotland’s Robert Burns whose words have been loved and remembered for many years.

We all start (so they say) from the love between Adam and Eve and their forbidden love. Two people meet, fall in love, get married and have children in the belief that love lasts for ever. But what happens when love goes sour?
Shelley wrote:

“When hearts have once mingled, love first leaves the well-built nest! The weak one is singled to endure what it once possessed.”

Along comes unrequited love, and who doesn’t feel sorrow for poor Tit Willow as he plunges into the “billowing waves” (Gilbert and Sullivan’s Mikado). Young love, lost love, the love between two elderly people who have lived together for so many years and the universal love between mother and child and of course the love between any creature and its young. (Here we have the art of shared devotion, which is love of the purest kind).
But love comes in many different guises. The enduring love of people for their animals is very well known, as is the love of travel, music, books, theatre and nature. Throughout the centuries, people have confessed their love of culture of all kinds. A wonderful, but heart-breaking, true story of love, the memory of which has remained with me for many years, was the story of a man and his dog living in Edinburgh.
When his master died, the dog refused to leave his grave and was fed daily by sympathetic passers-by, but despite this, he later died there. There is a plaque in Edinburgh commemorating his devotion.
Patriotic people all over the world have spoken words of love and fealty to their homeland with hands held closely to their hearts. Robert Burns wrote of his love of Scotland in these well-known words:

“My heart’s in the Highlands, my heart is not here, my heart’s in the Highlands a-chasing the deer. Chasing the wild deer and following the roe, my heart’s in the Highlands, wherever I go.”

In Shakespeare’s play, Richard II, the King said:
“This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England. This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land…”

The love of politics, religion, power, greed and domination has played its part throughout history with dire consequences, including the displacement of millions of people and has contributed to famine in many countries. This is the downside to the word love, because in cases like these, the true meaning of the word is lost and is replaced by a mere shadow of its true definition.
I firmly believe and hope that until LOVE replaces the word HATE in all people’s hearts, there can never be true love throughout the world.

Finally, for all lovers of romance, the following passage is taken from my book Paper Dreams. Dream on…

“They flew off together to a distant warm exotic island, where tiny waves rippled onto a light golden shore and tall palm trees swayed in a warm, sultry breeze. They sunbathed and dreamt together on the beach underneath an umbrella of coconut palm leaves and gazed deeply into one another’s eyes, as brightly coloured birds called out as they flew overhead.
There was a little hut…and the sound of gentle music was wafting lazily towards them as the sun gradually slipped further and further downwards, before finally disappearing gently into the sea.”

“To all, to each, a fair goodnight.
And pleasing dreams, and slumbers light.”

(Sir Walter Scott – 1771-1832)

******

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My Jottings

Hi…I am actually blogging again after nearly a year of silence, and I’m talking about JOTTINGS! I hope you don’t think that this is the only subject I write about. My silence does…

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My Jottings

Hi…I am actually blogging again after nearly a year of silence, and I’m talking about JOTTINGS! I hope you don’t think that this is the only subject I write about. My silence does mean of course that I’ve been busy writing a novel and it is being published right now by MATADOR. It is called WHEN THE ICE MELTS.

Words in the English language can cause confusion. Perhaps my first jotting will amuse you. I was given this small exercise to do at a Creative Writing Course many years ago. I had to use other spellings of the same word:

THE REIN PAWED DOWN

The rein pawed down and the plant looked up, at this heaven scent gift from above. It stretched and grew as this sauce of life sent its routes a quivering with love.

The trees shook there bows and the leaves danced a real, as the droplets reined down from the skies. The sun, knot willing two be left out, shone harder and harder and harder.”

***

My latest book’s title, WHEN THE ICE MELTS is a case in point. When we talk about ice, people immediately think about snowy conditions, skiing and driving in bad weather, perhaps. Or it could be the cubes of ice that we put in our drinks. But, there is another meaning to the word. Grief, or hatred can cause people to build ice into their relationship with others.  Here is a tiny excerpt from my book: John is talking to Sarah about their burgeoning love affair…

“Ice? I don’t understand.’

“Yes ice. You see ice is cold and it covers things up, but if that same ice melts, it uncovers all sorts of things. But if the ice doesn’t melt and the cold increases, it only gets thicker.

WHEN THE ICE MELTS will be available soon. Watch this Space.

***

Now that I don’t have to edit…edit…edit my story, my thoughts have turned to my other writing projects. I have recently had a few problems with my computer. They are the most frustrating machines, and I managed to lose a few of my favourite files, including the beginnings of two novels. As you can imagine, I was quite upset. It has taken weeks to search for some of my older “jottings”, but they have completely disappeared too.
So, nothing undaunted, I searched through my paper files!
My study now looks as if a whirlwind has just passed through it. FILES EVERYWHERE…

Ah success! I’ve found some really old “jottings” on some scrappy pieces of paper, and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Take this for example? I wrote this one many years ago. Have you ever thought about the windmills you can see turning slowly and majestically on remote hillsides as you drive along… Indeed, do you like them, or does their mere presence upset you?

FARMING THE WIND

“They stand high on a lonely barren hill like so many ghostly trees with their greedy arms reaching upwards and outwards.
They feed on the unsuspecting wind as it rushes relentlessly towards them. The hapless wind is trapped and immediately consumed.
They whir round and round in their loneliness, with their outstretched arms pleading for deliverance.
Will these tall, white, hungry powerful aliens be allowed to multiply and march onward to the horizon, forever seeking the higher ground? Will their voices ever be loud enough to be heard and understood? Or will they become the victims of uninformed or closed minds and, just like the dinosaurs, gradually disappear into obscurity?”

I think the jury is still out, especially if the blades are not turning!

***

This little poem might appeal to someone who is contemplating moving house.

A NEW BEGINNING

A new beginning?
Or just the end of a life,
That is the question.

Where am I going?
Away from this blessed place,
To live life anew.

My heart rejoices,
It flies as free as a bird,
Up, up and away.

It is time to go,
Time to find another home,
Where love is golden…

***

The moon shining on the sea has always fascinated me. But have you ever thought how it could affect all the creatures who live there?

THE DARK SHADOW

The moon spread her silvery light over the ocean, throwing each wave and ripple into incandescent relief. Each wave obeys her mystical command until at last all its energy is spent, and it releases itself on some far away shore.
Beneath the sylvan waves, the small creatures of the deep are born and rocked in their watery cradles. They reproduce and then die…or are swallowed by the dark shadow overhead.
Under the moon’s watchful eye, little flashes of silver dart too and fro, each one seeking shelter from the shadow above. The sands shift with each passing tide, thus covering and releasing everything in its path.
Even an old sea-going vessel now wrecked and lying on its side, is a vague shape and part of the sea bed with only a few darting fish for company.
The plants of the deep, ebb and flow with each tide, and dance like a mermaid’s long flowing tresses. They give shelter to the silvery flashes still hiding from the dark menacing shadow overhead.
Millions of eyes look out from fissures and rocks, as they see the shadow’s sleek body pass by, before venturing out to be caressed by the sea like a young maiden’s kiss.
But the dark shadow, with its small eyes alert, is itself wary of yet another dark, metal shadow overhead…

***

Here are Two very SHORT STORIES:

THE HIGHWAYMAN GHOST WITH A CONSCIENCE, MAKES RECOMPENSE:

The highwayman ghost sat on his horse just before a dangerous bend in the road. A car raced toward the bend oblivious to the danger ahead. The ghost reared his horse up in front of the terrified driver, causing him to come to a shuddering halt.
The ghost cheekily doffed his tricorn hat, and quickly disappeared!

***

TAKING A GIANT STEP FOR MANKIND:

Bright moonlight lit up the car where a young couple were sitting. They sighed and looked up at the moon. ‘Do you think the moon is really made of cheese, Buzz darling?’ the young girl
said dreamily.
‘I don’t think so, but if you really want to know,’ he said jokingly, ‘I’ll go up there and find out for you.’

***

I haven’t looked at any of these for some years now. I like to think that you, the reader, might enjoy them. I hope you do.

 

 

 

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