It has been quite some time since I have sat down at my keyboard and written just for me. All through our travels I have written; diaries, how-to's and guides but now I have the time I find I have the inclination towards a little literary indulgence.
What some of you may not know is that, for the last two years, I have been working on my first novel. The idea began in Australia and I began to put the words on paper during my time in South Korea. Obviously finding the time to write when I was travelling was near impossible but now that I have the relatively stable base, and internet connection, that comes with house sitting I am finally able to conquer the seemingly insurmountable task of editing my book. Currently it stands at an impressive 360 pages which, by the end of my now second edit, is sure to rise again.
I have always loved to write, I wrote my first short stories in my early teens, and amazingly I even loved writing essays during University. It is part of the reason I began writing this blog, so that I may have a regular outlet for writing and a place to practice. Now don't get me wrong, I don't think my writing is always good - it's not- but I hope at the end of the process of writing my novel I would have produced something worthwhile. Don't we all. If it makes you feel any better, it absolutely makes me feel good about myself, this quote from Ernest Hemingway you cheer you right up.
What is the book about? This is the most common question I get asked, everyone I have talked to while travelling asks the same. My book, and I say 'my book' because I am still undecided on the title, is set in 880-884 and follows a women who grew up in Sweden living rather a normal life but in her mind she always imagines something more from life. Forced by the situation she finds herself in, namely a very unwanted married, she chooses to assume the identity of another and get aboard a trading vessel bound for the viking settlements in modern-day Russia. What happens when she arrives can only be described as monumentous for her and the others around her.
If you like stories about adventure, vikings and history this may well be up your alley. It's a historical fiction though the events which occur in the novel do find their basis in historical research, fact and actual events.
I have been supremely lucky this year, our house sits have lead us to places that have profoundly assisted in the research and development of this book. I recently visited York, which if you do not know, has an amazing facility called Jorvik( pronounced your-vick) which recreates the old viking settlement within modern day York.
In closing I wanted to say how important I think it is to take time for yourself to discover your true passion and have the time to develop those. I know not everyone feels they have the time to do so. I also want to encourage you to find something you love and spend a little time indulging yourself this silly season - you may just find it is the best present you could give yourself.