I’ve been meaning to blog for weeks, and before I knew it, over a month had passed. Blogging is like meditation for me. Like Julia Cameron’s morning pages, or journaling, or yoga. It leaves my head clearer, my spirit lighter, and I’m happier when I’m regular in my practice.
If only the clock would stop, or we could squirrel away pockets of time to save for moments like these. It’s easier said than done. Sometimes I blink and the week is over. This morning, our eight year old was spotting shapes in the clouds. I’m grateful for the reminders to slow down, to take pleasure from the simplest things.
This week, the work pleasure has been two-fold. All the Tomorrows was accepted for a BookBub featured deal on Monday and spent a few days climbing the charts. It hit no 1 in the overall paid Kindle store in Canada, and also did really well in its UK and Aus categories! It was such a thrill to watch, and for the writers amongst you, it really is worth submitting for a BookBub. The sales exceeded what I expected, and I’m hoping there’s going to be a trail too. My publisher has triggered the change back to the normal price now, but you should still be able to get the e-book at the discounted price for the next few hours.
The second, deeply satisfying pleasure, is getting into the routine of regular fiction-writing again, now baby is at nursery. Below, you’ll find an excerpt from novel 2, Hidden Colours, due to be released in late 2018. It’s now more than just a lump of clay and is becoming a real, breathing story. This snippet might change in subsequent drafts, and when my editor gets her hands on it, but for now, here’s a taste.
Photo by André Hofmeister
Nestled in the far-east corner of Treptower Park, past the abandoned funfair with its rusting dodgems and the Ferris wheel overcome by climbing ivy, stood a midnight blue and bronze tent. It didn’t look like much – particularly tonight, when the inky sky blotted out the stars – but each evening at the stroke of seven, the circus came stutteringly to life.
Tonight, a sparse crowd filled the tent. The immigrant circus, as it was known locally, was no longer Berlin’s newest curiosity. Amidst a jumble of fairy-lights, sawdust and clattering seats, the evening’s performance hurtled forward at break-neck speed, as if the circus wasn’t quite confident of its wares. The circus-goers cheered and quietened by turns, as the artists turned their tricks into spectacle. In the midst of it all, high above the rest, Yusuf shook with nerves, as he did every evening.
For Yusuf and the motley assortment of refugees who had become his family, the circus wasn’t merely a performance. The circus tent that flared above them might have been an inanimate object, but it symbolised the chance of a new life. After he’d fled Syria, he hadn’t thought he’d ever find another home, until the circus found him. Somehow the immigrant circus had become his new family. The performers forged new ties, because without each other, they had nobody. The circus had become a lifeboat, as if they were still making the treacherous journey across the globe away from disease, war and uncertainty. As if the twinkling lights of the circus tent amounted to the North Star.
If only the city kept her arms open.
The microphone boomed. “Ladies and gentleman, boys and girls… It’s the man – nay, the star – you’ve been waiting for! He can leap. He can somersault through the air. He can land like a cat. Our resident acrobat, Herr. Yusuf Alam!”
Have a great week, and if you want to know about my new releases, follow me on BookBub and Amazon, and they automatically let you know when there’s something new. Alternatively, subscribe to my occasional newsletter here.