Happy New Year Characters and Friends with Jessie Cahalin

Happy New Year Characters and Friends

   The familiar view of Penarth
I’ve become so familiar with the seafront in Penarth that I’ve never ventured from the main path. Contented with the changes in the light, I found comfort in the same view. On Boxing Day, crowds of people in Penarth forced me to walk a new path above the seafront.


An unfamiliar perspective of Penarth pier that allows me to look at the bigger picture
As I looked down on a familiar view from a new perspective, I released some of the characters in my work in progress. Maybe these characters will remain forever lost or appear in another story. Who knows? I’ve worked in my tiny writing room, with my cast of characters, for many months. In the new year, I will print out my work in progress, read it aloud and look at it from a fresh perspective.


I realised that I needed to release some of the characters
It’s certain I will remain with Pearl and Jim who will also need to digress from their familiar paths. They first appeared in You Can’t Go It Alone, and my work in progress, set in the seventies, is a prequel to this novel. Their paths have already crossed, and I hope they will end up at the same destination soon. Alas, they can’t text each other, connect via social media or email each other. When the characters are a distance apart, they must physically travel to meet up or write a proper letter. They can’t even use a landline as they don’t have telephones.


As the sun sets on another year, I wish you and my characters some happy and new destinations.
However, I’m grateful Anne Williams sent me back to the seventies to meet the young Pearl and Jim. Maybe Anne could have a word with Pearl and find out more. Meanwhile, attitudes and beliefs in this era continue to shock me. My twenty first century perspective means I can support my characters a little yet cannot control their anxiety. The girls in the factory are currently on strike and they can’t google the legislation to find out more. It would’ve helped if they could connect with the Dagenham strikers in a Facebook Group, but social media is decades away. Of course, they’ve seen the headlines and the world seems to have gone on strike. And I’m in despair because some of the women have been tempted to parade in a fashion show of clothes for the bosses. In future, they will learn about the Miss World protests. I know these destinations are ahead of them but how can I navigate them and force them to take new paths?

Characters are distracting me and fluttering around in my mind and a couple of them have decided to take time out on the beach. Do you see them? Pearl and Jim’s perspective remain strong in my head. I’ll stay on the new path that has a clearer overview. With patience, they will eventually reach their intended destination. I have no idea how to get Jim back home, but I do know what car he will drive and how much it cost. Like me they are facing January, but the January of 1970 was a harsh one. I have twenty ideas for the title of my next novel and all suggestions include the word ‘love’. Love will guide my characters. In the words of Dylan Thomas. ‘Though lovers be lost, love shall not…’

As the sun sets on another year, I wish you and my characters some happy and new destinations.

Please see all my adventures at Handbag Adventures and my website and blog at JessieCahalin.com.

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