New Stories, Old Characters and Happy Beginnings with Jessie Cahalin


I hoped thoughts of my characters wouldn’t disturb my enjoyment of the performance.
The orchestra tuned up prior to the Russian State Ballet’s performance of Cinderella. The discordant notes reminded me of the collection of ideas for my work in progress and blog posts. I hoped thoughts of my characters wouldn’t disturb my enjoyment of the performance.
The ballet opened with a clock projected on the screen and dancers represented the mechanism. Time ticking reminded me it was already the end of another year and it was almost time to press the button on my New Writers’ Scheme application.
My work in progress is still a pumpkin waiting for the final transformation.
A forlorn Cinderella appeared on stage, like the character of Sophie I have left behind in my second novel. The erratic movements of the stepmother and ugly sisters reminded me of the clunky sentences I have abandoned. But these characters distracted me with their humour. The man playing the wicked stepmother was expressive in both physical and facial movements. He had planned every single movement to correspond with the music. I feel as if I choreograph every single movement of the characters in my book and sometimes it appears forced, until the characters take on a life of their own. Doreen, in my work in progress, possess the same sort of pantomime dame presence as the stepmother but she isn’t wicked.
Cheers to Lizzie Lamb and Lynda Stacey
A malevolent force dominated the ballet: good wrestled with evil. The evil dissolved when the fairies appeared and then they distracted me from my writing. During my blogging year, I have also encountered my very own fairies who have added magic and to my year. Lynda Stacey invited me to the RNA York tea and encouraged me to apply for their New Writer’s Scheme, while Lizzie Lamb, an RNA member, is always on hand to provide me with indie author expertise. Angela Petch and Jena Henry are my fairy godmothers. They have become twinkling stars on my Books in Handbag Blog. As I write, I know exactly what Angela and Jena will ask.
Jena Henry and Angela Petch are my fairy godmothers
‘Who are the ugly sisters and wicked stepmothers?’ I hear my fairy godmothers ask.
Well, I am like the wicked stepmother trying to force my characters to fall in love or get back home before it’s too late. Male and female characters can get ugly when they don’t want to behave.
Transfixed, I watched the transformation of Cinderella and marvelled at the re-telling of a classic. Good, beauty and the truth prevailed when the story ended. This confirmed I must pursue a love story in my second novel.
After the bows for the ballet, the curtain dropped, lights went on and the spell was broken. My neighbours rattled their sweet packets and settled down as the dusty, blue curtain closed. Having been transported into a dreamlike state, I knew I would pursue Pearl and Jim’s romance further but with a backdrop of humour and the seventies.
With a letter from the RNA, my new year has a happy beginning.
My work in progress is still a pumpkin waiting for the final transformation. Happily, I have just discovered I have been accepted on the RNA New Writers’ Scheme.

With a letter from the RNA, my new year has a happy beginning. I can’t wait for the RNA reader to add some magic. The RNA Conference and RNA York Tea will also be significant events in my year.

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

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