The hotel staff knew him like they knew the numbers on a clock which was very useful because he was always on time. He arrived without flash, in comfy clothes and carrying a small black suitcase. To anyone else he looked like a tourist, but the check in desk girls knew him not to be.
He said his name quietly and he would check in. With his card, he would take the lift up to his room and he would roll his suitcase down the carpet corridor and to the door. There, he let himself in and the door shut firmly behind him with the please do not disturb sign swinging.
He would be seen frequently around the hotel; in the restaurant, in the bar, in the lounge and lobby. Sometimes he would be typing away on a laptop, other times writing in a notebook and whilst he eat; reading a book, always alone. No one seemed really interested him in, a quick glance then on to what they were doing.
His stay could last a few days or a week, sometimes though it would be more than that; two or three weeks, a month or two. It just depend on what he needed. Then he would tidy his room and check out. Often looking more cheerful then he came in.
Months later in the post, the hotel always received a copy of his new novel.
I had been wandering around for a few weeks looking for a quiet spot where I’d be undisturbed to finish editing my latest novel. All my normal places; my study, my bedroom, the library, the park, the coffee shops and pubs I haunted, hadn’t allowed me to complete my work.
It wasn’t lack of motivation, determination or inspiration that was stopping me, it was more the background distractions. So, I had come out here to the middle of the woods to find the peace I needed. It was a bright hot day, unusual English summer time weather but also a week day so most people were trapped in work and school.
It had been awhile since I had last strolled or ran through the woods, so I was surprised to come across the wooden sculpture of a bed. It was made out of thick, but smoothed down tree trunk cut in half with a smaller part of the trunk shaped into a pillow.
I sat down, thinking it would be too hard to sit for long, but actually it was quite comfy. Settling back against the pillow, I set up myself to work and some good hours later I had finished editing my novel and was napping in the dappled shade.
I can no longer feel it in my heart and soul. Where once I had energy and passion there is only a dry husk. I feel there is nothing left inside of me to write about. Every place I look for motivation I find none.
Sitting at the bus stop or lingering in a closing cafe, I listen and watch the people just like I have done for years. My mind draws no pictures around them. They are normal people with normal lives. Not fantasy heroes or Victorian heroines ready for adventures.
Searching in the library, I find books on writing, but I’ve read them all before. I look for more, anything that draws my attention, anything that might get the gears working in my head again. I leave with my arms full of books and spend all day and night reading, but it doesn’t solve my problem.
I go to the doctor and tell him the voices have stopped talking in my head. He smiles and says but isn’t that what everyone wants? What’s the problem? I shout back, but I’m a writer and my life depends on those voices! He shrugs, tells me to eat healthier, have a holiday, and take up a new hobby.
At home I lay in bed, watching spider shadows across the ceiling. I think about what if I’d not been born me. What if I’d been born someone else? Like my doctor or the old lady who always gets the same bus as me. What if I was leading a totally different life right now?
Would I miss writing? Would I even know I had a gift?
I once had a gift.
Now there’s only empty space inside of my head with cotton candy clouds floating by. I wonder if Heaven is like this?
In the morning, I get up and pack a suitcase and rucksack. Of my writing suppliers, I take only an old comforting notebook and a favorite pen. I go to the train station, choose the next train to the furthest away place and buy a one way ticket.
Hopefully inspiration will be waiting at the end of the line.
I was typing away that night as normal then the next second nothing. My fingers stopped moving, my mind shut down and I slowly slipped from my chair. I remember that, but only because I saw it like I was watching it happen to someone else.
I was sat on the floor for a long time, staring but not seeing, not thinking anything, just like a robot that had been turned off. I must have lay down at some point and shut my eyes because when I woke the night had passed and sunlight was coming in through the small Tutor windows.
My back and limbs were stiff from laying on the four hundred year old floor. I got up feeling numb tingles throughout my body, I stretched and wondered what had happened. Had I fallen asleep working again? That wasn’t uncommon.
Getting up, on unsteady legs and went to my desk. There was still a piece of paper in the type writer. Not like me at all. I sat down and looked at it but I couldn’t read the writing. It was like it was in another language. I pulled the paper out and looked at it harder, but I still couldn’t read it.
I turned to the last full page I had wrote and scanned through it. Once again though, I had the same problem. I couldn’t understand the words! Placing the paper down, I got up again and hobbled from the room. I went downstairs and into the bathroom.
After that and having something to eat in the kitchen. I took a walk in my garden then in the village. All the houses here dated from Tutor times and in the late spring sun shine they looked like zebras on a grassy plain.
I went back home and sat at my desk again. The words on the page made more sense. I tried to carry on were I’d left off, but nothing happened. No words formed in my head and my fingers didn’t move on the keys.
Something was wrong.
I shut my eyes and thought about my novel. I called the characters out and pictured the plot I was weaving, but nothing came.
I opened my eyes again and realised I had hit the wall.
Bedgasm: a feeling of euphoria experienced when climbing into bed at the end of a long day.
Finally, I could go to bed! Getting under the duvet and feeling the soft fleece bedding snuggling me was like receiving a hug off a giant teddy bear. I sighed deeply and rested my head against the pillow, feeling totally content.
I felt the waves of sleep and I relaxed into them. For the first time in months, I knew sleep would come quickly and it would be restful. I let everything go, even though the excitement over my first novel being published was hard to let go of!
The road had been long and today, launch day! had been even longer, but now it was time to let everything go. Tomorrow was going to be a fresh start and I needed to be ready to face it. That wasn’t going to be too hard though.
The warmth of the bed was helping to bring sleep faster and I was on that threshold of slipping in. Still though, I clung to the happiness of being able to completely relax. It was a long time since I last felt like this.
I just wanted to say that I’m taking apart in the A-Z Challenge again! So, starting from tomorrow all my posts, beside from the Sunday ones, are going to be on a set theme and follow the letters of the alphabet. If you want to know more, you can check it out here; http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/
My theme this year is to do with words. So, I’ve researched and selected 26 different words that I like the sounds and meanings of. These words are either from different languages, archaic, scientific or unusual English words. Each word will form the base of the short story.
On Sundays, which are none writing days on the challenge, I’ll take the previous story and continue it or expand on it. Just so that things stay flowing and I’m still in the mind set to do it.
I’m really looking forward to taking part and hopefully many interesting story will come out of it.
Last year, I took part in a short story writing collaboration on one of the writing Facebook groups I’m a member of. They’ve released their first book and it contains the story I helped write. I got named too!
It would be awesome if you could support them and me by buying this book. It’s available in all formats and world wide.
Here’s the link;
There’s me! Hayley Hardman.
Totally exciting to see your name in print.
Thanks for reading this and all your support. Every like, share and follower helps me to feel more inspired to carry on writing stories.
He found a yellow post it note stuck to floor. Thinking it had just fallen off his desk, he picked it up and placed it next to his laptop. Then he saw something written on the other side, bleeding though. Turning the note over, he read an idea for a story which he had no memory of writing down.
It’s stormy weather again, I’m afraid. Seems every time I decide to come home it happens! Of course, this is the only communication I can find. God damn this island! I hope this note reaches you. I’ve sent my best bird with it. I would suggest waiting until it’s calm to send him back. My research into the new plants isn’t going well. The weather doesn’t help, but it seems the animals here have a liking for the flowers too!
To be honest I’m thinking of cutting this project short and returning to you. I miss you too much to be a part for any longer. Even in the name of Science! As soon as this storm clears up I shall return to you. Perhaps it’s about time I let this hobby go for it’s causing us nothing but trouble!