Sunday, 26 August 2012

Morning Sun

Ok, this is something a bit different and more personal... part of the beyond! I haven't written anything in a while and had this idea to warm up again by using paintings to create my scene and then imagine the situation, the characters etc... this a big thing for me to share so please be kind but at the same time I don't mind a bit of constructive criticism. More than anything I hope you enjoy it...

Morning Sun Edward Hopper (1952)

She sat on the bed, the morning sun a spotlight on her natural form. Accentuating the tone of her skin, the line of her curved legs as she lost herself in the cityscape framed in the window. She could spend hours watching the skyline, industry and nature intertwined as she watched the birds soaring on the wind above the buildings, negotiating the wires and aerials of modern society. She moved only to reach for a cigarette from the bedside table, her nightdress rising above her thighs almost translucent in the sunlight.

As he watched from the shadow of the doorway he contemplated her thoughts. She seemed so comfortable, so at peace, framed by the sunlight. At that moment his heart swelled full of love for her and yet he could hear that voice telling him it wouldn’t last. He was not enough for her. It is true she had been distracted recently; she had been working long hours and bringing it home with her. When he asked what was wrong work was the go to answer but he couldn’t help feeling it was more than that. She didn’t laugh like she used to, no topic of conversation could engage her fully and he could not get passed the fortress she had constructed. Whilst watching her, a mug of steaming coffee in his hand, all his concerns fell away and he let himself become immersed in her. For a moment she was how he remembered her; simple, elegant, beautiful in the morning sun and yet he couldn’t help thinking she looked sad.

She knew he was at the door, standing his post. She could feel his eyes upon her. Thinking about it she could not remember a time when she had turned around and he had not been there, looking over her shoulder, checking up on her, acting more like a concerned parent than a lover. Most of the time she enjoyed the comfort that came with his proximity, the security and protection but there could be such a thing as too much time together.

She knew she’d been distracted lately. She knew he didn’t deserve the way she was treating him and yet she could not find the words to make it right so instead she let him watch her knowing that it calmed him. This was her compromise she realised as the smoke of her cigarette passed out through the window enjoying the freedom she longed for.

“Where are you right now?” His voice cut through the silence, woke her from the nothingness and enveloped her in a warmth that she had forgotten she could feel. It surprised her that after so many years he could still have this affect on her and yet it took all her energy just to turn her head and give a twitch of her mouth in recognition to his voice. It was enough; he took it as an invitation and slowly made his way from the gloom moving into the light choosing to rest against the wall by the window, extending his cup of coffee as a silent truce. She accepted and as she sipped at the warming drink their eyes found each other, explored each other as strangers are wont to do in those first moments of attraction.

He could have stayed there for the rest of the day. As he stood gazing at her his thoughts moved to days spent in that room; the days when they hadn’t left the bed, the midnight conversations, the arguments, the making up. So many memories... a lifetime in just one room. In that moment he realised there could never be anyone else.

“Now you’ve disappeared too.” She said and for a brief second the sparkle in her eye returned.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Half year(ish) review

As you can probably tell I had planned to do this a bit earlier in the year but just hadn’t got round to it! It’s been a busy year so far and it doesn’t show any chance of stopping... but having recently had a personal appraisal I thought I’d take the chance to reflect on everything that’s happened over the last year and build on this.

Obviously the routine work continues, weeding, post natal talks, rhyme times, maintaining our home library service but with a year of celebration in Wiltshire there has been lots of opportunities to take part in organising and running events... my personal achievements this year include:
  • A dramatic reading afternoon to promote Dicken’s Day in partnership with the local am dram society in Corsham
  • A well attended quiz night to celebrate World Book Night 2012 in Chippenham
  • Drop in sessions in Calne for the Olympic torch relay
  • Creative writing “Story Lab” workshops as part of the Summer Reading Challenge celebrations
  • The installation and training of a new stock management program in libraries in my area, handing responsibility to library assistants

It has also been another successful year promoting and running the Summer Reading Challenge in Wiltshire. This year for the first time I managed to visit every school in the Calne area to promote this wonderful scheme to keep children’s literacy levels and love of reading high over the Summer holidays. This has resulted in nearly 2000 registered Story Lab participants in the Chippenham Area alone. This time of year is probably my favourite as the libraries buzz with children and laughter and there is a real sense of community within the library including the coming together of volunteers to help in the effort. The atmosphere is electric and it is wonderful seeing the library at the heart of these communities.

Obviously these achievements would not have been possible without the support of my line manager, senior staff and the amazing teams I work with in each library and at a time when libraries are still very much in the media spotlight I feel it is important to once again advocate for the unique services library staff provide.
The year is far from over and there are plans afoot to build on the success of the year, these include:
  • running an Autumnal dramatic reading session
  • organising a young writers club
  • Beginning an adult reading book group

We are also looking forward to the opening of a new library in Wiltshire and with the opening of New Trowbridge I am sure all hands will be on deck. There’s some lay out issues to overcome in Chippenham and a chance to get more involved with volunteer libraries in my area. Autumn and Winter may be a traditionally quieter time of year in public libraries but I don’t see the fun ending any time soon!