Went to bed with today planned. I knew where next my characters meet and what will happen, but this morning woke with thoughts racing and mood definitely cranky. Maybe it is a reaction to feeling so good about the progress made in the novel – usual ‘paying the price’ for feeling more cheerful than usual. These days the swings are minor by comparison but up is still balanced by the down.
But then I realised I had gone to sleep less than pleased with the author of the book being read before sleeping. An Australian author, prolific writer, mainstream publisher, new book. Not far into the story I read that the Nullarbor is a desert and one of the passengers on the train crossing the Nullarbor Plain – lots of low lying scrub – is Chinese – in 1943. If the author was a younger person it could be possible he/she (no more clues) would be unaware of the White Australia Policy. Only someone who had not travelled out of Australia while the legislation was in force would have been sheltered from the disgust directed by the outside world at that racist policy. There were many times I was held to account for the policy when trying to enjoy a quiet drink in a London pub. I shudder to think of the contempt Australians will face overseas in light of Australia’s current refugee policy and racist procedures.
Do I write to the author to voice my disappointment? It is one thing to suspend belief when reading fantasy or sci-fi but when a story is anchored in so much that is real – as is the book in question – then failure by author and publishing team is disheartening. This is the first time I have picked up one of this author’s many books. Is it enough to put me off? How much forgiveness do I have in my heart? Am I such a pickety-pickety person? Yes.
My memory goes back to feedback given after a vocational guidance test when I was 16 years of age. Seems my mind is structured to focus on very fine detail and for this a career as a pharmaceutical chemist would be my best fit. I mentioned I would like to be a writer and was told they were not able to forecast success in that field, but any where I positioned myself to meet people while maintaining a ‘shop counter’ relationship would be the next best thing. Barmaid fitted that and filled pints and gave change exercising great precision. And that is how I regard facts when writing my story.
Aware of how moods can creep out between lines written, I am not about to return to the novel this morning. As I am confident very few, if any, will read this post down this far, any such gloom as I am now experiencing will be limited. (If you have read this far, please chide me in a comment.)