Hello again. No news regarding the memoir – and perhaps that’s why I’m feeling like my literary dreams have come to a standstill. I’m working hard to ‘keep the faith’ and to keep believing that I will one day get published, but this is not always easy to do. A friend of mine often advises me to ‘trust in the universe’ at times like this, and I’m working on that, too. My turn will come … soon I hope. Meanwhile, I’ve been going along to the BackTrack Shed as writer-in-residence, and I’m now also teaching one day a week at the new BackTrack ‘school’, an alternative education centre based at the shed. Teaching a group of boys who don’t fit into mainstream education is both exciting and challenging, especially as we have little in the way of resources and equipment. Some days I could burst with enthusiasm about the possibilities of this work, but other days I wonder: how the hell did I end up back in this shed?
I first arrived at the BackTrack shed in 2007 and began an immersion research phase that lasted nearly two years. Readers of this blog would also know that I’ve spent the last six years writing a memoir about the life-changing events that came out of this experience. I submitted the memoir to a publisher earlier this year, and since then I’ve been contemplating my next major writing project. My thoughts were leaning towards finishing a novella I’ve been working on for the past seven years, and then settling into a family history project that would take me to Barcelona, Manila and Amsterdam, where I would uncover exciting secrets about my family’s involvement in the Spanish Inquisition. Momentarily side-tracked, I took the opportunity to be a writer-in-residence at BackTrack, where I imagined travelling over the countryside attending rural shows with a group of boys and dogs. Yet here I am every Wednesday – standing in a noisy welding shed less than two blocks from where I live, trying to speak over the shriek of a drop-saw, surrounded by boys who eat nothing but devon and tomato sauce sandwiches.
Trust in the universe, Helena.
The next few weeks should sort out my current confusion about what the universe is trying to tell me. As usual, I’m waiting on a few applications, and if any of them come through for me, I’ll follow the signs. In the meantime, I’ll try and keep the faith.