Hi there, Naomi Bulger here, happy to be back on English Muse after a short break, during which I had a baby girl called Madeleine, we found out she was sick, but we determined to stay positive no matter what. It’s been a busy time!
Meanwhile, the weather in Melbourne, Australia, looks like living up to its reputation this week with wet, wet and more wet on the forecast, so we will be bunkering down for some solid indoors time. And in between feeds, nappies, a few freelance jobs and the odd bit of cooking and cleaning, that means two wonderful things for me: reading and writing.
Reading because it is such a glorious escape, especially now that I most often do it with a warm bundle of love asleep on one of my shoulders. And writing because in my head, I am already devising wonderful stories that I will write for Madeleine to enjoy when she is older.
When I went into hospital to have Madeleine, I was reading Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh, and I read part of it aloud to her while we fed (until I decided it got too depressing for a three-day-old). Now that I’m back home with my little one, I find I’m drawn more to children’s stories, adventures into which I can imagine my baby girl stepping.
So I’m reading my way through the Inkheart trilogy by Cornelia Funke. Have you read these books? I am simply in love with the concept of characters from a story stepping into our world… and us moving about inside their storybook world. And the sense that while the author dictates what happens in a story at first, characters can just as easily run away from the author and carve their own destiny. Certainly that has happened to me when writing fiction. It puts me in mind of Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder, the discovery that we are but characters in a bigger story…
(All images are screenshots from the 2008 film adaptation of Inkheart)