Dear Friends,

I couldn’t take this trip without sending you all a postcard.

With my talisman clutched firmly in my hand, the cold steel of the key somehow comforting, I approach the door to the Writer’s World.  To my amazement it no longer appears as 18’ high – it is now akin to the large double oak doors you would find as entry to an old medieval church.  The heavy wood is still beautifully carved and inlaid with highly detailed images of all my favourite characters from books.  Aslam the lion still protects the lock, but today Aslam is smiling at me, his wooden features are kind and comforting.  As he was to Lucy and her siblings in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe he is offering me protection, inspiration and direction.

How can I refuse?

The door opens easily and the warm breeze rushes out to greet me, it carries a scent of hope entwined with jasmine and the fresh salty tang of sea air, all mixed up enticingly.  I step through the door and know I have found my way.

The air is hazy with a gentle silence and it carries a sense of waiting. The landscape is somehow shrouded and unclear, if I concentrate hard I can make out the Publishers Highway and faintly hear the familiar sounds of all my friends and colleagues rushing or idling along the path. But then the edges of the image fade and slowly disappear. I have arrived but I am not here yet.

I wander past my cherry red jag lovingly brushing my fingers through the dust; I can feel the engine start to purr gently, under my touch, then it too, fades and is gone.

I find myself at the edge of the Sea of Despair, the cool waves lap up to meet my feet and wash them in the salty bitterness of disappointment. I sit at the water’s edge and drink in the views of the familiar surroundings, it is all the same but the hazy sheen hanging in the air makes everything appear a little distorted, off kilter. It is the same, almost.

The water is lapping gently, soothing in its rhythmic ebb and flow. I don’t really notice it creeping up further toward me;  gaining depth with every ebb and flow its intent to swallow me whole is invisible to me.  Nearly.

I laugh and kick at the deepening waters – immediately reducing them to their former gentle lapping at my toes and I remind the Sea of Despair that I am a visitor of old,  I have been here before and I have conquered.

For proof see:  Am I alone, lonely or just different?

As I stand and make ready to leave I realise that the tide mark of the great waters has encroached upon my Publisher’s Pathway a lot during my absence.  I stand with the jasmine and hope inspired scent brushing at my face and I breathe it in.

I nearly allowed the Sea of Despair to swallow my pathway and leave this terrain barren and empty of the creative words that are my life.  Nearly but not quite.  I am back now and nearly ready to gain control.

Next time I visit maybe a trip in the cherry red jag will be in order, who knows.

Hope you are here with me, love and hugs to you all.  xxx

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