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A Day Out, A Day Off

Tolquhon Castle: a good place for a day out

Every so often I take a day off from writing. Not because I want to. I resist and avoid and cling to my desk in a desperate fashion. Friends persuade and entice me outside… and it is always good, always nourishing and refreshing. There’s a planned outing later this week and I can just picture my characters’ reactions when they realise I’m not there at the keyboard…

Justin notices first. He looks up, listens and checks again. “She’s gone out!”

Every character, from the main protagonist to the young police officer who only gets mentioned once, sags with relief. They go back to bed and sleep in till lunchtime. Later they shuffle downstairs to get tea and food and sit in silence in the dining hall.

People who usually snipe and gripe at each other pass the sugar without word. Two of them exchange a wry smile, for without my omniscient presence to keep them busy they can sense what’s coming, not the details, but the shadow of ‘something bad’ ahead, something they would avoid if they could. But like my day out, it cannot be avoided; it has to happen.

They head to bed early, exhausted by the hours of doing nothing, tired from the rest and relaxation.

No arguments. No sex. No laughter.

How boring! These people need me! Maybe I shouldn’t go out after all…

***

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Set in a fictional castle in Aberdeenshire, Ailish Sinclairโ€™s debut novel, THE MERMAID AND THE BEAR, blends an often overlooked period of history, the Scottish witchcraft accusations, in particular the 1597 Aberdeen witchcraft panic, with a love story.

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33 thoughts on “A Day Out, A Day Off

  1. Pingback: Glenn Affric to Loch Ness | Ailish Sinclair

  2. Love this idea! Have you read Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books? He does a great take on what characters in books might get up to when the story isn’t happening… ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Alas, I don’t think so. I’m sometimes so pleased when I discover how tweaking a few words can make their situation so much worse. I do love them though ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Pingback: Glen Affric in the Scottish Highlands - Ailish Sinclair

  4. Laughing here. I never thought about my characters idling when I wasn’t writing. Hilarious. I think they push me about when I write more than I push them about, but it comes to the same thing in the end. Lovely photographs!

  5. Loved it, but reading was tinged with sadness… Why ?
    Next week, we should be in Scotland.. Instead, we’re must avoid leaving our village.
    Holiday rescheduled again, for November this year.. Also, via a lost Kindle, and a print copy delivered somewhere else, reading your book at last,

  6. loved this, woke about 2 a.m, wondering what one of my characters was up to.
    Sadly, no holiday in Scotland next week – second time. Instead, we must avoid leaving our village.
    Holiday re-booked, for November this year….

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