I recently went to a park in Paterson, NSW with my wonderful friend Britt from Maloney Designs.
The intention was to take some photos for my website. You know, just photos of my books, photos of me – that kind of thing. We did a lot of that, and you’ll see more of those photos soon, but for now I want to mention the story behind this photo.
When Britt handed me this prop I dropped the ‘author’ persona and the copies of books I’d been juggling. We then spent a few minutes talking about something (someone) that happened to me recently.
His name is Ben.
At the sound of his name I smile like a lovesick freak.
...What does a lovesick freak look like you wonder?
It’s the look you give the waiter when he’s bringing your food at a restaurant.
It’s the look your dog gives you when you come home from work.
It’s the way your grandparents smile at each other from across the room at a family gathering.
Actually, no. It’s so much more than that.
It’s a feeling.
It’s a feeling that grows inside of you. It fills every inch of your body until it spills out onto your face as an eclectic smile. A smile so wide, it stretches ear to ear...
The above block of italics is an excerpt from my upcoming novel The Grey. The Grey is a direct sequel to The White and the main themes are grief and love.
In the midst of their grief, some of my characters find love sneaking up on them. It was my favourite thing to write, because I love the way love sneaks up on you. I love the way it comes out of nowhere.
It sneaks up on you as you listen to his sleepy voice during a late-night phone call, and you giggle like a child as the two of you debate if it's possible for otters to live in Arctic waters.
It sneaks up on you as you come running down the stairs, keen to 'get the show on the road'. When you see her, time stops.
It sneaks up on you when he’s pushing you on a swing at a children’s playground, you're hours from home, but that doesn't matter anymore, because now home is wherever he is.
It sneaks up on you as you look into those jade-green eyes. Soft, welcoming and sexy as hell, you feel safe, you let your guard down.
It sneaks up on you when you’re watching him deep in conversation with your parents. His infectious laughter fills every inch of the room and you know you'll never be alone again.
It sneaks up on you as you wander through the rainforest, your fingers intertwine, the sound of her laughter fills your ears like a lullaby.
It sneaks up on you in the middle of a dinner. Your best friend sits across the table from him, she looks at you and you know what she’s thinking. She’s wondering how on earth you managed to find such a genuine guy on that app with the flame logo. You think the same.
It sneaks up on you whilst you stand together in a field of sunflowers, she tells you about her past and you listen with hope to be her future.
All of a sudden you're head over heals, you're letting go of your past, ready to start fresh. As corny as it is, both in The Grey and in my life, I wouldn't have this love story be told any other way.
The reason for this wholesome post, aside from dropping some spoilers about the themes of The Grey, is to express my gratitude to him.
I'm thankful, so thankful.
I’ve never had a muse before.