Sunday afternoons are for relaxation; a walk perhaps, or a book or film, but today I am restless. Through my window I can see the river rising, its muddy water flowing increasingly fast as it tumbles over itself in a race towards the sea. The wind is howling too, the bare branches of the trees lining the riverside are swaying wildly against the grey sky, and the day is punctuated with gusty squalls of rain. Despite all this there are hopeful signs; daffodil bulbs are sending their shoots up and I noticed the first delicate snowdrops this morning. All day, I’ve considered going for a walk, knowing that once I rug up and step outside, the elements would not seem so unfriendly. Instead I’ve made hot soup and too many cups of tea, I’ve watched a James Bond movie and the grand final of the Australian Open, and I’ve circled the computer, unsure how to approach writing my first blog post yet knowing I must.
It seems as if only yesterday I was seeing in the New Year, welcoming 2014 with open arms, a hopeful heart and too many resolutions, and yet already January is over. In that time there has been a polar vortex in the States, Australia has experienced the hottest weather on earth and Britain has faced storms and high tides that have pounded the coast and destroyed much of the promenade in Aberystwyth where I am living. It has been a dramatic start to the year.
In the end I have kept to some of my New Year resolutions but not others. I didn’t give up the occasional glass of wine or the pleasure of chocolate bars, but I did start working on my novel once again and this has reminded me of the great joy and satisfaction that comes from the creative process. With the help of my eldest daughter, I have also set up this new website, the Centre for Story. I have wanted to do this for some time now but I had created a narrative around it, a self-limiting story that focused on the impossibilities – lack of time, lack of money and a distinct lack of expertise. Or perhaps it was simply that the timing was not right.
What I have discovered is that developing a website is rather like writing a novel. It’s a process that takes one step at a time and in which each obstacle and problem is dealt with as it arises. Like a novel, there are blocks and back turns, turning points and questions that arise. There are moments of despair and moments of triumph, and like a novel, there is no certainty about the outcome. And finally, just like a novel, a website requires input from others, suggestions and comments that will help it to grow and evolve.
The Centre for Story is not complete; in fact it is only just beginning and while I have ideas about the direction I would like to take it, I am also aware that, like a novel, at some point, it will acquire a life of its own, following a path that is different from my initial expectations. The Centre is part of a journey, whose beginnings date back many years before the creation of the website and whose end is not yet visible. The blog will host guest bloggers from a range of backgrounds and I will post my own thoughts, as well as reviews of books, websites and articles and links to informative and inspirational talks. For those of you already familiar with Write on the Fringes, this blog will build on and replace that one. You can also follow the Centre on facebookand twitter.
I hope you will follow the Centre on this meandering path that will celebrate the power of story to promote positive change within each of us and ultimately in the world around us.
You are welcome to share articles as long as copyright and contact information are always included. Thank you for your courtesy. Rosie Dub