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Susana Lindsay

The Sequel and Other Things

All right, I confess, I haven't really begun the sequel to Sangha yet. I'm making noises in that direction, but my fingers have not touched the keyboard.

Notes abound, the result of coffee shop scribbles while I wait for family or friends. I like arriving early so I have time to do that dreaming, that playing and plotting in one's mind that precedes words on a page, while I sneak in an extra coffee. What a privilege!

The sequel's provisional title is Akibara, as its role will be more prominent this time around. Most of the notes are on the continuing story lines from Book One. Others are questions about the culture of Sangha and how the inhabitants will deal with their entry into the Federation of Planets and the subsequent development.

What I am writing (I'm about three quarters finished) is a romance I began before Sangha's final edit, while I was waiting for friends to finish reading it. I call it a romance because a man and woman eventually meet and I've got my fingers crossed that they'll be compatible. I'm not yet up to that point. However, as I'm not a particularly romantic person, there's not a lot of 'falling in love' so I'll have to run it by my readers for a thumbs up or down.

I'm writing it, Sam and Alice it's called, for a warm, generous and lovely young friend who told me that she didn't read for pleasure. She reads journals and articles necessary for a course she is doing, but she said she slipped through the educational cracks by living in half a dozen different countries before she was thirteen. She does quite like romances though, hence my effort. I thought that by setting the story in some places familiar to her, she may find visualising fictional characters and settings easier . . . we'll see.

Being an avid reader since childhood, I hadn't really thought about the degree of imagination that a reader must bring to a story. I'm sure you've all experienced the disppointment, or occasionally delight, when a favourite novel is made into a movie. 'But that's not what it's like!' we wail internally, when someone elses perception doesn't match our own. Then, I suppose, it's the author's task/choice to either paint clearer word pictures, or to hint broadly so the reader can fill in the gaps from their own vision. I'm only just learning how to be a writer and I have a long way to go.

In the winter photo (above) the little potted lemon tree on my deck provides a bright, cheerful spot on the landscape every time I glance through the dining room doors. It's surviving the frosts quite well.

Next month, I hope Sam and Alice will be finished. I'll let you know.


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