I had an interesting thought the other day that I want to share with you.
In between marking final assignments I’ve been re-reading the proof of my latest novel, All Manner of Things. And, while leafing through the pages of a piece years in the making, I couldn’t help but think this:
When we think about being creative, we often picture the finished product: the completed novel, the choreographed dance, the final film, the framed painting.
And that’s wonderful. It’s good to know where we’re heading.
But, a creation is more than the sum of its parts. There is a story behind my novel, of the tasks — both little and big — that melded together into the book-sized package I now hold in my hands. And I think, when we’re focused on our next step, we often forget to take pride in what we’ve already achieved.
So, whatever stage you are in your creative journey, whether it be the first step or the fiftieth, I hope you recognise the day-to-day work you are putting in, and that you take a moment to smile and be proud of all that you’ve achieved.
As always, I hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe and well.
All Manner of Things:
One of the more extraordinary things achieved by Wendy Dunn’s pen, and imagination, is seeing the Tudor world through sympathetic eyes. Not salacious or brutal, but hauntingly lovely. She sees great personalities through supporting figures, who are not envious nor cruel, but engaged and engaging. She showed it with Thomas Wyatt gazing on Anne Boleyn in “Dear Heart, How like you this?” Here, she brings in María de Salinas to Katherine of Aragon; observer, yes, yet, like her Wyatt, an interesting character in their own right.
Humming with sentiment, Faith, love, goodness, and friendship, this novel is a triumph in the world of Tudor fiction, in which Dunn has brought her established skills to present the brilliant yet brutal career of Henry VIII’s first wife to life with subtle, suggestive, and loving detail. I felt sincerely moved by the voice of María, passionate and evolving, and privileged to read it.