Which might be better described as What a Difference a Year Makes because at the end of the week Letting in Light will be one year old.
And what a year it's been. I've been on the biggest learning curve of my life, met some truly lovely people, and discovered how wonderfully supportive the bookish community are, from readers and writers, to bloggers and complete strangers, all united by our love of the written word.
It's been a year of highs and lows, of almost giving up, of turning a corner and now the utter joy of seeing Letting in Light gain higher and higher rankings in the charts, and reaping more and more positive comments. She's been a slow burner thats true, but now her birthday candles are well and truly alight.
But then maybe I was right the first time, maybe the difference was all made in a day; that quiet evening when I pressed submit and uploaded my book to Amazon, without a fanfare, without publicity, without reviews and in fact without even telling anyone for a few days. I had realised my dream, I had written a book, and I had published my book. I didn't know if it was a good book, I hoped it was, but pretty much I thought that was it, I had reached my goal, but I realise now of course that it was only the start of my dream and that ultimately everything else that has followed has done so following that one quiet singular moment.
someone once said to me, what's it all about then, this book of yours, windows or something? and I replied, in a way yes, because it's not just windows that let in light. One of the main characters is a stained glass artist and for him, his work, his art, is a life transforming passion. Of course I can't say too much more for fear of spoilers but this passage has always been one of my favourites because its about being in profound awe of something so beautiful it takes your breath away:
A waft of air gushes against the back of my legs, and dust motes rise up in front of me in the brilliant light as the shrouds fall away from the window. I can feel the sun on the back of my head as a flow of colour washes over me. It races out across the room, across the people standing before me, over the whitewashed walls, instantly decorating them, magical in their transformation. I look up, and even to the rafters I can see its colours, rose and copper and gold.
And that’s when it hits me, the stillness in the room, not just a lack of sound, but a space where just for a second there is nothing else but a profound awe. For just as I am gazing out into the room, everyone else is gazing back, looking not as I am at the light flowing outward, but at the point at which it flows inward. I hardly dare to turn around.
A voice beside me sounds out across the space. ‘Oh my word!’ Three simple words of honest astonishment.
Thoughts are finding voices now and a swirl of noise is born. A single clap rings out, followed by another, then another, until the whole building is thundering with their sound. ....
.... The piece is abstract, modern and bold. It has none of the embellishment of a traditional window perhaps, no paint or etching, but its strength is in its design and use of colour. At the base a turmoil of dark blues, greys, and mauves are swirling, moody and oppressive, but split in one corner by a tiny tendril of the brightest coppery red, which weaves itself upwards like molten lava through the smoke which swirls on either side - smoke which billows up to arch over itself like a wave, a wave that becomes a hand, reaching out to the spark in its midst. A tiny finger touches it, and an explosion of colour, reds, oranges, and yellows, bursts upward like a firework, dissipating the smoke, curling to caress the darkness which thins gradually, taking on the new colours until it reaches the top of the window, now ablaze with richness, a rose and copper sky.
You see essentially this is what Letting in Light is all about. It's about finding yourself, about finding that one thing that makes you glad to feel alive, finding a passion that burns within you and realising your dreams. Its about following that dream because life's too short not too, and its about learning how to let a little light into your life.
If i have learnt anything this year it's that I no longer have to look for my passion, my dream, my light. I have found it. I am a writer.
Happy birthday Letting in light, and thank you.
I'll be having a little giveaway later in the week, so don't forget to pop back to check it out. There will be prizes and cake!