A great start to 2019. I will be running a creative writing group at Osidge Library (N22.) The last Tuesday of every month, for a year. Starting Tuesday January 29th, 6.00 pm – 7.45 pm. The start of a writing group is always full of promise, I find. Who will come? What will have brought them? I suggested to Mark and Sumbal that the overall theme for the year – yes, plan is it will run monthly for a year – should be `Barnet.` This is my borough now…I hope to learn lots more about the place, and hear as many stories as people are prepared to tell, about how they got here, or where they think they`re going to….
Meanwhile I have been reviewing my writing programme, and finding a director for `Remedies` is back on the agenda. But alongside that, I am deeply involved now in revising Paper in the Cracks, my novel which finishes in Jerusalem at the time of the Six Day War. The title refers to the fact that from straight after the conflict, the area in front of the Kotel, The Western Wall, was razed to the ground, and people began to flock to the wall, filling its cracks with little pieces of paper, as though it really was a letterbox to heaven. Really.
The young woman from the Phillipines who cared for my mother in the last years of her life in Jerusalem, was a devout Catholic. In weekends off she would either go to Church in Jaffa, or from time to time would go with a Christian friend, to pray at The Wall in Jerusalem, believing it was indeed a divinely inspired, or connected place.
When I, not yet 23, having been in Jerusalem during the Six Day War, saw people stuffing pieces of paper between the ancient cracks, I definitely felt an urge to write something. An autobiographical novel. Revising it now, over fifty years later, I am taking care to leave out lots of things that did happen, and to make up a few stories about things that didn`t happen….