This story seemed almost to write itself. I think having this blog has helped me enormously with my writing, not only because I have gone back and taken stuff from it, but also just because I am constantly writing, and the more you write, the better you get.
I say the story writes itself, but not because it suddenly all came to me. It comes to me in bits and pieces. The characters take on a life of their own. It almost seems as though they and not I write the story. Certain characters are definitely not doing what I expected them to originally. When I started writing, I did not foresee three parts to the novel, that just happened.
I enjoy writing, but don't have a lot of time for it. If I had more quality time, I imagine the book would be done by now. However, on the other hand, the story might not have taken the same turns. I like how it is turning out. I am almost done. Just working on the last bit. Perhaps this time next year, I'll have a whole story and will only have to work on taking out kinks and correcting bits and pieces here and there. Let's cross our fingers. And after that, the next challenge will be to find a publisher. But I am confident. If my father did it, why can't I? I am his daughter after all.
Here is the beginning of my story, which is essentially what I dreamt before I woke up, and which is what inspired the beginning of the whole thing.
The terrace of my parents' house sits on the edge of a cliff. Some 50 metres below is a long stretch of sand running from east to west. Once, thousands of years ago, a large river probably ran through here, but it dried up long ago. At the edge of the cliff, the city stops. To the North, on the other side of the Passage, as we call the dried up riverbed, lie sand dunes. Every year, foolhardy people get lost in those inhospitable hills. To the south, on the other side of the city, lies the Ma'hra-deh mountain chain. The mountains stretch from East to West and from the terrace, they are visible, beyond the east end of the city, rising up dark and forbidding, they are just as dry as the hills to the north. The mountains border the Passage to the south after the city and the hills to the north.
A steep staircase leads down to the passage from the terrace, as is the case with all the properties situated on the edge.
On that fateful day that was to be my wedding to Asur, I was standing at the edge of the terrace, looking down at the Passage. The Passage was particularly busy that day, with people passing by on the backs of camels. It seemed that everyone was in a hurry, they were all running.