Suzy the Bedlington Terrier

There is always the chance that the words will fall short.

I’m writing a book. I wasn’t going to tell anyone, but somehow in a brief Twitter exchange I ended up stating what I’d vowed to keep to myself. Anyway, publication is August 2022.

Writing is often challenging; sometimes it’s impossible, but mostly it’s enjoyable. I get to sit down each day and tap away. Words flow fairly painlessly for me. Some people wake humming a tune that they’ve conjured up over night. For others the world is made sense of through images. My daughter’s friend sent us a Christmas card. It is a drawing of her dog – a beautiful Bedlington Terrier called Suzy. When it arrived I found myself staring at it, wondering how a girl of fifteen could pick up a pencil and draw something so lifelike, so detailed, and yet so recognisable as art. There is something about Suzy’s eyes that draw you in. They plead and they are kind. It’s a great picture that I could never dream of drawing for myself.

I simply don’t understand how a pencil in the hand of an artist can do that. I simply don’t possess whatever one needs to be able to draw or paint. But words…words flow, and for that I have always been grateful. Of course, I’m not sure if they are any good. It’s one thing to write and quite another to write anything that anyone will actually want to read. I have to step away from doubts and uncertainty each time I open my laptop. Writing is not just an exercise in trust, it’s also an attempt to meaningfully connect. There is always the chance that the words will fall short. No such problem for the Suzy card. Each time I walk past it her eyes reach out and I smile. Each time I look I wonder how a pencil in the hand of an artist can do that.

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