“Dusk was falling early as she pedalled up the drive. The house grew more imposing, its grand façade streaked by the last rays of sunset permitted through the clotting sky. Most of the shutters were closed and, as she looked up, another was pulled shut by an unseen hand as if the inhabitants were locking themselves in, or securing the house to leave.”
From The Sea Garden
I took this photo at sunset on a summer evening through a patch of wilderness in our garden. What I like best about it is the blackness of the foliage in contrast to the glorious sky. The trees curl round the picture but also make the lit clouds seem more distant. In a certain frame of mind, it could be quite a creepy scene: not so much about what is up and beyond but the darkness closing in on the ground.
You can't see anything of the garden, nothing is defined. It could be anything you wanted it to be...It's a bit like the anticipation of a book, or a film, or dinner out - anything that you hope will give pleasure. Sometimes it's the imagining you do beforehand that is the best bit. As an author, I am acutely aware that in the run-up to publication, readers will read blurbs and other teasers relating to a forthcoming book and let their own imaginations loose. We create the book in our mind that we long to read, one that will fulfil all our requirements for a truly satisfying read. The trouble is, the real thing can easily fall short of expectations.
What's brought this on? Pre-publication nerves, almost certainly, though there's a while to go yet before The Sea Garden comes out this summer. Or perhaps I'm in a more sensitive mood than I thought...