It was an afternoon like no other.
The wind of change had blown in shifting our social chit chat from the good fortune of a mild winter to the lament of enduring a bitterly cold southerly blast. And, to what soup was on the menu.
To support my dream of the reality of one day becoming a writer with a little more than spare change in my back pocket, I work shifts at the local food lovers market.
Here I’m lucky enough to meet all sorts of people from near and far.
Shivering, and with a scarf tightly wound around her neck, I barely heard her request above the din of over-the-counter chat.
‘What soup do you have?’
‘Broccoli and Blue Cheese. And, a Tomato and Chorizo.’
‘Right. I’ll have the Tomato.’
Paid up, she was eager to tuck in and enjoy the steaming bowl of hot soup.
Except there was a problem. Deli style, and with only a few tables, there was no room left for her to sit down. Unfortunately with a coat, scarf, and while juggling cutlery, a bowl, and a glass of water, dining a la standing up wasn’t an option.
By this time I had moved on, and was elbow deep in soap suds doing the last of the lunch time dishes.
‘Excuse me? There are no tables left. Can we sit here?’ Exclaimed the soup carrying woman.
‘Of course, not a problem, go ahead.’ I replied while pointing my pink dishwashing gloves at one of the empty bench stools.
And, in between her slurps I found out she was visiting. Turns out one of her long lost relatives hailed from the region. As curious as any other book publisher, she was eager to connect the fragmented limbs of her family tree.
Still washing dishes, I put on my best confidence voice, and shared a smidgen of my writing aspirations with this lady from the big city book publishing world.
Showing genuine interest, and unfazed by my dishwashing skills, she shared more than a few words of wisdom.
One of which was the importance of finding a narrative voice that resonates long after the last page has been turned. Or, as in my e-book publishing case, swiped.
The other, was to read. Not only for pleasure, but to read different genres to dissect and learn from the different writing styles.
Oh, and she also mentioned the colossal number of manuscripts she receives, and how the narrative voice is one of the key determining factors as to whether she’ll continue reading …or….relegate the much loved author’s pages to the “I’m sorry but…pending rejection letter file.”