JUNK FILE – something no writer should be without. Not all the stuff we cut out when editing is rubbish. On days when I am stuck, organising my junk file into some logical order is a good displacement activity. Scenes that take this story nowhere could form the foundation of another one, and even the superfluous characters might be useful in another setting.
One person in Helter-Skelter I couldn’t possibly relegate to the junk file is JONES, one of the soldiers in Albie’s corps. In fact it would be difficult to delete any of his fellow soldiers because they all have roles in Part Three. Here is this week’s taster of my novel – it describes Jones’ character perfectly (I hope!)
Jones – a hospital porter in civilian life – patted Harris's back and blew his nose and calmed him down. The entire hut called Jones “Auntie” after that, which he bore stoically. “I’ve been called worse,” he confessed when Albie asked him if he minded and, looking at Jones’s soft body and doe eyes, Albie thought he could probably guess what.
There is another kind of junk that can be useful – the unwanted things we throw away. In every town, village and hamlet in Tenerife there are basura bins – some for recycling, others for landfill. Anything that in England we would have sent to a jumble sale we leave beside the bins, and often it is only minutes before they’ve gone. With 30% of the workforce out of a JOB, almost anything can turn up for sale at the weekly flea market.
JEEP – this photo is of my son-in-law’s pride and JOY – if he’s not painting a wall or tiling a kitchen on his day off, he’s nailing another piece of kit onto his Jeep!