Page A Day – Day One

An assignment I set on Diving Deeper: A Writing Workshop is to write a page a day for a month (or more…) I thought I’d post my contributions here…

One page, just one page. If I could write one page a day in less than a year I’d have the first draft of a novel. If I wrote one page a day, I might feel better about myself. As it is I don’t feel better at all, and I’ve written three lines. Surely I should be part way there already, some iota of feeling better? But no. I’m certain this is not going to achieve what I set out to achieve. And what is that, prey? Health, wealth and happiness? Or is it ‘pray’? Yes, I’d better start praying. What if I’d started this whole caboodle earlier? Like when I was seventeen? Would I be a better, happier person? A book-published writer? Instead I lived the stories I’m now writing. There’s something to be said for that, I suppose. And now what? What if I had a different life? How would that look. Richer, and I don’t mean money. I mean – dinner parties, laughter, people, family, my brother. His children. I’d see them grow, and perhaps they might even call me auntie. Instead all I see are photographs. Pixels, in fact. My nephews are pixels. My niece is made up of fewer pixels because she’s smaller. I look at my life with surprise. I wasn’t meant for this, I’m sure of that. Parts are fine, parts are not. What happened? I got sick. Ok, so start there: What if I hadn’t gotten sick? Now there’s a thought. It pains me to think of this. It’s too big a what if. Maybe nothing would be different. Perhaps it’s time to try a different tack. What if has an underlying, what, something. It assumes the ‘what if’ could never happen. If. Not a good word really. I should eradicate it from my vocabulary. I have to stop now, I can feel myself getting melancholy. This is not helping, just as I expected. Too much thinking. I’ve got an idea, a different approach. Positive what ifs. As in  things narrowly missed, thank God. What if my father had not died? I’d have been sent to boarding school and I’d probably be .. what… I wonder. Generally in the family – the family sans father – this possibility was thought of as Not A Good Thing. I’d have ended up – what?  a wreck or a whore ? Well, inspite of never going to boarding school I’ve been both. I once made a list of all the boys I’d slept with. The list was long. It gave me a certain sense of achievement.

About Sandra Jensen

I am a writer. I was born in South Africa and have British and Canadian citizenship. I have over 40 short story and flash fiction publications, including in: World Literature Today, The Irish Times, Descant, AGNI, The Fiddlehead and others. My work has received a number of awards including winning the 2012 bosque Fiction Competition and the 2011 J.G. Farrell award for best novel-in-progress. I have been awarded Professional Writer’s Grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Arts Council of Ireland and Arts Council England. The novel I have recently completed, Ten Virtuous Acts, is a literary adventure set in Sri Lanka during the civil war. I was a guest writer and panellist at the 12th and 13th International Conference on the Short Story (Little Rock, Arkansas and Austria); an invited participant at The Galle Literary Festival, Sri Lanka in 2011 and a six-time participant of the Sirenland Writer’s Conference in Positano, Italy. I attended The Banff Centre’s Wired Writing Studio in 2011/2012. I administer the In Memory of Vučko and AWABosnia websites, raising awareness and funds to stop animal suffering in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I live with my partner, David Crean and my foundling cat, Rónán.
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