My Writing

my fool’s journey

The making of My Fool’s Journey

My Fool’s Journey is my debut novel, which has been produced over the last two and half years by combining a huge amount of soul searching, tears and fierce determination with a large helping of self-doubt which tried to block my path and fight my intuition and self-belief every step along the way!

I hoped the year 2020 was to be the year when I became a published author, found myself an agent, got that lucrative book deal and began my career as a full-time writer. However, ‘2020’ had other ideas and I, like many others, found myself on a slightly different path to the one I expected. And, although I am happy to say I have had work published (see my ‘Other Writing’ section), I am still working my way through my wish list. However, I believe in Divine Timing and have a deep intuition that writing is something I should be doing so I am undeterred. 

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The ‘Blurb’ 

Charlotte believes her life is completely normal. She and Steve are just like any other married couple who have spent twenty years together. They even have a perfect seven year old son, Lennie, who is adored more than anything. But deep down, she knows that something isn’t quite right.  

Why does Steve object to her male colleagues, how come he appears so threatened by her job and why does he keep criticising every single thing she does? Charlotte is drawn to a book on tarot, which gives the opportunity for some much needed soul searching and gives the promise to enhance her life for the better. Excited, Charlotte enthusiastically follows the self-help exercise in the book. It will only take three weeks to complete – what’s the worst that can happen?

And so begins a transformational journey of self-discovery using each of the twenty-two Major Arcana cards as a daily prompt from the universe. She is following the life cycle of The Fool as set out in his own tarot journey – and as she does, synchronicities suddenly begin presenting in Charlotte’s own life. As she journals her events, thoughts and feelings, the blinkers start to come down and starts examining her options. But where will her own Fool’s Journey end?

My Fool’s Journey
Chapter One

Anyone for soup?
August 2014

‘Mummy, I’m hungry,’ said Lennie. ‘Can I have some pasta?’
Charlotte rolled her eyes at Lennie theatrically and placed her hands on her hips.
‘Pasta? Again? Are you sure?’
‘Yes, Mummy, please can I? Please?’
Normally, Charlotte wouldn’t have given in to Lennie’s daily request for the blandest dinner imaginable but, today it was a God send.
‘Of course you can,’ she smiled as he jumped up and down in triumph at his incredible negotiation skills. ‘But I haven’t got any pasta sauce so would you like some tomato ketchup squirted in it instead?’
Lennie felt like his birthday had come early and clapped his hands together excitedly. The thought of being able to squeeze the ketchup bottle himself and the funny noise it would make was an unexpected surprise for him. As seven year olds go, he was pretty low maintenance.
Charlotte walked to the kitchen, comparing herself to Old Mother Hubbard as she went. The two dogs, uncurled their long legs and followed, in order of priority as always. Squeaky’s elegant silky black greyhound body trotted behind her mum and Cracker, the hairy messy blond lurcher followed behind. He knew his place and didn’t dare argue with his adopted big sister.
‘It’s OK you two,’ Charlotte assured them. ‘You won’t ever run out of food.’ And a vision flashed into her mind of them all tucking into a dinner of lamb flavoured kibble in the not too distant future.
Charlotte looked around the kitchen and sighed. She had grown to hate this room. Six years previously the bathroom had leaked water into the kitchen. The insurance company had made good the repairs and re-plastered the kitchen ceiling, – not re-painted – only re-plastered. It had been an intention to get a new kitchen but the money went on something else (Charlotte couldn’t remember what). A sorrowful light bulb hung sadly from the bare plastered ceiling. Water stains, still present from the leak, ran like tears down the walls, dried into the faded orange paint. The mint green cupboards had dents and bleach stains from years of cleaning. They had missing handles and an awkward way of hanging from their geriatric hinges. The house was built in the nineties, when bright colours in every room looked fantastic. A sign of a quirky personality, perhaps? But this was the personality of the previous owners. Steve and Charlotte had never managed to re-decorate. They had lived there thirteen years. Charlotte thought both she and the kitchen looked pathetic as she reached for the few contents in the almost empty food cupboard.
Lennie can have the pasta and I will have the soup. Soup? Soup? For goodness sake, it’s August. Who eats soup in August? I don’t even like soup.
Charlotte sighed as she poured the contents into the wobbly-handled saucepan. Blinking back tears she watched the pans bubble and boil on the stove. Slopping her dinner into a bowl and grabbing the ketchup for Lennie’s pasta, she composed herself, took a deep breath and called as cheerily as she could manage.
‘Lennie . . . dinner’s ready.’

***

‘Thank you so much, it’s my absolute favourite.’
‘I’m glad it’s made you happy, my darling,’ Charlotte smiled proudly at him.
‘Is your dinner nice, Mummy?’ Lennie asked, as he mixed his pasta into the large ketchup splodge in the middle of his bowl.
The telephone rang preventing her reply. Charlotte was grateful of the timing, she didn’t like telling lies.
‘Hello,’ said Steve. ‘I love you.
It’s five o’clock and he’s drunk.
Charlotte tried to find her sincere voice.
‘Sounds like you’re having a nice time.’
‘Yeah, it’s brilliant. We’ve been paintballing, had a massive lunch, and, to be honest, just spent the afternoon in the pub. We’re getting ready to go to dinner now and after we’re hitting the clubs.’
‘Sounds wonderful,’ Charlotte agreed. She hadn’t realised you could have so much fun in Reading.
‘I really love you,’ slurred Steve. ‘I know it’s left us a bit skint, me coming here, but it means a lot to John.’
‘It’s your brother’s stag do,’ she replied matter-of-factly. ‘You couldn’t not go, could you?’
Steve continued to tell Charlotte how much she was loved and how important she and Lennie were to him. He wasn’t normally that affectionate, but he also wasn’t normally drunk in the afternoons. As nice as it should have felt, Charlotte felt sad and no declarations of love were going to change that. She didn’t want to ruin Steve’s good mood, so politely steered the conversation to a conclusion.
‘Well, I won’t keep you, if it’s dinner time.’
Steve’s thoughts turned to his rumbling stomach.
‘Yeah, I’m starving. We’re off to a steak house.’
‘Excellent. Enjoy. Bye!’ she said, ensuring her voice was as light as her own sorry meal.
She wanted to slam the phone down, but, it was cordless so she pressed the ‘off’ button angrily and threw it on the settee.
‘That was Daddy,’ Charlotte forced a giant smile in the direction of her son. ‘He sends his love and can’t wait to see you tomorrow. Now, finish your dinner and we can play with your hot wheels cars.’
She rose from the table.
‘Don’t you want the rest of your soup, Mummy?’ Lennie called after her.
‘No, darling,’ she sighed. ‘I’ve had enough.’

***

With Lennie asleep, Charlotte sat silently in the living room. She’d had an uneasy feeling all week. It seemed like something was kicking inside her belly – like Lennie when he used to remind her of his presence. But this was not a baby. This was a yearning deep inside her sub-conscious.
Charlotte wasn’t in the habit of talking to herself, but, in the absence of any other options, some quite interesting conversations could take place. She looked up at the ceiling.
‘I want my life to change. I’m lost and I don’t know what to do.’ She began to cry.
‘I never have anything for myself. Just once I’d like to put my own needs first. I need something to change. But, I don’t know what. If there’s anyone listening up there – please help me.’
‘Tarot,’ said a whisper in her mind.
‘Tarot?’ Her tears stopped. ‘I can do tarot.’ Charlotte’s mind turned to her dog eared pack of tarot cards she had bought herself as an eighteenth birthday present. She had used them often during her twenties, more sparingly in her thirties but could not remember picking them up recently, especially in the last year since she had turned forty. They did not seem to resonate with her life as much these days. She wasn’t sure why.
Her inner voice had spoken and (in the absence of anyone else talking over it) it had been heard. A strange feeling came over her, to act immediately; she picked up the laptop and looked for tarot courses.
Within minutes one flashed up on the screen. October (two months away). Covent Garden (one hour away by train). One place left (ironic?). One hundred and thirty pounds. Charlotte stopped. Oh well, that was that then.
‘Credit card,’ urged the whisper.
No!
That wasn’t hers, it was Steve’s. For emergencies only – which this wasn’t. Charlotte’s belly rumbled. She thought of Steve, eating his steak and ‘hitting the clubs’.
I think he owes me this one.
Her hands trembled as she took the credit card from Steve’s work things he had left on the dresser by the dining table. It felt very wrong. It was unlike her. Nonetheless, she did it. Despite her concerns, her mood lifted. The feeling of yearning had gone and was replaced by a feeling of adventure.
‘I’ve done something for me,’ Charlotte called out.
‘It’s about time,’ replied her inner voice.

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