D- Roald Dahl’s Reply #atozchallenge.

No sooner had I pulled up in Mum’s Taxi after a bleary night conversing with a certain Dead Poet starting with E, than I found a reply from Roald Dahl.

No, it didn’t arrive in a model aeroplane . I didn’t find it wrapped up in a block of chocolate either. Rather, by some kind of miracle, he’d managed to sneak passed the dogs and into the  house and there in a half-eaten packet of Tim Tams I found this note:

Dear Rowena,

Get on with the You-Know-Exactly-Whatsit!

A big bang on the head, doesn’t have to be the end. Strangely, it can even be the beginning. However, you already know that. You just need to act. Move it!

By the way, I’m impressed with how you crawled inside my head. Quite frankly, I’d never thought of climbing through the ear to pull that off. Being so tall, I never thought I’d fit.

We must chat again.

Warm regards,

Roald Dahl.

PS If I’d ever eaten a Tim Tam, I never would have died!


So, it appears my son is not the only one who can’t stop at one Tim Tam.

Of course, I know exactly what the You-Know-Exactly-Whatsit is. It’s my Book Project. I know it’s been in the pipeline FOREVER and keeps metamorphosing before it even goes into its cocoon.

writing in Paris

Writing on the window sill at the Hotel Henri IV, Paris  July, 1992…a very different version of me.

What’s been stopping me? There I was reading my poetry at the Shakespeare Bookshop in Paris in my early twenties. Since then, the entire river’s passed under the bridge. What’s holding me back?

Well, there was such a thing as having a career and trying to “find the one”, which was so rudely interrupted by a not insignificant neurological meltdown. Of course, this was followed by kids and then another near death experience this time resulting in a physical meltdown with all my muscles wasting away. That’s nothing to sneeze about either. Yet, while I was in rehab, my husband brought in my laptop and I started writing seriously again.

Anyway, when you’ve had so many ups and downs, it’s hard to work out where you are and how to make sense of it all. I’ve persisted but it now seems that there is no perfect sense. Not all chaos but that the answer is out there somewhere sitting on the fence.

Finally, I’m feeling that sticking with the questions is okay. That even if we don’t get answers to particular questions, that we’re still being fueled by the quest. We even wander into other realms we never knew were there.

As John Lennon said:

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

Mind you, when undertaking such journeys to foreign realms it’s always good to be prepared. To not only take along your map, torch and compass but also some refreshments. A long piece of string never goes astray either. That way, you can always find your way back out of the labyrinth.

Anyway, here I go again waxing lyrically instead of getting on with it.

I need to move it! Move it! Move it!

xx Rowena

PS: How are you going with the A-Z Challenge? I you are participating or have found some great posts, please leave links in the comments.


20 thoughts on “D- Roald Dahl’s Reply #atozchallenge.

  1. Susan J Hernandez

    Amazing! If you can find the energy to never quite give up, and keep hanging on to that thread, even through your challenges, I bet that once you finish you will feel so incredibly awesome. I am a completely green newbie, and before I barely got started I got sidetracked. In my case it was because I learned that I had no idea what I was doing and had to stop and learn!

    But my point is, I had been feeling guilty that I had stopped “actually writing” for so long. Then I realized – hey, if I’m stalling, or stopping to learn, or even taking a break, why is that wrong? Just don’t give it up completely, and when the time is right, it will kick back in. And it seems to have!

    Best of luck to you!

    Sue Hernandez
    WordPress Blog: Learning to Write and A-to-Z Challenge (#965)

  2. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much for your encouraging response, Sue. There is that great passage in Ecclesiastes where it talks about A time to be born, a time to die..” I relate so strongly to that. If you want depth to your writing, you need to live a pretty full life, read a lot, write a lot and be a very good observer and feeler. There is also that advice to write about what you know but what I haven’t heard people say, or at least nowhere near as much, write about what you want to find out or explore. Taking your readers on that journey with you and they can also revel in the discoveries as you find out.
    I am very conscious that once you put your writing out there in the published sense, you can’t take it back. We have a radio presenter here who became incredibly successful and his voice was used or countless commercials. Anyway, he wrote a book of poetry when he was a uni student and it’s proved to haunt him. No point shooting yourself in the foot by bolting too soon. That said, there does come a time and our time on this earth truly is finite.
    All the best wish your writing, Sue and I’ll pop round to say hello.
    xx Rowena

  3. Susan J Hernandez

    Thanks much, and you have a great point that I hadn’t heard before – “write about what you want to find out or explore.” I “kinda” think that’s what I’m doing (sort of) with what I’m working on, although I did NOT picture it that way. I’m writing fantasy, and I’m trying to put a “physics” sort of spin on the magic system and around a lot that goes on in the series. I have always loved physics and now I have an excuse to research (and be completely baffled by) quantum physics. However I have to be super careful – I’m not trying to be a science teacher or bore or confuse my readers, either.

    Thanks so much for the advice, I am very “narrow” right now and I need to widen my horizons.

  4. Robyn Engel

    You’ve a very playful imagination. Roald Dahl is one of my (very few) favorites. He was brilliant and so heartfelt. Thanks for spotlighting him.

  5. Norah

    I’m so envious of your visit and letter from Roald Dahl. I would have let him eat my entire packet of Tim Tams and then gone out for more!
    You are just right to keep asking the questions, following the paths, and in being prepared for whatever eventuates!

  6. roweeee Post author

    Thanks so much, Norah. I am really enjoying working on these letters and am absorbing so much. Feel I was quite ignorant beforehand. Makes such a difference when you write about something, doesn’t it! xx Ro

  7. roweeee Post author

    You’re welcome, Robyn. I agree with you wholeheartedly about his brilliance and after reading everything he went through through and survived, I am utterly in awe of the man.

  8. roweeee Post author

    So true. I just hope all this new understanding doesn’t lead to more questions and yet I do. I think I’m going to need a week or so flopping at the beach after this is finished.

  9. roweeee Post author

    Thanks, probably should’ve worked liked this in my first year of uni instead of chasing boys which just kept running!

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