“I shall become the writer of thy work, provided my pen doth not for a moment cease writing.” — Ganesh.
Master of Fine Arts
I am now (from July 2016) reading for an MFA in Creative Writing at New York University. Over the course of this two-year program, I plan to complete my novel.
Having a writing community helps to make writing a less solitary process, and as such more enriching. I am supplementing the MFA with as many writers' retreats as I can afford, the first having been with authors-at-large in Indonesia in July 2016.
Part of getting to know one of my main characters, Tomoe Gozen, was travelling to Kyoto, Uji, Shimonoseki and Miyajima Island, where I have had the privilege of private access to Diaganji Temple. It was also an opportunity to visit the Tale of Genji Museum. The novel has made great strides since this visit, with new and revised scenes, two new characters, plot changes and narrative restructuring.
Lucifer, still seething from his unfair expulsion from Heaven, is determined to force God to abolish the Day of Judgement for rigging the trial against humans, the prospective accused. To this end he causes select people, Lanterns, to be born on earth, their role being to guide humans back to taking responsibility for themselves, thereby undermining God's existence. Things did not go quite according to plan. The story follows the journey of two such Lanterns, one Persian and the other Japanese, both women, as they flee their respective homelands to save their lives. Flight becomes quest, as they interact both with themselves and with the people and non-humans they encounter along the trading and pilgrim routes of 12th century Asia, Middle East and North African. They don't know what they're looking for, nor do they know whether they'll ever find it, or if it even exists.