Art with Layers Trail 2

Let the Ideas Ride

by Virginia King


When ideas pop into my head as I write, I pop them straight into the manuscript and let them niggle away until I know why they’re there. I keep a notebook by my bed so my sleeping mind can make connections that my waking mind couldn’t.
As I was writing Chapter One of THE FIRST LIE, I looked around my writing room and saw my Shona sculpture (from Zimbabwe).


With all Shona’s symbolic qualities of strength and groundedness, I popped her into the story as Selkie Moon’s keepsake – one of the few things she grabbed when escaping a destructive relationship. I love quirky objects because they’re also genies, hiding secrets. After her serendipitous arrival in the story, Shona played a bigger part than neither Selkie nor I could ever have imagined.
Selkie here again. Here are two scenes involving Shona. I’m trying to discover the source of the strange voice in my head warning that someone is trying to kill me …




On the ledge above my bed my Shona sculpture is just a head and shoulders. I brought her with me when I took off from Sydney with two business suits and not much else. A chunk of black and silver rock from Zimbabwe, her profile is as enigmatic as ever. And as silent. But she’s no whisperer. If Shona had a warning for me she’d come right out with it, face to face.



When I’m dusting in the nude (as you do) to shake off some bad feelings …



When I reach the shelf behind my bed, the Shona sculpture makes me stop. Her expression is hard to read but there’s power in her crude profile. Her shoulders show she’s as naked as I am. My flatmate Wanda would call her a kindred spirit. I run my fingers over her knobbly hair, absorbing the coolness of the stone, and a new resolve strengthens my spine.
Read more about nudity in the Selkie Moon series HERE
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