Saturday, January 20, 2018

Some Thoughts on the First Grandfather Clock and my book, Canterbury Clock

In the mid-1800s, a large clock stood in the lobby of the George hotel in Piercebridge, England. The Jenkins brothers, both bachelors, managed the hotel and took great pride in their clock’s unusual accuracy. But sadly, when one of the brothers died, the clock began to fail.
At first, it was only a few minutes here and a few minutes there, but by the time the last clocksmith tried to repair it, the clock was losing more than an hour each day. The news of the clock’s incurable time lapse became as noteworthy as its unusual precision had been. But when the surviving brother died at the age of ninety, the clock was silenced forever and couldn't be revived.
The new manager of the hotel never attempted to have it repaired. He just left it standing in a sunlit corner of the lobby, its hands resting in the position they assumed the moment the last Jenkins brother died.
About 1875, an American songwriter named Henry Work happened to be staying at the George Hotel. When he learned the story of the old clock he composed a song about the fascinating coincidence that the clock stopped the moment its elderly owner passed away. Henry came back to America and published the lyrics that sold over a million copies.
Some believe that all objects, alive or inanimate, have a spirit. This is most easily detected in a home or a place. Some are filled with energy, some carry a sense of peace, some are dark, others sleepy. Learning how to read the spirit in a room or a person is the first step in learning what makes someone or something tick.
In my book, Canterbury Clock, there's a clock that only ticks when Chad and Darby are together. And it's great for them to have this confirmation that they're meant to be. But life isn't like that.

At times, when faced with a big scary decision, I wish that there was someone to tell me the right or wrong, but really--where's the adventure in that? Because I write romances, it's easy to fall into the trap of believing there's a Mr. Right, or a Mrs. Wrong...but there's not. There are just people. And sometimes a person is right forever and sometimes a person is just right for right now. 
There's a lesson to be learned, a step to be taken, a path that's either easier, harder, steeper, impassable, whatever with or without someone by your side. Those lessons are the adventure. And if you're able to share them with someone you love, you're blessed.
Canterbury Clock is finished, but I'm still trying to decide what to do with it.



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