Seeing as how I haven’t heard anything yet about my entry into the Guardian’s
competition to write the first 150 words of a novel, and the notification date is almost past, and Laurence was kind enough to hassle me to share what I sent them, here it is.
The title of the novel was given as a springboard, so this is my first paragraph of The Letting Go…
“Life’s not about holding on,” her grandfather had once said. “It’s about the letting go.”
Years after his death, when she finally got round to sorting through his possessions, Heather realised that, in his life, he had let go of very little.
At the bottom of the fourth box, in an unmarked manila envelope, she found it: a curl-cornered black and white photograph of her grandfather, aged about twenty. With a full head of hair and an impish grin, he stood in front of a terraced house, with his arm around the shoulders of a woman who was definitely not Heather’s grandmother. And standing in front of them, scowling at the camera, a serious-looking young girl.
Her hand shaking only slightly, Heather flipped the photo over, hoping for a date or other explanation. There was a short sentence in her grandfather’s handwriting.
Don’t tell her you found this, it said.
As ever, comments are welcomed (though do bear in mind it’s too late for me to make any changes which might increase my chances of winning the competition).