Since the beginning of the year I’ve been editing Book Three in the Long Shadows Series. It is titled Future Hope. For family reasons progress has been slow but I made a few leaps forward last week and am now working on Chapter Nine which takes place in Amsterdam.
As it is two years since the original writing for this chapter was done, it is no surprise that I made many changes – tightened the wording, eliminated repetition and found ways to show rather than tell.
Amsterdam is the international headquarters of the fictional aid organisation with which Freya, the protagonist has been volunteering – Global Emergency Medical Aid (GEMA).
Freya is back in Amsterdam, on a personal visit this time. She waits in Centraal Station to meet Hanne, a university academic and long-time friend of her most recent employer in Australia. Freya’s stay with Hanne leads to two apparently innocuous encounters that will have unexpected outcomes – for Freya, her family and two friends. Could Fate be on Freya’s side at last?
The following extract shows how the first encounter began:
Freya followed Hanne along a corridor to her office, impressed by the strings of qualifications under the names on the doors and their impressive titles.
When a distinguished white-haired man walking towards them stood aside so they could pass freely, Hanne stopped as well. “Freya, meet my Danish colleague, Professor Nils Bjornsen from Copenhagen. We’re collaborating on a paper about homelessness in both of our capital cities. I’ll miss him when we’re done.”
Feeling awkward because of the Professor’s frank gaze on her face, Freya lowered her eyes and gently withdrew her hand from his over-long clasp.
Then he simply said, “Pleased to meet you,” and moved on.
Hanne called after him, “Cheers Nils, I’m off to show Freya round the campus.” To Freya she said, “You’ve made a conquest. He looks quite flustered.”
Freya passed off the moment, reluctant to admit uneasiness with his scrutiny.
Amsterdam is a vibrant place. I hope you enjoy the video which shows how people get around the city and offers passing views of the canals. I visited briefly a few years ago and would love to return to explore more fully.