• Jan Brown

Endings and beginnings

This is Jess and she is a beginning; we also had an ending over the Christmas holiday, we lost one of our pair of cats, an elderly gent by the name of Becks and yes his partner in crime is female and called Posh! Posh was lonely, we felt as though there was a hole in the very fabric of our home, so we have adopted a four month old kitten. Jess has taken us from sadness and low mood to laughter and amazement in the space of ten days. She hasn't replaced Becks in our affections but made a home alongside him and Posh. She has been the best tonic in these dark days of lockdown and made me think about the concept of endings and beginnings.

When I taught English to 11 year old children and the subject was creative writing we always hammered home the message that every story must have a beginning, middle and end but now that writing takes up a part of every day I find myself questioning this. The beginning of the book is not always the start of the story; this is the case for my current work, People Like Us. The book begins almost at the end of the story and the physical middle section of the book is actually the beginning of the story. Endings, too, can be so satisfying when an writer matches the expectation of a reader. There are many different kinds of readers, some will prefer the open ended ending where they can imagine their own conclusion, some like me want the ends tied neatly, the strands collected in to a bundle and need the satisfaction of knowing that their instincts were right regarding the love interest or the perpetrator of the crime. No writer can ever please all of the readers any more than any of us can get through life without experiencing many endings and beginnings. No ending is ever just an ending, it is also an opportunity for a door to

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