Friday 30 May 2014

Inspiration for Frozen Sea: Duckpool

Here is the final instalment in this mini blog series, which shares where I got my inspiration to write my novel-in-progress, Frozen Sea. In this post I will be sharing perhaps the most pivotal setting in the novel, which is Duckpool beach. Duckpool is probably the setting that features most regularly, and is where most of the prominent events occur. For example, it is where Scarlet and Carter first meet, it is where the fateful barbecue takes place, and it is place where one of the central characters meet their death (I'm not giving anyone spoilers!). It is also the setting where Scarlet and Connor fall in love. However, it is also where the novel starts (and where it will end), the current title revolves around it, and also, it links Scarlet with her seeking of danger and passion, which is surfing. 

Surfing has been a hobby of mine for about five years, so all of the surfing experiences in the novel are real. I only surf on Duckpool Beach (which is it's name in real life), and so I can easily picture Scarlet, Carter or Isaac zooming through the waves as I write.

It wasn't his fault that he couldn't understand why I spent endless hours just aimlessly walking by the ocean. To my dad, the sea was a bottomless crater where countless sailors and fishermen went to die, but to me, the sea was a place of escape. 

It was late. The mist entwined my ankles and I shivered, not from the cold but the prospect of entering the arctic ocean that lay right before my eyes. It had been months since I had been surfing.

At the time it seemed purely coincidental when, that evening, Carter magically appeared at the beach bonfire held once a fortnight with me and my classmates at Duckpool beach...
We talked about life, of death, of Cornwall, and of surfing. I'd admitted that although I had lived here since I was ten I had never learned, however wanted to. To Carter, that was unfathomable. Knowing how to surf was as critical as being able to breathe. 

The sand felt cold between my toes as we made our way down to the water's edge. The sea was quiet, almost motionless; the small crests lapping up the sand by our feet soundlessly. The ragged cliff face that stood majestically on either side of the water was black as an oil slick and just as shiny. 

Isaac grinned at me. Held out my gloves. I returned a watery smile and pulled them on, letting my hair fly backwards in the biting wind. We grabbed our boards, began jogging towards the frothing surf, the early morning sun glinting off the water like tiny pearls in a giant green-blue oyster.

*EDIT* If you can see the black rock in the middle of the sea, that's Deadman's Head. If you have read Frozen Sea, you will know why it is significant ;)

The first time I surfed after Carter left me, my dad thought I had been on a suicide mission. I caught a blue. I caught it and never stood up. The water had engulfed me for so long that I no longer struggled, just remained tangled in my leash in the gloomy, sunless water until Isaac finally realised and pulled me out, spluttering and gasping for air, my ribcage aching from the effort.

I thought back to that disastrous evening back in late July. The way the sea had felt like ice. The moon, casting eerie shadows over the water. The image of Carter resounding lucidly in my head like a highway billboard...

The first thing I noticed as Connor pulled up to the gravel lot later that evening, once the sun was enjoying it's last few moments of light and the sky had turned a beautiful marbled pink, was the twirling ribbons of smoke unfurling from the bonfire in the centre of the beach.

Laughing hysterically, our thin, cotton clothes billowing out behind us in the breeze, we ran towards the sea. Our feet kicked up sprays of cool, Cornish sea. Connor's arms hanging loosely around my neck, my hands gently tracing the small of his back, we kissed, our mouths working slowly, intimately. The sun now gone, the pearly light of the moon lay dappled at our toes, reflecting shiny rays on the sea, turning it a beautiful, milky white. 

I hope you have enjoyed this last post about my inspiration for Frozen Sea! I have really enjoyed writing these, and look forward to writing more posts about Cornwall in the future, as it is a big part of my writing.

Want to read Frozen Sea? You can on Movellas:

Please leave a comment with your thoughts :) Lots of exciting posts coming your way!

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