To be honest, it has been a long time since a novel has really captured my attention like this one has. I'm two chapters in and already attuned to the characters, fascinated by the plot and the whole concept of time travel, in the sense that the narrative covers one day of the year, spanning twenty years.
Emma and Dexter remind me of my University days and the people and all the false freedoms that went with it. They are crossing over from the safety net of academic years into the unknown world of work and travel and trying to 'make a difference'. So many of us remember these moments whether it was Uni or high school. Some of you may be in the thick of it now, or find that years on into adulthood, those times seem so inconsequential now... yet still familiar.
That notion of 'making a difference' is one that stays with us. It's part of being human - wanting to learn and grow and be remembered, or acknowledged in a way that makes us feel that it was all worth it. And yet we never really know why we need this validation - we just do.
"The trick of it, she told herself is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you. Go out there with your double-first, your passion and your new Smith Corona electric typewriter and work hard at... something. Change lives through art maybe. Write beautifully. Cherish your friends, stay true to your principles, live passionately and fully and well. Experience new things. Love and be loved if at all possible. Eat sensibly. Stuff like that."
'One Day' by David Nicholls, pp.12-13.
Substitute the Smith Corona for a laptop and here we are, feeling the same way and wanting the same things. I suspect I'm going to read about a few failed romances, witness unfulfilled desires and imagine beautiful words unwritten while not eating all that sensibly. Maybe there will be a trauma, and people around Emma will not live up to her expectations. There will be sadness and there will be moments of laughing out loud. There will be the other character - Dexter - who will experience all these things too, though I'll witness events from his unique perspective.
I have high hopes for all of these things playing out in 'One Day'. Let's see if my assumptions are right.
My excitement over this story has inspired an art journal page. It's not quite finished yet but I wanted lots of painted dark hues and circles, and a little orange bird in the middle.
I've divided the page in half, with a few cross-overs. Up the top are a few references to Emma (the English / History degree, her insecurities about romance and being with Dexter):
And the lower section is inspired by Dexter - his need to enjoy, to be stylish, to not know every lover's name and to simply let life happen:
This was a great prompt for a bit of art-time. Perhaps I'll do another one as the story continues.