Author: Traci Harding
In: Ghostwriting: Tales of the Supernatural (Traci Harding)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Fantasy, Ghosts, Strong women
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: Amy kissed the pen that was her Holy Grail, a cool smile of satisfaction forming on her lips.
Will Amy be able to find a way to become a ghost writer? What about the Holy Grail of writing?
This short story touched on a fear and worry that I myself, as a writer have – dying before I have finished telling the stories that are swirling around in my head. Harding’s grasp of this and her ability to twist this fear into a ghost story that had my spine tingling and left me internally cringing created a great short story which I am genuinely struggling to get out of my head. What better way to inspire a writer to actually write, than tell a story about one who is no longer able to put pen to paper?
As with all of the Traci Harding stories that I have had the pleasure of reading, Ghostwriting was heavy with symbolism, specifically the idea of the Holy Grail. I love that Harding is able to take esoteric ideals and themes, and present them within a more modern context. The manuscript about the Holy Grail, and Amy’s counterpart within her modern life and battle to find herself are compelling and intriguing – adding an extra layer of meaning and weight to the storyline.
I always love insecure heroines – they seem much more real and relatable to me. So, having Amy who is not only incredibly insecure, but immensely moody and prone to flashes of frustration made me love the story even more. Her constant desire to become a published writer (a dream that I too, share) hovers as she tries to not only find her literary voice, but also discover who she can truly be. The reminder throughout (often provided by Liam) to enjoy what she is doing and trust in herself is a lesson that I will take to heart. This tale for me was about more than I fear of never writing my stories, it was a reminder that sometimes you have to just sit down and write them.
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