Feather in a Bubble: thoughts on crafting a novel


Rainy day. Good for writing. Good for contemplation. And I’m doing more of… guess what?

There’s a fragile glass ornament hanging from my floor lamp. It’s an ostrich feather enclosed in an oval glass bubble. I love this piece. It makes me think. The sunlight from my window makes every furry tendril of the feather come  alive. It lives and breathes. The feather wants to fly.

My biggest challenge as a writer is learning how to contain the story. I am chock full of stories. They roll right off the top of my head. No problem there. To harness the stories, thread them on a central vein (the theme) and keep my writing airy and alive   takes work. The enclosed glass form holds everything in. That is the form of the novel.

Hopefully with a little luck  I can pull this off.  What a miraculous feeling it is to get the feather inside the bubble. How do you contain a story? There are tricks and techniques, but most of all, it takes hard  work. That reminds me– time to get back to my writing.

But first tea…

Happy Tuesday, dear friends!



  1. Love this and love you! Can’t wait for you to contain that novel…

    Miss you much and your zen office!

    Give my best to Vinoo…what is he doing anyhoo?




    1. Shona Patel says:

      Miss you too, girlfriend. Come visit! xx Shona


  2. David Lamont says:

    I’m writing a ‘history’ of Braemar, Shona……will send you a copy.


    1. Shona Patel says:

      Congratulations! I can’t wait to read it!😊❤️ Shona


  3. Barb Judy says:

    I am still waiting for your next novel Shona. Keep forging ahead. Flame Tree Road is getting “dog-eared” from so many readings. Loaned Firefly to my daughter in VA. So I’ll read this one again. It always makes me feel like I’m back there in India. I “know” so many of the characters in your books. Hugs, Barb in Vegassu


    1. sporranmaker says:

      It’s always nice to hear from you, Shona, you must be getting plenty time to write? I am writing a lot mainly about Braemar, my ancestral home. Since we left quite a big change has come over the village. The Fife Arms Hotel was bought by a Swiss couple ( art dealers) who closed the Fife for about 2 years cutting the number of rooms in half and making a huge up grade.

      One room was the Johann von Lamont room, he was my grandfather’s uncle and very famous in Munich. Lana and I visited Munich and were astonished at the wonderful reception we received , the Uni allocated a professor to us every day to display his works. Fantastic!

      A Maureen Kelly has been writing about him and gathering info about many other things in Braemar so I’ve been able to help her——I don’t know why but I’ve got a fantastic memory as far as Braemar is concerned. So that’s kept me busy, we’re enjoying lockdown, I hope you and Vinoo are doing the same. Lana’s sitting in the back verandah reading, it’s lovely and warm coming up to winter, we’re in the tropics here.

      Did you get the wee article I wrote in reply to Peter Bartlett’s art. on Park St in Calcutta?. Strange how friendships form with these men who were in Assam, I never knew them there…….YOU were the connection many years ago. Thanks for that too, Shona.

      Love and hugs to you both,




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