Jacquie Bullard

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Uniquely Unfinished

When you hear the name Barcelona, what do you think of? Tapas, beaches, nightlife, the Sagrada Familia? For sure, this foreboding work of Gaudi has more mystique because it's unfinished. We keep asking, when will they finish it? Will it ever be finished?

The fact is, though, that even though it's been under construction for over a century, people have come in droves to marvel at it. It's already beautiful, unique, captivating.

Here, I've shared a photo of it that is not the most polished, glamorous image. But I think of it because I've been working on my novel set in Barcelona for over a decade now, and occasionally I like to drop the joke, "When will it be finished? Will I ever finish it?"

Of course, writers and creators of all kinds know that 'finished' is subjective. It's a decision the artist makes, not some prescribed state that is unmistakeably complete.

In that light, I wanted to share a little snippet from my WIP, Heads or Tails, this novel set in Barcelona that I've been working on since I was captivated by my time there as an English teacher:)

"Working with children was like the work of the bulldozers that combed the beaches of Barcelona at 4 and 5 in the morning, putting the sand back into place to maintain a flat shore for tourists to enjoy. Repetitive work that everyone took for granted, not creating anything but instead just keeping something from total destruction. Sometimes she imagined that the Sagrada Familia and its earthy color, was a sand castle, ready to be ruined by the next big wave, or crumbled slowly by everyday winds, constantly a work in progress. Everyone stood in front staring at the complex facade, more people inside gawked at the way light bounced off the intricate detailed ceiling while shadows highlighted others. It was a spectacle before it was ever finished and there she stood in that classroom, sensing her life as another unfinished piece, full of missing parts and gaps."

There you go...the sentiments of so many writers. Stay tuned for more excerpts and another post to piggyback off the first two that I wrote on Why I Write about Culture Clash.