The image of Agatha Christie as a daredevil was not one I expected to find when I visited her hometown. It may well be I am overestimating the dangers of Beacon Cove. But without knowing more about this sheltered strand of beach filled with a plethora of rocks and boulders, and observing the way the ocean interacted with the shore at different times of the day, let alone in different seasons, I'd be leery of swimming there. Wouldn't you?
Agatha Christie wrote an astonishing number of books during her lifetime.
When it comes to being a writer, and knowing what she was about, she totally nailed it. In terms of her storytelling ability, she got everything right. Her books and stories represent the epitome of the literary art form. She became, in every sense of the word, the author all others can only aspire to become. That's quite an accomplishment for a modest young woman to achieve in the male dominated
Each day, Agatha Christie faced the daunting task of filling the empty page. In all likelihood, she started all those stories without knowing exactly what their final shape would be. Through braving each day's unknown dangers, she completed the rough drafts of those manuscripts.
But she didn't stop there. Christie carried each and every story through the entire revision process. With each rewrite, she massaged and refined her stories into their ultimate, finished form. Then she battled her publishers to get her stories, told her way, into the hands of the public.
All told, her publishing record suggests a life of constant struggle to create, to refine, and perfect. It tells of battles waged and won, and sometimes lost. Her vast, storytelling legacy paints a portrait of an exceptionally brave woman.
Let others contest the dangerous waters of Beacon Cove. As for me, I'm content to remember the beauty I found there, and the pleasant afternoon I spent sketching what I saw. The memory of that experience, and how it colored my perception of her, will add greater depth and meaning the next time I open one of her books, and savor the results of the hard-won battles she fought over the final, finished pages.
In fact, maybe I'll pick up one right now. How about you?