Alison Rose Knight

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There’s no such thing as perfect.

By alisonroseknight, Nov 20 2014 06:46PM

My local radio station used to have a competition called ‘The Cunning Conundrum’. If you cracked the riddle, you’d get a t-shirt which declared ‘I cracked The Cunning Conundrum’. One day, they asked ‘What is the best side on which to place the handle for a teacup?’ Well, that’s a daft question I thought, a teacup is round. But then it hit me, the best side for its handle is the outside! I won, and wore my t-shirt with pride.

A couple of weeks later I was in the car with my then teenaged son. The Cunning Conundrum of the day was about a Persian rug. A man had bought a very expensive rug, but found a flaw in the pattern. When he returned to the carpet dealer, the merchant refused to take it back or refund any money. Why?

Having been trained as a lawyer, I immediately started rambling on about The Sale of Goods Act, and how the merchant was in the wrong. And then my son spoke up. “He isn’t, Mum. Muslims believe that only Allah is perfect, so they deliberately include a flaw in their carpets to show they accept this.”

I’ve never forgotten that. My son is now a man, married with his own son. But the lesson I learned from him stays with me. I think we can all learn something from it. None of us is perfect. Therefore, we can’t expect to create perfect things. As a writer, I am constantly learning and trying to improve. I try to make my prose as perfect as I can, but my son taught me to accept that I will never completely succeed. The best I can hope for is that my words will entertain and inspire.

Why am I thinking of this now? It’s because I’ve spent the last few days going through the manuscript for my first book, Branded, with my editor. It’s now with the proof-reader, and should be ready for publication in December. As I went through it, I remembered how much editing and rewriting had already gone into this story. I had reached the point where I thought it was as perfect as I could get it. My editor was very complimentary, but there were still some flaws that needed to be dealt with. It needed a fresh eye to see them.

I hope that Branded is now as close to perfect as it can be. But, if when reading it you should find a fault, please remember, only Allah/God is perfect.

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