Eh, beedoobeedoobeedoo. That’s all. [Eddie Izzard]
So, there are a few things going on. First and foremost, I am exhausted. Spent most of the day at the cottage raking up leaves (approx., shit-ton) and then dragging sackfuls of them over to a compost heap. For an idea of how many leaves there were, please see exhibit… er… this.
Here be leaves and sticks and things.
On top of that, as a little warm-down, there was a few willow branches that needed sawing off, so my arm was nice and healthily numb by the time it started to get dark. Tomorrow I’m off to visit Abigail for the weekend, but there is the very real concern of my joints solidifying again whilst on the train journey there.
As I was walking around the fence, checking that it was still intact, I noticed this clearing to my left. It had several lines of deer tracks across it, and a stump amidst the yellow litter of leaves that seemed like it was meant for sitting. So I sat, and I waited.
I’ve been thinking recently about the shift in genre that my ideas and writing have undergone. Spending so much time at Willow Cottage has probably had a very large influence on me, for my most recent ideas are all coloured, lightly or unmistakably, with the light fantasy of folk-tales. There’s ‘Ogle and Creake‘, which I finished last night, and there’s notes for a story about a lumberjack (who’s a very good listener) and more for gardener who has rather more than a green thumb. I’m enjoying this theme, and I hope it continues long enough to form a collection of short stories.
It’s also gotten me thinking about the stories I read and loved as a child: Robin Hood (of course); King Arthur; Sir Gawain and the Green Knight – which was oddly terrifying for a children’s story; Jason & the Argonauts… The list goes on, I’m sure, but those are off the top of my head.
The books I had for Robin Hood and King Arthur (which I think included the story about Gawain’s and the Green Knight) were lovely illustrated books in a style that felt more for grown-ups than children. I’m sure they wouldn’t seem that way now, but hey, I was nine. They were scary and had scary pictures. Therefore, they were cool. I think I miss the excitement of a simple scary tale, set in a real world but that was tinged with fantasy, and that could be read alone or in groups, by a fire, with a flagon of ale. The kind of stories that remain unchanged and adored for generations, passed down by word of mouth or family books.
So I have a question: what were your favourite faerytales as a child? Which fables gave you shivers on Halloween, which myths and legends did you in awe ask to hear again and again? I would really like to hear about your favourites, and I’m sure it’ll bring up some fond memories for you, too!
It’s been a short while since my last post, and I have both much and little to tell. That is to say, there could be much to say, but much of that would be boring. I’ve been continuing to visit Abigail, of course, and we manage to spend rather a bit of money for two unemployed people. Part of these visits is always spent in trying to get her hugely emotional and slightly anxious dog to trust me. The growling has stopped; only the expressions of meek and bewildered terror to go! I still work at Willow Cottage most weeks, usually between one to three days each week, though it is getting less regular. Yesterday I sawed down six tree trunks that were unlucky enough to have the three strikes of being in a bog, too close together, and too close to a bigger tree for comfort. The work was exhausting, and all I’ll say is that I never thought I’d be someone who would consider a small hatchet to be a most precious and desired gift. I have been meeting with some people at a company called The Career Practice, who have been asking me about graduates and trying to teach me how to market myself, network, work towards goals, etc. They seemed a bit excited at the prospect of having a famous writer in their network, my name ‘up in lights’. I think I managed to subdue my wild-eyed nervousness, and instead thought how smart they were to having such a long-term business plan. Such a very long-term business plan.
In more relevant news, I still have ideas that I am yet to start writing out, and I still have to finish Ogle & Creake – the latter hopefully in time to submit to a ‘Spooky Story Contest’ in Kentucky. 1st place nets $75, and it seems as good a place to start as any. Talking with my old creative writing tutor via email has provided some pleasant motivation, as he seems to judge that I’m going about things the right way.
Oh, and one final thing; response to the writing group flier was poor indeed. Save for my sister, and my friend’s mum on my friend’s behalf, there was no response at all, in fact. Considering leaving some short stories out for people to read on open days. That’ll show ‘em.
Today I designed a flier that I will put up at the Cottage on Sunday’s open-day in an attempt to see if anybody would be interested in starting a writing group. Remember this post? Well, it appears that I’m finally getting around to trying out that idea. Of course, the inevitable nerves have begun to arrive. Hopefully there will be some kind of response.