Day 11 of #ayearofwriting and I am into double figures +1 and with it comes the distortion of the foster parent in The Song of the Metal Grasshopper. For this foster parent takes children as slaves, a means of currency and that currency is cheap. There is menace here, one that reflects the danger that runs through the story, just another mirror of what could be based on how children suffer at the bottom of any food chain where life is cheap.
Day 12 of #ayearofwriting and the image of a shotgun backfiring is haunting my story today. The dead sheep I found as a child, is with me also and today they have fused together.
Day 13 of #ayearofwriting and 15,000 words dwindles to 7421 as I cut out repetition, back story and ideas that I have already explored. I have discovered in my practice that I like to write vignettes, images that strike me about a situation or character, and then through this disjointed stream of consciousness I link these images up. Sometimes a single image conveys many scenes but it’s the same image, different angles as I pick at the threads to find the story. I collect images, here’s one of a small girl in Liverpool dancing for drunken men. There’s something incredibly disturbing about this moment.
Day 14 and I realise that for the last 114 days I have switched on my laptop to write. Sometimes it has been hard going, sometimes the sessions have been short but at least I have sat and written#ayearofwriting
I dunt tell Gramfer that I glazed tha new ones from Taw Marsh tha naet afore last comin’ in late wed’ Grant. Theer’s bearns an’ a man wed’ them. Theer’s a girl wed’ them too that I dunt wan’ to gab about. I glaze dun at her from tha roof holdin’ tha hands oftha bearns. Theer all hand me dun skin an’ bones trodgin’ on foot but she shines under tha moon. Tha man wed’ her haave a yellow docket in hand to sayst thay can live heer. Jones is fidgety an’ arsts Grant if Killy gave him anythin’ to give to him, Smith an’ Brown but Grant swings his head long. Even from tha roof I can see he’s allish, eevin’ in tha face an’ it’s a struggle to glaze at him afore getting’ on his bike an’ wobblin’ away into tha naet. Jones is mazed at this an’ arsts tha man wed’ tha yellow docket about Killy an’ he’s eithar drazac or dwalin’ cuz he dunt understand or give a bogger about tha arm in arm deal Jones, Brown an’ Smith haave got a’goen wed’ Killy. Jones arsts what’s a’goen on in Taw Marsh, proper awkin’ tha same question agen an’ agen. Tha man looks at tha bearns swayin’ from trodging heer, theer feet drippin’ out theer shoes, an’ theer clothes ready to drop. Jones sayst, what news? He arsts if tha army haave left Bideford. Is it true tha river at Taw Marsh is auver tha dykes? Tha man just waves tha yellow docket at Jones an’ Jones loses it, loud nuff to haave heads pokin’ out into tha backlet an’ fer him to hollin’ at them to bogger off. Gramfer snores through it all. Tha man wed’ tha docket arsts tha girl to give tha docket to Jones, Jones snatches it from her. Jones turns on tha man an’ arsts, is theer sickness in Taw Marsh? Tha man ess loffin’ an’ Jones ess caalin’ him an’ if it whern’t fer tha bearns he’d be linchin’ him. Tha bearns sturt balin’ like a sing-song of snot.
Day 20 of #ayearofwriting and draft six of The Tin Grasshopper – I know, another change of title – will wing its way towards my reader. My reader has complained that my output seems to have sprung up quickly, like a grasshopper! Oh well, it may continue or I may dry up but I have enough ideas for several more stories and I reckon if I stick with short stories I could write around 10-15 this year. You know those writer’s readings where they do Q&A and someone always asks, ‘What’s the secret to your success?’ or, ‘How do you find time to write?’ I have been thinking on these questions, which really mean, ‘Where do you get your inspiration from?’ The funny thing is the writing creates the inspiration and the inspiration creates the writing. They feed on each other, one impacts on the other, and more stories flow.