There's no rhyme or reason (sorry, cliche) to my writing at the moment, but I'm finding the module 'The Writer's Toolkit', which is all about research, incredibly helpful. This week, illuminated manuscripts sparked a story. It's hugely overblown, the way I write, with my critic in the back seat quite possibly gagged and bound, and my creative self blazing down the motorway with the top down, fists full of smarties and Meatloaf at full volume. I may be singing along. Anyway, the result is a big linear story and it does make for some good characters, quite vivid and interesting. They have taken over.
I think I have been able to write because I'm not hypothermic. I have found that by blocking up all the gaps in the stupid louvre window with carrier bags and taping them in; then putting the electric heater eighteen inches from my chair; I don't have to wear gloves to type. Hooray!
So, the story. I've always been interested in those mummified cats, old shoes and good luck charms people left in old buildings for various reasons. The Museum of Witchcraft has loads of them. They also have an archive of vellum spells and talismans from hundreds of years ago. I thought (having diligently researched them, and conservation techniques) what would it be like to discover one from scratch? From a scientist's point of view, of course...and what would be the consequences? A nice one for Halloween, I thought.
To make matters worse, the short story I had planned to do for A363 now looks old (although it was shortlisted for October'sWriting Magazine's competition, page 25.) Maybe I'll do something with the new one, but I don't want to overlap with the MA. I might be able to write two different stories from the first draft though, it does sort of have two plots. The best thing is, I think it would make a good radio play.
I'm also playing with poetry, which is still terrifying. I write intensely, for about twenty minutes, just free writes and ideas and phrases, then spend ages (maybe the rest of my life) trying to turn it into a poem. The poem I'm wrestling with is about the beauty of nature (fortunately, no-one;'s ever written any of those - hah!) and is a bit of a struggle. I'm keeping it concrete, I do look out over a fabulous view. But it's a challenge because it all sounds so 'where have I heard that before?'