Back In The Zone – Thanks Radio Four.
An amazing thing happened this week, well yesterday. I was listening to Mathew Parish on Radio Four, discussing Goya on his programme, Great Minds, when I suddenly felt the urge to write. Nothing strange you might think, and normally for me it would not be. However, for the last few weeks I have been so preoccupied with domestic matters I have not been in the right frame of mind. When I have been in the mood I have found myself staring at a blank screen for ages, my creative juices having gone on vacation apparently.
It didn’t worry me, I knew they would come back, but I hadn’t bargained for the urge to write to return in the middle of Mathew’s discussion. The idea for a story came out of the blue and I had almost the whole story before my computer had (slowly) got its act together. By the time I had a blank page to stare at, my original idea had grown and I could hardly type fast enough to keep up with the words flowing out of the ether – I am sure that is where it was coming from – The Watchers was writing itself!
Goya had nothing to do with it in case you are thinking I have written a story about the artist or art. I have no idea where the story came from, I hadn’t been mulling it over for days or intending to write a story anything like it. The Watchers may been have been inspired subconsciously, I suppose, by a conversation I had with someone weeks ago and which I thought had been filed away under – ‘One day that would make a great book’ – but suddenly I was writing a story not too far from the experiences we had talked about.
In just over an hour I had written almost 4,000 words of a short story and my original idea had changed way beyond what I had intended. That is seriously weird. But not a one-off as I found out about an hour and two cups of tea later. This time I was listening to a replay of an interview with Dexy’s Midnight Runners – remember ‘Come on Eileen’? I bet you will be singing it all day now!
I met one of the band, years ago when I had my Music Business hat on, but that is another story for another day perhaps. Anyway, back to my second seriously weird experience. As I listened to the interview with the band and their music, another story started to flood into my head. Nothing to do with the band or their music, but I guess there is a link to the time the band was around which triggered my story.
The Black Bird is based on a conversation I had years ago about someone finding a bird inside their house and their attempts to catch it. Again as I started to write what I thought would be quite a funny story, something happened and off I went again, the words filling my head as my hands flew over the keys faster than I could type accurately. Lots of editing was needed when I had finished.
After about two hours I had another short story of 4,300 odd words, again it had taken on a life of its own and my original idea had expanded way beyond what I thought it would be. So, now I have two short stories which I am quite satisfied with, though who knows if they are any good. That is for someone else to decide. I am considering submitting The Watchers for another Anthology I have been invited to contribute towards, though it might be a little bit too dark for their cause. I shall have to wait and see.
The Black Bird is a more humorous story, a little in the style of my God’s Waiting Room series of short observational pieces. I shall have to think what to do with it, as I am not sure where it would fit.
Now I am looking forward to what is on Radio Four this evening – it will be interesting to see if anything broadcast will put me back in the zone and inspire me, though the way the stories came to me almost complete, was a bit weird. I have seen it happen when people are song-writing but it has never happened to me before. I shall have my Radio on this evening and who knows what I might have to tell you about tomorrow.