drawnonwords - A Writers Tale

My own views, posts, musings, stories and the odd picture for all to enjoy and let others know.

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The Christmas Gift

The Christmas Gift

Imagine the scene, Christmas Eve 5.15pm everyone rushing home to their loved ones. A man hurries down a darken side street looking for hope. He finds the only light in a row of windows, a small rundown book shop. A sigh of relief as he sees others searching for those all important gifts. Entering the shop, he feels ill at ease, the other people ignoring him, the strain of hour clear to see. He wishes he had more time, so he can please his friends.

“I can’t do this; too many people, too little time, too many books. How I can choose? They have to be the right ones. If only I could have the shop to myself. I would give my soul for that.”

A desperate plea in the sea of people spoken out loud, but only one other hears.

“Who is that large man in the red coat? Concentrate. Books, that’s what I am here for. I have one ten pound note and three books to find. Look at this offer, two books for ten pounds and I need three books in fifteen minutes. I hate Christmas.” 

The first bead of perspiration runs down his brow as he searches for inspiration.

“Let me think, what about the classics, how about Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol. What’s wrong with that one? Too obvious? It’s on the TV every Christmas in one form or another. Not the best pick. Wait! I have the prefect book for one person, The Hobbit. Its classic, it’s modern, it was on the cinema. That’s one, two more to find.”

He clutches his first prize as if his life depends on it. Little does he know the surprise that awaits. 

“Second choice, what about one of Ernest Hemingway’s great novels. No, that would just cause problems. Put that one back and that one. Why not buy three copies of the Hobbit who would know? Three copies under the ten pounds, it’s so tempting. No, keep looking something will turn up.” 

He needs more time, that is a wish all of us make at some point, but at what cost? Sometimes the greatest wish is for the wrong gift. He has other worries now, the man in the red coat is looking at him.

“He is talking to the shop assistant now. Who’s he pointing at? Me? Why me? Is he a security guard?” 

The pressure of time can make someone imagine details that are never there. Is the man following him?

“Forget him, concentrate on books, the shop will close soon and that will be that. There is local garage, they might sell something tacky. Look at this, 50 Sheds of Grey. Wait a minute is that a proper book, I thought it was something else? Another colour maybe? No, thats no good either. Back to the classics. Oh joy five minutes left. I could just close my eyes, grab two and hope. I wish I had more time.”

In everyone there is a fateful wish, that one last moment with a loved one, the need to find the greener grass and this man is about to experience his fateful wish. A flash of red catches his eye, is he being stalked?

“Excuse me, I think you need this.” 

Startled by the softly spoken words, the man in the red coat appears before him, in his right hand is the offer of a lifeline. 

“Who are you, what do you want?”

He is flustered by the image, the closeness of this stranger.

“I only wish to make your life a little less complicated. You seem to be struggling to find what you desire. Let me help. Take this voucher, it lasts a lifetime.”

There is the offer, there is his wish all wrapped up in a beautifully coloured ticket. Would you accept such an offer?

“What do I need to do?”

“Why nothing, just accept the simple voucher, it has a few terms and conditions, nothing a man like you would not understand. Consider it my Christmas gift.”

The man in the red coat is smiling, he knows the gift will be accepted.

“Thank you, thank you. You have no idea how this will help me.”

The words glow a little as he takes the voucher, accepting the contract in good faith.

“It is my pleasure. Now you have all the time you need to find those last gifts. I am sure I will see you again and again.”

There is a puzzled look on the man’s face, he should have known better. It is too late now.

“What do you mean … Hello?”

In the turning of a page the shop has emptied. Everyone has gone or so it seems. The odd whisper of a ghostly figure drifts past the man, as he frantically tries to escape. But the door won’t open. He examines the voucher again looking at the back.

“My god, what have I done!” His voice fades to an echo as he stares at the words.

‘Thank you for your soul. You can browse all these books forever. S’

The line glows in deep blood red as the voucher falls from pale white fingers.

In a small bookshop, down a darkened side street, if you look closely, sometimes you can see the ghostly outline of a man. He is trapped, unable to pass into the next life. 

Rivers of Time

Hello Dear Reader

Rivers of Time

I decided to write a short story based on the premise that time is like a river. We all have our own river, some feed into others and grow stronger, some merely cross paths. A simple idea and one that I am sure is not unknown. What if that river is linked to time itself and we keep appearing in differing points?  Add to that some rivers keep crossing certain paths carrying our souls, joining in moments of time.

Many people do believe we have been here more than once, not able to remember our past lives. There are guides, spirits some call them, who influence our lives in many ways. Some, straight-forward, some the hand of fate we may never know why.

Hence I have written this piece, combining poems, flash fiction, and a short story, Rivers of Time.

Enjoy.

Rivers of Time

Time flows for all,

Never sleeps or stops.

Time flows like a river,

Never knowing its true course.

Time flows with a passion,

Never caring for those it touches.

Time flows as a force,

Never binding as it goes.

Time flows for all,

Never knowing fates hand.

Time flows without care,

As it wanders many paths.

 

Rivers of Time: Beginning?

It is understood by many, that time flows in one direction, always forward. Some believe we only appear once each stream forming the rivers of time. Others believe we exist as numerous streams at differing points throughout time. Appearing by chance, never remembering our past lives, loves, mistakes or heroic acts.

Some cultures worship the river of time, as it meanders. We appear randomly time and time again, occasionally seeing glimpses of our pasts in dreams or nightmares. There are those that hold we each have a soul mate. One whom we share much more than just a physical connection.

Time and Fate: companions in our journeys. Fate may alter time or so it seems. Offering different paths, a chance of happiness or the misery of despair. Chance can be hidden or we can be blind to what is there. We can never stand still despite our best efforts as time rolls onwards.

Two souls wandering, their paths crossing through time. Briefly, they touched as knight and princess bound over the centuries to meet again. Fate playing its hand, like ripples in the river, forcing the soul along an unknown path.

The destiny of each soul, woven into the rivers of time.

Rivers of Time: The Old Woman

Curiosity: they say it killed the cat. However, he was still curious. It had been twenty years since he first saw her, his life touched in ways he never imagined. Standing outside the shop, crystals and rocks catching the mid-day sun, he closed his eyes.

After all those years, the memory was still vivid. Exploring the town, he came across the shop, almost tucked out of sight. He stopped to admire the crystals and gemstones, something of a passion. As he looked into the window, he felt someone was watching. Glancing around he saw no-one. His friends would be on the beach or the other side of town. There was a familiar sound. He looked down to see a black cat in the doorway.

It mewed at him, the hypnotic call drawing him closer. Green eyes locked with his, a compelling need to move forward. The cat suddenly moved into the shop as he bent to stroke it. There was a brief moment of darkness as he followed.

“She will always do that.” He looked up to see an elderly woman. There was a sparkle in her green eyes, something that made him stare for a moment. The cat must have moved further into the shop as he could not see her.

“Forgive my curiosity, I did not mean to stare.” Her eyes were as green as the cats.

“You are looking for a gift, for your soul mate.” It was not a question but a statement.

“I was thinking of a gift, yes. But I don’t have a soul mate. Your shop caught my eye. Crystals have always held a fascination for me.” He felt a cold shiver down his back, under examination not just from the old woman. Without realising, he had stepped closer to where she was.

“The right crystal is important if you believe. They can heal your spirit, guide your journey and show you, true love.” Her voice was calming, the sales pitch inviting.

“How would I know which crystal is right for me? How do you know about my soul mate?” He was humouring her, a traveller to part with his cash.

“You have to open your mind. Believe in what you wish for rather than your cynical thoughts.” She reached out and held his right hand in hers. The move was sudden. He felt trapped unable to move.

“Your Grandfather tried to tell you before his death, the story was true.” She kept her eyes on his, unnerving him.

His mind drifted to his Grandfather, a story he told him. It was a lucky guess by her, the sales pitch was good. He kept quiet.

“You don’t believe that one can see your past or your future?” It was as if the shop did not exist for a moment. He began to remember the story he was told.

“You never truly believed what he said, how at a young age you were saved. How you were close to death. Rushed to the hospital, operated on, the real reason for the mark on your neck.” His mind was racing, this was not right. How could she know? It must still be a lucky guess. He refused to answer, to be drawn in. Something was not right. It had to be a set-up. One of his friends had put her up to this. She must have seen his neck and the small mark where he had supposedly been operated on.

“You refuse to believe, even now. Yes, I can see your mark, it could be a guess. How many know of the doctor that never lived?” A chill ran through him. He had never told his friends of the story. He had always believed his Grandfather was kidding. Even days before his death, he told the same story. He just smiled to appease, not wanting to upset him.

“He told you of your guardian angel and your beast, ones that have been with you since birth.” Her voice was mesmerising, he was trying to understand her words.

“I have never told anyone of that story. How could you know?” His mind went over the words of his Grandfather. “What or who are my guardian angel and beast?”

“They guide you, watch over you. At times, they will interfere as yours has over the years.” She seemed to look over his right shoulder.

“Your inner beast is a dragon. You understand the mythical beast don’t you.” It was becoming uncomfortable for him, he felt heat and sweat, it must be a light. This was all a trick to make him believe.

“Yes. I mean, I there is a curiosity about such beasts. What could they be like if they existed?”  He was struggling now to keep control. He had more than passing interest in dragons, he felt foolish saying to others but not her.

“Now you understand why you are drawn to the dragon. Mine is a cat, as you saw.” A smile crossed her face. “They guided you here. Now, your wish is to find your soul mate. She is waiting for you.”

He was sweating now, heart racing as his mind flashed imagines of a woman.

“I don’t know what you mean. I have not come to find you or my soul mate. I had no idea.” He felt faint.

“It is time for you to glimpse your future. Follow me.” The old woman tugged his hand and he followed.

He fought the feelings inside himself. He had thought of his future, someone to share his life but this was beyond all he knew. He was supposed to be relaxing, escaping all the pressures of life.

He lost track of time as she talked to him. Knights, dragons, spirits, worlds gone and worlds to come. Throughout she told of his soul mate. They had met before on different plains the old woman said. He found it hard to believe that he had a past life. The more she spoke the more he was drawn into this strange world. He felt drowning in a sea of riddles. His soul mate was something of a dream as she described her to him. He would know when he saw her? Raven. Her hair, the bird or name? His mind filled with images, his head fit to burst. Then it was over.

His eyes opened, the memory still fresh. He had visited every year since, always a little nervous of what the old woman might reveal. He had learned more of his past life: how he met his princess while he was a knight. He had doubts, times he thought she was just telling him what he wanted to hear. Yet he knew she was right. The years had passed without that feeling.

One summers day it happened: he saw her. Raven hair, soft smile, flowing dress as she walked towards him. A sudden glow inside him unlike any before. Somehow he managed to greet her. It took time, he was not the most patient of men. He had found his love through the river of time. The old woman said he would but it would be a troubled start. That was over six months ago. Now he needed her wisdom again and what the future held. He opened his palm to show his stone as the familiar sound greeted him. The soft meow made him smile.

“Hello, old friend.” He stepped inside.

 

Rivers of Fate

Fate is a universe of uncertainties,

Throwing unknowns into the rivers of time,

Changing paths without thought.

Fate is all-seeing, all-knowing,

It depends on nothing,

Offers paths without boundaries.

Fate is cruel, harshly uncaring,

Changing the rivers of time,

Offering paths that lead to darkness.

 

Rivers of Time: Forgiven Knight

He looked out at the sunset. Despite the heat, he was cold inside. He held the flower, a simple blue beauty, its life so short. It was her’s, one she enjoyed. A faint memory surfaced, in a sea of blue, the pure white of her dress. Her smile welcoming the knight home, helping to shed the cares around him. A single touch sparked the fire within, the two dragon stones calling to each other, bonding again.

He looked down at his stone. It was dying, lost without its twin, the spark needed yet so far away. A sigh escaped his lips, it was deep and sad beyond what he thought. Something nudged him. Scales rubbed against right hand. Looking into the eyes of his dragon, a silent bond between the pair. They both understood each other’s loss. Both felt alone now in a strange way, both still trying to reach out.

He looked again at the bright blue flower. There was her scent captured in the bud, held for as long as he could remember. There was still the faint light of hope, he knew that he had to believe it. To complete his quest, to find his one, he had to truly believe. He rose from his knee, his armour battered a little more.

He looked out at the shattered landscape and placed his right hand against the dragon. Out there they would find her, rescue her and ultimately ask her forgiveness. He placed the blue flower inside his armour, climbed on the dragons back. He heard her cry inside his heart, always watch over me.

 

River of Time: The End?

At the end of time, on the river sits a rowing boat. It waits for the knight and princess. A fixed point never to be changed by fate. The final moment for the two souls that will last a lifetime.

Time waits patiently as the river slows around it. The calm water, no longer touched by fate or chance, slowly fades to grey. Bright sparks, echoes from the past, approach the simple boat. The knight and princess, joined once more, as the boat send ripples through time.

Each ripple an act of fate guiding the souls to journeys end.

Is the end of time the beginning of the story?

Forgotten Letter from Prague

Hello Dear Reader

Over the past few years, I have found a passion in my writing. I have been very lucky to have a couple of pieces published and completed my own first book. A novel is in the works, (80,000 words to edit is not a simple task), as well as a poem and short story book. Alongside my writing, I have added photography as a passion. Combine the two and you do get the best of both worlds.

This blog I offer an old short story, one which I enjoyed writing. I hope you enjoy the emotional ride.

(With thanks to Keele Creative Writing)

The Forgotten Letter from Prague

I placed the scarf around my neck. It was an odd thing to do but felt right. The loft smelt musty and it was the one room in the house I rarely visited. There were a number of boxes around me, each holding the oddest memories: a black and white picture, a ripped t-shirt, the past.

One of the dusty boxes had fallen open. I could barely look at the contents. There before me was an old briefcase; it had two neat circular holes, numerous scuff marks, and no handle. I could just make out three faded letters: ‘L.J.K’. I reached, expecting it to snap open and rip at my hand.

I started shaking; memories were surfacing, good and bad.

As I gripped the case, dust swirled creating a mist. I took a breath, trying to remember what I had left inside this forgotten world. Opening the briefcase, there was a hint of perfume. The dim light made it difficult to see the contents. I touched something soft: a sinuous strip of silken cloth – a white scarf with traces of rusty autumnal colour dotted in the centre. I knew the stain was her blood.

I lifted the scarf to my face, closing my eyes, trying to smell what was left of her scent. There was nothing. It was lost like the rest.

I took out a large brown folder sealed with a red ribbon, the letters ‘L.J.K’ scribbled on the front. There was a handwritten note in one corner. It read, ‘Last contact unknown, runner eliminated, property lost. Forget Prague’. The handwriting was mine. Deep within the faded ink, I could see pain in the rushed, jagged edges of the writing. I held the folder for what seemed like hours. I closed my eyes and let the memories surface.

It was a late evening in London when the old man handed me the folder. He looked tired and drawn. Clearly, he knew more than he wanted to say.

I hear his voice: ‘She is gone. Don’t look inside it. Dispose of it, best if this was lost.’

Why had I kept these last vestiges of her? I opened my eyes and gazed at the sealed top.  I nervously ripped open the folder, nearly dropping it in panic.

I watched the past explode, papers and pictures scattered over the dust-covered floor. There was her face, her beautiful face, so soft, so innocent, so very long ago. The picture was black and white. I must have taken it. She was smiling her quirky smile. Her eyes smiled too, her face always told what she thought. I moved the picture to one side, and I picked up a white envelope. It was hers, I could tell, it was the goodbye letter we all had to write. With a delicate touch, I peeled the envelope open and took out her letter. The paper felt old, textured against the pads of my fingers. It was from another time…another world.

Dare I read it? What harm would it do now after all these years? My hands trembled as I held the piece of history, a relic. Why had I kept this, what earthly good would it do?

Memories continued to appear. The 60s: no internet; no flash contact; no time for regret. We were too young to understand the consequences. They never explained what really could happen. Each of us was recruited from our cosy university life. We joined to fight for our country and what we were told was right.

We were introduced to all this by our professor, someone we trusted. He saw something different in how we related to the world. He taught us part of the game. We had to make notes on our fellow students for fun. That was what the professor said it was, just fun. Then there was the turning point: I was told to eavesdrop on two visiting students. As I listened, nothing they said made sense to me. When I told the professor what I heard, he studied my face for a moment. Smiling, he said it meant everything to him.

Little did we know, he was the link between our simple world and the rough exterior of real life.

After that, he took us to see his friend, the older man who smelt of cigarettes and whiskey. He taught us more of the game. It was exciting at first, a dare to beat the oppressors, grab the prize and escape. Like a game, but not played on a board. It soon became all too real: the first one of us lost. We held a ceremony, everyone said nice words over an empty coffin. That hit home, that hurt. Now you had to win, the stakes were higher each time, the dangers just a little closer. Our gang of many became a group of few. She and I, we just got too close, too comfortable in our ways; that was our downfall.

I glanced at her picture on the floor. We knew the risks; it was our job, our fight to keep freedom alive. What was the cost? My chest tightened again. I felt trapped. The letter was dragging me back. A flash, her naked body against mine as we lay in bed. Her soft laughter, the sweet smell as she slept in my arms.

I recalled that last hour before we parted, we exchanged information, the last list of names. Then she gave me the letter. Don’t open it, wait for me, she said. She held my hands like never before like she knew it was the end.

My heart sank a little, thinking of what might have happened to her. The state police would not have been kind. We knew the sort of things they would do with the wrong person. Beatings, torture, sickening methods to make her talk. If she was in their hands it would only be a matter of time.

I waited, of course, and waited too long. The knock at the door was not a friendly one. Shouts, dog barks, the deep thud as a foot crashed through the paper thin-flimsy door. I was sweating, breathing deep, stuck for a moment and unable to move. She must have told them, they would not have stopped until they knew everything. The aggressive noise made me panic and I fled. All of my training failed me. This was not some acting class anymore. They wanted whatever I had, it was their secret and we had stolen it. Scared for my life, I never looked back. I ran for five days until I found safety back in London with the old man.

He was understanding to a point, not like his military bosses who were as brutal as the opposition. There was a time when I wondered which side I was really working for.

What felt like a few weeks later, unsure because I lost track of time, the old man came to me with both my letter and this envelope.

I was finished with them. They looked at me as a washed out, broken toy never to be used again. I asked if we had news of her, he told me to take the folder, destroy it and forget.

Forget her? Him? The others? Everything?

I was given cash, a new name, a job and was discarded onto the pile of failures. ‘Oh, what a circus we have,’ the old man said as he left. I felt cold and disconnected.

That was the past, the old man gone, the others possibly lost. Enough time had passed, I was stronger now… or so I had thought. I opened her letter, wishing to hear her voice in my head as I read.

My dearest one,

I told you not to open this. I am gone, never to return. While it remained sealed, you had hope. Our love is broken. It will hurt you more than you know.

This is the most difficult letter to write and for you to read. You understand as you have written the same. We are told it is just operational and not to be concerned. This is going to be my last memory to you: death.

We had a job to do, and we did it well my love. Never show them we were beaten. Savour the time we spent, those glorious moments locked together.

Think of when we spent those lazy afternoons, enjoying the rain beating on the windows, watching the clouds pass by. Those moments kept me strong. Make sure they keep you warm.

I feel refreshed as I write. My feelings were sometimes too private, I kept you out at the wrong moments. Don’t regret what we have done and please don’t regret anything for my sake. 

Be brave as you must.

I am rambling now, not thinking straight, but that’s what a letter is for I guess, my sweet.

I have to finish, they say its time.

Be safe. You have to forget me one day.

Yours L.J.K.

My hands dropped as the letter floated down into the dust. Every muscle screamed inside me. As I looked at the scattered papers I saw another picture; it was a disfigured face, bloodied and battered. Her’s. A tear ran down my cheek and dropped onto the picture. I had ignored the old man, I had searched for her a couple of times, always hoping she had been spared. I never knew what became of it all, until now.

I sat looking at the pictures and papers.

I could not read the rest; it would be too hard, too emotional.

I vowed to bury it all, to have closure in my life.

Later that evening, I stood over a small mound of fresh earth and silently said a prayer. I walked to the house, my heart cold, my happy life broken… again.

Flash Fiction 1

Hello Dear Reader

Flash Fiction 1

Over the few weeks, I have challenged myself to write something called flash fiction. This is sort of shorter version of a short story. Although, some would argue that many pieces are short stories. The current definition of flash fiction is from 50 words to 300 and possibly up to 1000 words.

I took up the challenge and produced three pieces. It took me a time to sort them out and one may not be as good as I wished. One has been entered into a competition, it has the same chance as anyone else’s. I can’t show that one for obvious reasons.

So how do you write flash fiction? Here are some points;

How to write flash fiction:

Start in the middle.

Don’t use too many characters.

Make sure the ending isn’t at the end.

Sweat your title.

Make your last line ring like a bell.

Write long, then go short.

David Gaffney, Stories in your pocket: how to write flash fiction, The Guardian

So you see, it’s unlike other forms of writing. Then again, there so many forms of writing, just like music, photography or art. So I offer my first two flash fiction pieces. Follow the link and enjoy.

Alien Landscape/Forgiveness.

Tagline; “When one word can mean 1000’s”

 

Writing Weekend Part 2

Hello Dear Reader

Writing Weekend Part 2

Hopefully, you will have read Part 1, it makes sense of course in case there is some startling revelation of catastrophic news. Rest assured, there is nothing but reading Part 1 helps. I may never know if you have but it’s a comfort to think you will have.

Writing festivals are often packed as you only have a few days to work with. For me, it was only two days sadly. It’s never two days as well you know since people won’t be awake all night. Maybe one festival they will. Having completed the workshop, it was time to prepare for two interview sessions, the first with Mark Gatiss. A brief lunch, walk around and then of to the York opera house, a traditional old theater in the heart of the town.

It would be impossible to cover everything that was mentioned in the talks. I doubt I could transcribe it all and there would be a flatness in just reading the words. Understanding what interests a writer and how they write helps others see what they can do to further their own writing. Most writers I have discovered, seem to write from an early age, I did myself making up simple stories. Sometimes it starts with reading a favourite subject that makes one think.

League of a Gentleman

The event was well attended by fans from across the spectrum. I was very aware of the work Mark Gatiss had been involved with, but for me, it was discovering why or what he liked about writing that was interesting.  To open the talk, they played a sketch from League of Gentleman. A very deadpan Mark Gatiss in the role of a cave guide. This is dark comedy at its best, written perfectly and delivered in that droll, uninterested style. To write that and both produce laughs and not laugh is very difficult. You can’t help but laugh as it is just the polar opposite of slapstick. That was the gift of this writing, to write so bleak, it is seriously funny.

Carry on enjoying

Horror and ghost stories both film and television seemed the background for Mark Gatiss and one film, in particular, stood out for me, Carry on Screaming. This is my favourite Carry On film, I know it so well. Why? For me, it is one of the best-scripted films, well acted, a good cast including Harry H Corbett who stepped in for Sid James at the last moment. It is a huge nod to Hammer but most of all had two Doctor Who elements. A mention by name and of course Jon Pertwee.

It is clear that writing is very time-consuming. Many people never see the whole writing process, from an idea through to the completed work. Part of the talk touched on that process given that one idea alone had taken two years. Of course, Mark Gatiss was not just working on one project at a time. There was the assumption given the body of work completed that anything would be taken up. It is not always the case even for someone like Mark Gatiss. That was quite interesting as it shows all writers have the same problems.

 

One other passion of his, are ghost stories. I myself I have written a couple. To bring the right amount of horror, scare the reader or viewer just enough takes a fine balance. Building up those dark feelings, as you are drawn in, then the shock. The shock does not need to be harsh. Mark Gatiss has a real understanding of this, in what he has produced. He also laments the lack of this on television these days. Children are no longer properly scared, adults don’t always see good horror. As for mine, now I know I need to both finish them and write more. I might even be able to turn them into scripts. After his talk, I like many others had the chance for an autograph and a brief chat. Mark was genuinely interested in people and I was able to tell my Jon Pertwee story to him.

Around another world

So talk one completed, booked signed photography snapped. A chance to grab a bite to eat and ready for the third event. Again, an interview this time with Micheal Palin. Now I am a Monty Python fan. I know the Parrot sketch. I can sing (badly) a number of their songs. What I was looking for here was why and again what drove Micheal Palin to write. It was really simple. Just like Mark Gatiss, the drive to write came from a shared love of words. The chance to put his sketches on in a university environment gave the opportunity to test the waters, so to speak. He certainly found his dead parrot and more than a number of naughty Brian’s.

The other element here was his diary. You might think this is an odd source of information but if you really think about it, a diary is sometimes shorthand for ideas. Micheal Palin started his diary to remember events, ideas and was what you could consider the blog of its time. It has not gone out of fashion, just replaced by technology. It is something all writers I suspect should carry to hand. It does not need to be a diary in that traditional sense but a notebook or series of them.

The talk centered on a few points in Micheal Palin’s career, notably the Life of Brian, Ripping Yarns, Time Bandits, and his travel series. In each one, the love of writing was intricately involved. There was also one other interest to me briefly mentioned, Jabberwocky. That is one of those long complex poems, where some words are nonsense. I would have liked a little more about how that was constructed from poem to script.

To be able to tell a story well requires an understanding of characters, plot, surrounds and all. One might think there was no ‘plot’ in Around the World in 80 Days for example. However, the plot was very clear, reproduce the travel of a fictional character from a book. Now although there was a book, this was no fictional trip so that itself created other issues. How to write about 5 days sitting on a sailboat, make it interesting, exciting and yet not repeat the same lines, is difficult. While there was the time to write, maybe there was also the time to catch up?

 

Again the talk finished all too soon and there was the chance to get an autograph. I purchased a copy of poems by Micheal Palin to study. As I have been told, you have to read to be able to write. With the second book signed, it signaled the end of a very productive day. It gave me many ideas to work on, the thought that you can write what ever you wish and that the only thing stopping writing is yourself.

Having completed the second of these blogs it just shows what writing can do. I have three more poems to complete, a short story to edit and my sci-fi novel to re-edit (again). I also want to combine my love of photography with poems and short stories to produce another book. All can be done, but all would have to compete in this growing ocean of literature.

The York Literature festival was brief for me but very enjoyable. I would do the same again given the opportunity. I do have one more writing event to try, that of a weekend retreat, where all you do is write. Maybe that’s my next step? With my camera of course. Thank you all involved making my brief visit a joy.

Tagline: ‘Carry on Doctor, Who needs to get Around the World’

 

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