Good to see I’ve chosen a title that breaks the Always Avoid Alliteration rule before I’ve even started.
I’m constantly amazed at the way unconnected threads find a way to weave themselves into a (hopefully cohesive) story.
I promised myself that tonight I would sit down and write a story. I haven’t written one for a couple of months and with each passing day the mountain was growing. As my day wore on I could feel myself getting edgy. What will I write? I don’t know where to start.
I’m not generally someone who holds much truck with fate and destiny but every now and then I’m convinced that some shards of storytelling magic poke their way into the world and demand to be listened to. Tonight was one of those nights.
Dinner was over and as I was clearing away T suggested making pie with the leftover brisket we’d just eaten. “I’ll make it in the brown pie dish.”
Now that probably doesn’t sound like a shard of storytelling magic to you, so let me explain.
Several months back a large crack appeared in our brown pie dish. This dish has been in our family forever but only fairly recently my mum pointed out that the pie dish was not in fact a pie dish. It was in fact a pate dish from the local butchery she worked at that had ended up in her possession thirty-odd years ago. The pie dish that isn’t the pie dish. I wasn’t sure what to do with the line but it felt like a good angle for a conversation piece – maybe two friends reminiscing on the past – and so I duly filed it in a dark corner of my brain that I reserve exclusively for these literary (ha) nuggets.
I can feel you slipping into I-really-didn’t-picture-a-magic-shard-as-being-pie-dish-shaped territory. Don’t go down that road, I beg you.
A month or so ago I heard an interesting interview with someone explaining the way that memory works over time. It centred on the phenomenon whereby a person ends up altering details about the past and via long term reinforcement believes this altered history as being the truth. Maybe that’s why you reinvent people and relationships. Rose tinted spectacles and all that.
Two unrelated strands of information, one throwaway comment from a wife and suddenly…magic.
I sat down to write and just over 1700 words flowed out with almost no effort. Two hours later I had the first (reasonably polished) draft of a new story called Reinventing Amy.
Like I said. Magic.
Oh, and mum, when you get to read the story all the mistakes about Lucas’ Butchers are just my own reinventions of the past. Truth but not the truth.