Monday, November 5, 2012
Signing off for a week
The fifth of November is without doubt in history one of the days that that brings back the happiest of childhood memories. As November creeps in to the cold shores of the United Kingdom, and we dig out our coats and hats and get used to the dark nights that settle in for another season many people look forward to 'Bonfire Night'. It is a historical celebration, that has now lost its original political and religious basis since the year of 1605, when Guy Fawkes was caught underneath the Houses of Parliament with enough explosives to send the then ruling King James 1st rocketing up into space. His aim? To replace the ruling monarch with a catholic head of state.
As a child I took no interest in the religious connotations. We learnt them at school and resigned the fanaticism to history, along witch hunts and the plague to the history of our sometimes dark and treacherous country. My memories are not about these facts. They are about sparklers, fireworks, and the sight of stars as we left the overpowering glow of the town. It is about looking up to my parents and the crowds that towered above my five year old self as they gathered to stand around the roaring bonfire whilst eating hotdogs or jacket potatoes topped with chilli.
Whilst these traditions may have passed me by, and in Cyprus the thought of standing around a roaring bonfire in a thirty degrees November heat wave is less than appealing, the memory still lives on. It is these childhood memories, sensations, and traditions such as this that have inspired me since that young age into the writer that I am today. It is not without coincidence that the hospital in my self published The Loss of Deference is a cold Victorian relic that looks like the building that stood in the background of the bonfire on these special nights. This hospital now stands fully renovated into luxurious apartments after long since falling into disrepair, but the original memory stands strong.
In two days I am returning to my home town, at what in England is by far my favourite time of the year. It is cold and brisk; my cheeks will be permanently pink either from the chill of the winter or the log fire that will burn in the local pub. People will be getting ready for Christmas. There will be long forgotten smells and sensations that remind me of many events from the past that will catch me by surprise. I will store up these moments for the times when the writing gets hard and bring them out for inspiration. In the difficult mid sections of my latest book there will no doubt be moments when it is hard to find the next line, the right word, or the connecting plot shift. There is inspiration sometimes in the most mundane of things.
So my aim for England is this: keep a photo diary as a reminder for inspiration. I love to work visually in my writing and so this may help me in difficult sections. I will also post it here for you to see. So this will be my last post for a week or so, but I will be back with a visual representation to share with you soon.