14 February 2011


I started this blog to discuss writing - my experiences in writing and publishing, plus writing craft and the writing life.  Partly for my own benefit, but also for anyone else who might find this blog. 
Writing does tend to be a rather solitary occupation, and as I work from home that's a double dose of solitary confinement, and so I try to attend workshops or conferences to meet up with other writers.  I've also learned a huge amount from writers I only know through blogs and email, and so I hope  something I’ve said might help someone else.
Today I’m going to bend my rule and mention something, which at first appears as though it has nothing to do with writing.  The past few days have thrown up a couple of challenges.  First was a rupture in a water pipe, which caused beautiful fountains in the driveway. 
Then in the early hours of this morning I was woken by a loud bang, followed by a noise I can only describe as hundreds of cicadas together in a very small space - as a writer I know I should be able to do better, but honestly that’s how it sounded. 
I don’t know what caused the bang, a bird with insomnia, low flying vampire bats, possums playing catch with some rocks.  At 1.30am I’m not at my best.  
The result of the bang was that the large window next to the front door was cracking.  The window is taller than me and about as wide as my arm span so pretty big, and the cracking was the cicada noise.  In just a few minutes the whole window was opaque, in the same way a car windscreen cracks.  Fortunately all the glass stayed in place and I didn’t touch it hoping it would remain in place until it could be repaired.  I know in the scheme of things - bereavement, earthquakes, serious injury - it’s not up there in the major catastrophe stakes, but it’s caused me a few headaches. 
I was thinking about the old cliché that truth is stranger than fiction, and the coincidences that sometimes happen in real life are things we can’t put in a novel as the reader would say, ‘things like that just don’t happen.’’  Truth is they do. 
What incidents, or coincidences, have happened to you that you could use as conflict in your writing, or as a sub-plot?

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