Thursday 1 March 2018

Snow and More Snow but Inspiration Too...

It's rather cold and snowy in my part of Nottingham.

Where's that come from?
Where does the road start?

Usually we escape or just get a light fall that melts the moment it stops, but yesterday evening it started snowing and didn't stop; today hasn't been much better as the cold wind keeps blowing the snow everywhere...

Sadly the bad weather meant the writers' club had to cancel the regular meeting yesterday evening (Wednesday) and tomorrow (Friday) I'm not going to attempt the journey to Leicester for the RNA chapter.

I always take pictures of the snow (when we do get it) as it can be very useful to refer back to when I'm writing a story set in winter. It can help with description and recalling the thoughts and maybe memories that go with the moment- at least that's how it works for me!

Not sure how helpful these pictures will be this time!

Wednesday evenings (when I'm not at the writers' club) I'm usually on Twitter for #writingchat between 8-9 pm (GMT), so for a few minutes before and after the session I catch up on the tweets and images. There were quite a few snow pictures of course.

That was when I had one of those YES moments, when I saw a particular image, an empty snow strewn street in Stamford.

The best way to describe it is a sensation, as if an invisible pebble has dropped inside me somewhere and the resulting ripples are the possibilities. I've learnt that for me it's a visual trigger and somewhere in my subconscious cogs are turning. It won't necessarily be used straight away, but could be months or even years to come, but it will be used.

Some of those moments will immediately create a scene which will be the starting point for a story to develop from, others find their way in later as with my current WIP.

I was researching the history of Goose Fair in the local studies library for a story project- it was a long time ago and my writing has improved a lot since then- and I came across a book of newspaper cuttings and there was a recollection of an unusual weather event. I noted it down, although I lost the piece of paper with the details on, the event stayed in my memory.

Very many years later one snowy winter travelling up the motorway a local news report mentioned a rider who had been thrown off their horse and injured, of course the horse had gone back to its stable, and the rider located, but sadly it had not ended well.

These two separate events though years apart clicked and the synergy produced an image. (It's actually part of the back story of my WIP but I only discovered that much later.)

You can still read that very early story from the Goose Fair research- I did say I've learnt a lot about writing since then, didn't I?

Sadly the ' and " " symbols have turned to little squares, as it was loaded onto the site in 2003, and clearly doesn't format well with modern systems. You have been warned, it's here.

Hope wherever you are the bad weather hasn't given you too many problems. Stay safe...


Julia Thorley said...

I'm glad you've found inspiration in the snow. It looks lovely through the window. I've just been out into the garden to put some food and water out for the birds and it's fascining how they are now queuing up for a bath! I should have been in Nottingham today for the Writer's Conference, but I couldn't get to the station at this end. Shame.

Carolb said...

We've been feeding the birds twice a day during this cold and snowy spell. There's always one lurking in a nearby tree ready to swoop down the moment we're inside again.

Sorry you couldn't get to the Conference today Julia. There were probably more like you who couldn't travel too.

The thaw here set in soon enough to make the venue accessible, if the heavy snow and cold wind had continued another day it would have made it difficult for everyone. And it's quite cold now for those travelling home. :(

Rosemary Gemmell said...

i think the snowy conditions must be making many writers more creative, Carol, or maybe it's the enforced stay indoors! I enjoyed your Goose fair story.

Wendy's Writing said...

You certainly had a lot more snow that we did on the South Coast but it was bitterly cold. Roll on spring, I say.

Carolb said...

Rosemary- I suspect staying indoors has been a good thing for writers. :-) Glad you liked the story.x

Wendy- I'm really looking forward to the better weather, flower buds and green shoots of renewal. We haven't had as much snow as this for a long time, but once the thaw started it didn't take long to go.