Monday, August 28, 2006
A New Man
A born-again writer has arrived in Scotland, his name is Colly and he is charged so highly, blue sparks can be seen occasionally fizzling from his clothes and hair. People close to him have begun complaining of receiving small shocks as he walks past them, such is his highly intense level of creativity and motivation.
I am of course, talking absolute shite. Or it will appear like that to anyone who isn't a writer, because only writer's will know what it feels like to be on this kind of surge. This is how I feel today, and have done for the past few days, and nothing is going to stop me writing and fulfilling my ambitions.
I wrote my Scotland's Treasure column today for September's issue of The Scruffy Dog Review. I left it VERY late, but that's only because I wanted to do a review of this year's Fringe Fesival. It's basically a review cum advert for next year's festival and not specific towards any shows, but more of a general look at the city, how it changes and very much reflective in mood.
I wrote a new short story, about 1600 words in length. It's been inspired by Devon Ellington's writing exercises in The Scruffy Dog Review Blog, which in this case, was about objects. We had to write a short story that contains each of these objects: coral-coloured lipstick, a blue satin sandal, a pair of monogrammed cufflinks, a cigarette lighter, and a gold-capped fountain pen.
At first I thought of doing a 1930's type of story, you know, like Bugsy Malone (was that the 30's?), and then I felt a pull from some kind of spy/crime background. But nah! Nothing really appealed, so I sat on it for a couple of hours. While on my lunch it came to me, not inspired by anything in particular, but I knew the idea was ripe when it arrived, jumping into my head from somewhere.
It's a thrilling piece of fiction, and as I came to the conclusion of the story I actually became aware of my guts tightening and shoulders tensing up. The other big news about this though, is that I wrote it in first person, which is a departure from my usual work. I've tried this in the past and failed, but I've been reading more and more first person work and studying the form. I decided now was the time, I just needed the right piece to do it with, and I felt this was the correct choice.
It's personal, adds to the drama and really puts the reader in the place of the protagonist. I think it comes off quite well but I still need to work on it to get it just right. I want to discover my first pov voice more. I'm comfortable with my third voice, so want to take the opportunity to discover my first. Besides, I'm think of doing NaNoWriMo in first pov so I need the practice.
I also carried out the second exercise later in the evening. This was a painting exercise, where you had to choose a painting, study it and write a story about it. I farted about on Google looking at some of the classics but nothing really took my fancy. Then I remembered Dee Rimbaud and went on over to his website.
After a short search, I found one. It's called Born Upon A Storm and is a pastel picture. You can purchase it here.
'Born Upon A Storm' is Copyright © Dee Rimbaud.
The story ended up being a piece of flash fiction, coming in just over 200 words. I think this form suited it because it's quite an immediate piece of imagery, with powerful colours and if you twist your head, the scene may not quite appear what it was originally meant to be. And this is how I wrote about it; not from the original intention, but from my warped imagination.
The story is called Spawning and I would like to share it with you now.
The bullet hit him right between the eyes. He had just told me about last Saturday evening at his girlfriend's flat. Her boyfriend walked in on them having sex on the kitchen counter. They got into a fight, which he had won, but he knew it wasn't going to be over - not by a long shot.
We had just nipped out from the party for a cigarette. We were talking when there was a loud crack from somewhere behind me, a whipping noise beside my ear, and before I knew what it was, the glass of red wine in his hand was falling in slow motion, shattering loudly on the patio.
His body met with the water with an almighty splash and I just stood there, stunned and terrified, staring down at his floating body staring back up at me with wide eyes. I'll never forget his eyes; worry and fear embedded forever on his shattered face.
The water slowly settled as a small river of Claret worked its way into the fishpond and united with the blood from his wound. I have no idea how long I stood there, but it gave ample time for a small frog to swim out of the lilies, and poke around in his ear looking for somewhere to spawn.
'Spawning' is Copyright © Colin Galbraith 2006.
All Rights Reserved.