Friday, 21 August 2009

Shop Girl's Creative Reflections


I’m in a little Catalan village in the mountains.
It’s dark and the cows are sleeping.
The murmurs of voices float over from the terrace of the local bar.
Apart from that, it’s very still.
My brother left for the city today. He took the Date with him and dropped him off at the airport.
“You’ll be able to write lots now,” the Date said.
It’s quieter than ever and I’m already missing their banter.
After they’d gone, I sat on the balcony and scribbled in my notebook, hoping for a good idea.
Some novelists say all you have to do is find one great character then your novel will develop naturally.
This afternoon I started with a character called Billy.
Billy saw his girlfriend cheating on him with his best friend. He saw them through the window of a cafe and he got so angry he imagined doing all sorts of horrible things to the pair of them.
He would’ve offloaded to his flatmate but his flatmate was sleeping.
His flatmate slept a lot because... he’d won the lottery and didn’t need to work.
No... because he worked as a security guard in a nightclub.
No, I know, because he was getting over a nasty break-up himself and was so depressed he only got up occasionally and only then to fry an egg.
Mmm...
I stopped writing and shut my notebook.
“Short stories,” the Date had insisted the night before. “Write short stories.”
But I’m not sure Billy could even be developed in a haiku let alone a short story.
I’ll just have to keep scribbling and see where it takes me.
Maybe it’s all this sun I’ve been basking in.
It’s quite a change from the halogen up-lighter I’m used to sitting under in the shop.
Ah, the shop.
I haven’t thought about it in a while. Perhaps that’s the problem.
What if I can’t think of a plot unless I’m in the shop?
What if without the shop my imagination fails and Billy and his flatmate are all I can muster?
Scary thought.
I’m going to move my chair into the sun and reflect on this problem.
It’s so beautiful here.
Mountains fade to blue in the distance.
The still lake is a sparkling mirror beneath them.
Do I really have to go back behind the counter to get a story?
Surrounded by all this, surely I must be able to think up something half decent?
And if not, well, perhaps Billy isn’t so bad after all.

1 comment:

Dale O. Davenport said...

There are lots of characters waiting behind those little plants that growns between the flagstones in the street. Little precarious plants trying to survive in so hostile enviroment. I always smile when I found one of those plants but my smile use to be sad, as if I were responsible of any single life form I found... as you are now with Billy.

Have a great day my dear writer.