Saturday, 20 November 2010


Yesterday at the Greenwood Centre in Dreghon with Debi Gliori and some wonderful librarians, so enthusiastic about childrens books. I shouldn't say children's books, because they are enthusiastic about books in general. We don't realise how lucky we are to have librarians like that.  Debi Gliori is always fun to be with, and at one point, one of the librarians told us a story about her son. A fantastic story, and both Debi and I leapt on it. That would make a great plot! But it was Debi who was the first to say, " Can I use that?" and I bet she will. And me, being the lady I am, will let her. Only if some terrible misfortune befalls her...and these things can happen...especially if I am the cause of the terrible misfortune, only then will I steal it. But it just proves the point I m always making in schools. Writers seem to have a wee invisible aerial that searches out ideas for stories. And I believe you can train your brain to find them.
   But here is another thought. Perhaps Debi and I can both use the idea? There is a wonderful movie, Throw Momma from a Train, about a writer who just can't get past that first sentence in his novel. His student, Danny De Vito wants him to kill his momma, and he will kill the writer's wife...a kind of Strangers n a Train scenario.( See, ideas are recycled all the time) but after all they go through together, the writer can finally finish his story using what's happened to them, Throw Momma From a Train,only to find his student has written the same story. But his is a picture book, very gentle and funny. Totally different. I really recommend writers to see this movie, so many ideas are in there.So perhaps, Debi could use the idea in one of her wonderful picture books, or even in a dark comic fantasy, and I could use it in a ghostly supernatural thriller? Then, again, maybe not. Debi is great fun, but I think she could trail me anytime!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010


I haven't been able to get into my blogs. But here I am, back, just home from a wonderful day at schools. How's this for imagination ? All I gave the primary school at Bankhead was a key. What can a key open? And it opened the floodgates of their imagination. The key to Doomsday. The key to Oblivion. The Key to the Underworld, where you unleash all the demons and there is a race against time to get them back in, save the world, lock the Underworld again. Or the key to a Golden House, where everything you touch turns to gold, and the golden statues inside the house, are real people turned to gold. That one even spawned sequels, the House of Silver. The House of Bronze. I was amazed, as I always am, by their imagination. One of the other ideas I threw at them was a football shirt pinned on a tree trunk. A tribute to a dead boy. I got a detective story out of that, a mystery story, and a ghost story. And once again these wonderful children then decided this could be a series. So we ended up with The Enchanted Underpants. The Spooky Socks, and even the Terrifying Toothbrush. I find these days inspires my imagination as much as theirs!  I'm going to Drreghorn on Friday, so I think I will let you know the imagination and the stories I get out of those pupils.