Thursday 26 May 2011

I am a writer - I write, but if I am not writing...? - Linda Strachan I still a writer?
I have been travelling around a lot lately visiting schools which is fun and challenging.  I love it but it does take a lot of energy, which could otherwise be channelled into writing,   Although sometimes I think there are stories out there, happening all the time, and perhaps they are the food a writer's mind needs.  Chance encounters, and observations.

Sitting in a very comfortable B & B in the wilds of Aberdeenshire I have a large catherdral style window in front of me and wonderful views acress farmland, which is beautiful, even now as it starts to rain, washing the grass green and lush. There are cattle in the field below the window, three beautiful beasts, two black and one deep rich brown, 'show ' cattle I was informed.
They are playful despite their size, behaving much like little children.
Yesterday the chap who owns them was trying to build a fence.  He had just put in the first post when they came up behind him, obviously curious to see what he was doing.  They started sniffing at the post and rubbing against it when he had turned to the next one.  He heard them and turned around. Immediately all three looked away, as if they had had been caught out, and they looked as if they were trying to pretend they had not been interested in the post at all.

He went back to work, and working incredibly fast put in the tall fence posts in a row and then returned to them one by one to hit them deeper into the ground with a large mallet.
But as he worked from one end to the other in the small field these playfull creatures headed again towards the first of the posts that had not as yet been hammered into the ground.  When he was not looking (and you can almost sense that they checked to make sure,) they started to rub their noses against the post, then lean on it until it began to move  and eventually was sitting at an angle.
At this point the chap returned, having seen what they are up to and shooed them away.  Off they trotted like small errant children and as soon as he started repairing the damage, they began again on one of the posts at the other end of the field.
Eventually he saw what they were up to and came back to shoo them off again and one of them, the deep brown one, began to studiously examine a a bale of wire, as if trying to persuade the chap that it had not
been pushing at the post at all (' It wasn't me!  Honest!')

There are truly stories everywhere.

So when I am travelling and not having time or energy left to write, I am looking, imagining and enjoying observing the world away from my desk.  So perhaps when I am not writing - I am still writing in my head.

Bookwords Blog


Anne Booth said...

Lovely post! I love watching my hens. I caught one bouncing the lid off the feed bin - v clever and v naughty.

I hope you are well. I still remember the wonderful course you and Cathy taught us last year at Monia Mhor

Savita Kalhan said...

Do writers ever switch off? I think not...
Looking, imagining and observing go hand in hand with writing, and its the part that never feels like work!

Lynda Waterhouse said...

The story machine in my head is like a giant Heath Robinson contraption chunnering away waiting for those 'chance encounters and observations'to spark a story into life. The imagine of those 'show' cattle will make me smile all day. Thank you, Linda!

Stroppy Author said...

This is a lovely post! Thank you, Linda. What wonderful cattle. We so underestimate the capacity of animals to have fun, play up and so on. Scientists generally won't believe animals CAN do something until they see evidence that they can. As writers, I think we're inclined to believe they can do things until we see evidence that the CAN'T - and that's much more fun and more fruitful.

Linda Strachan said...

Hi Anne,
Yes we all had a great time at Arvon, didn't we! I also saw you and the family on the TV prog! It looked like great fun.
Savita, I think you are right we never switch off.
Love the idea of your story machine, Lynda- I can hear it rumbling on!

Anne (SA) Exactly- what do scientists know, anyway? our way has so many possibilities!

Penny Dolan said...

What a wonderful story and picture, Linda. You describe it so well that I could se it in my head. Think I prefer your slow telling to the imaginary speeded-up "funny tv" version that popped into my head.

In the head ithe ideas always write themselves so easily. It's the crunch of landing that's hard.

bookwitch said...

Yes, you are.

Miriam Halahmy said...

A lovely creative post, which proves the point. You are probably always writing in your head!