I try and rest from writing the novel on Sundays , writing anything really. But I found myself supping on one of those weird Sunday afternoon cocktails of existential bleakness washed down with a guilt and anxiety mixer. I couldn't justify not writing ( nothing on telly on a Sunday afternoon is there.)
So I wrote the first instalment in a collection of children's stories about a couple of characters I've had bouncing around my head for a while, called Conkershoes and Sandy. Conkershoes is Billy Conks who has been dumped at his eccentric Grandma's big house by the sea for the summer. With no other kids to play with and rubbish weather he starts reading the books on pirates and explorers that fill the shelves of his bed room. Eventually the rain clears, he looks to the bay and spy's a small pirate ship bobbing in the surf. From it jumps a boy who makes his way up the beach and knocks on Conkershoe's window. Dressed like a pirate; the boy has an eye patch, a hat with three points and a cutlass hanging from his belt. He introduces himself as Sandy and he has made it his job to pick up messages in bottles that people have thrown into the ocean for help. Then he invites Conkershoes to come with him on his magic ship and join him in his next adventure.
Having never written a kids story before it was a task I started with a little trepidation. What 's the tone of the piece going top be? Do I have to impart some kind of message to the kids? How weird can I get? These questions acted like some sticky coagulant seizing my arm up, I was unable to put pen to paper.
I thought back to my favorite kids shows and realized that logic and and causality seemed very slight considerations where the Clangers were involved. I needed to get on with the story and just let things happen. Leave reality at the door and let the subconscious take over. Gradually I felt my arm loosened and as soon as the nib touched the paper it didn't leave it for at least an hour. When it did I'd finish the story.
It was a joy to leave the murky underworld of drugs and violence for a while. it was like a holiday. In my head I'd been stuck in Birmingham in the winter of 1999 for the last year. That isn't a good place for anyone to be in for that period of time.
So, if the credit crunch it biting down big time on ya soul and you can't afford a holiday, grab a pen, some paper and take a trip into your subconscious. Its cheap, the journey is pretty short and the destination is constantly changing so you won't ever get bored. Bon Voyage!