Writing the other day about where on Earth do ideas for stories come from, two additional sources of ideas occurred to me this morning:
1. Sitting on the bench in the back garden in the sun, with Chris (my wife) and a few shandies (A very frequent occurrence this past locked-down summer). We have a couple of ponds. One is very small, for sticklebacks and minnows. The other is about twenty feet long and has koi carp, shubunkins, frogs and a large grass snake which used to eat the frogs and smaller fish. From these have come stories such as “There’s something in my pond” (which – I’m bragging now – won a short story competition last year) and “Pondkeeper”. Both started with a few pages jotted down in a notebook in the back garden, and migrated to the computer not long afterwards. I enjoyed doing the illustration for Pondkeeper, too. It's in "orbital Spam".
2. Walking the innumerable footpaths round the village. Brinsley is about ten miles from Nottingham, and is right in the countryside. A couple of stories that spring to mind are “The Portal” and “Go for a walk, Oscar, Dear”,. They both came to me whilst taking a leg-stretch (months apart) along the disused mineral line that is now a leafy broad track. And, of course, out comes the notebook for a few quick lines of barely-readable scribble. Both stories are about "incidents" that occurred along this popular walkway. I'm quite pleased with the resulting stories. "Oscar" is in Zero9-4, and "The Portal" is ear-marked for one of the next two collections.