Monday, 1 June 2009


I love that word, both the meaning and the sound - seeren-dippidy doo dah.

Yes, well, moving on... So, here I am thinking creative thoughts and pondering trying something new. In my mind is a collage of texture and words, colour, movement. From this mixing bowl of the imagination springs a fairy cake called poetry. Dashing to the bookshelf, I make a grab for The Nation's Favourite Poems and open randomly at pages 46-47. A poem sits on each page waiting to be chosen. The first glance (page 47) does not look too good. Anthem for doomed youth (Owen). No doubt a first class piece of literature, but frankly the mood I'm in, I need cheering up and allowing the horrors of war to leap off the page laden with tragedy at me is not good for the soul today. In a panic (because I was convinced this ruse was going to be incredibly creative), I turn to the verso page (see the printing experience behind me!).

Who is waiting? What pleasures await the senses? Why none other than a fine gentleman by the name of Rudyard Kipling. In Victorian times was there a celebrity baby-naming fad akin to that which we suffer in the 21st century? Named after a lake, we should perhaps be grateful that his famous cake-making parents* did not spend their summers at Bodensee (aka Lake Constance), for at least Rudyard is a suitably masculine sounding name.

Seeing as this is starting to sound like a Ronnie Corbett monologue, I should perhaps get to the point. Cop an eyeful of this:

From 'The way through the woods'

Yet if you enter the woods
Of a summer evening late,
When the night air cools on the trout-ringed pools
Where the otter whistles his mate
(They fear not men in the woods,
Because they see so few.)
You will hear the beat of a horse's feet,
And the swish of a skirt in the dew,
Steadily cantering through
The misty solitudes,
As though they perfectly knew
The old lost road through the woods...
But there is no road through the woods.

Ah, now if ever there was some inspiration to be had to a potential fantasy fiction writer then there we have it. Already my characters are lost in the tangled vines of the forest, seeking a trail hidden for centuries yet regularly traversed. They feel but cannot see the presence of others, not knowing if they are merely hidden or from a different time. What songs do the trees whisper? What brushes so gently against the skin that only the instinct can sense? The air is alive with the crackle of magic, anticipation as thick as treacle. What mysteries lie in wait, what treasures twinkle in the twilight?

*Before anyone writes in disgusted at my lack of literary knowledge, I am fully aware that Rudyard Kipling's parents did not make cakes commercially. I am not even sure if they made them domestically, but why let the truth get in the way of a good piece of writing. Perhaps I should get a job at one of the tabloids? In fact Alice and Lockwood(!) Kipling were respectively a 'vivacious woman' and a sculptor/potter. It would be nice to be simply described as vivacious I think...

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