It’s not as bad as it sounds!
Writer Kirsty Logan has featured a little piece by me on her website, for her series Thievery, in which writers describe how they came to write a particular short story. In mine, I talk about the real-life inspiration behind an excerpted story from Flesh of the Peach:
Back in 2011 I was living in New York City, walking dogs for a living and trying to write a novel with a name that kept wriggling away from me. I knew I wanted the book to be set partially in New Mexico – a place I’d heard a bit about from D, my husband, and his dad, who’d lived in Albuquerque a while. In my mind, Albuquerque was a place that Bugs Bunny always said he shoulda turned left at, and that was about it. About New Mexico, I knew there was a lot of desert and art. Sand in a variety of pleasant pastel colours and good light. I checked out some paintings, the state flag and the names of a few of the national parks on Google, but at heart I knew that any novel I wrote would be title-less and flimsy if I didn’t get myself out there for some real life research.
Oh, and Happy St Valentines Day to those who care to celebrate such things. D surprised me this morning by making us breakfast (he was supposed to be at work, I thought) then whisking us off to North Berwick to climb the Law, a pyramid-shaped hill of volcanic rock that stands out from the surrounding flat fields like nothing else but its twin, the Bass Rock, which stands a little more like a cake tin out in the waters of the Firth of Forth. The Law was also being climbed the hard way by a trio of Shetland ponies.
(That’s a giant fibreglass whale jawbone, recently erected to replace the real whale jawbone that used to stand there before it.)
We had a fine meal in North Berwick’s Thai restaurant, then after a quick pint in the Auld Hoose, caught the train back to Edinburgh just as the skies opened and the sleet came blowing down. The weekend stretches out for writing and reading and staying warm.