The first Saturday of the month, I hot-tail it to the State Library for the WriteLinks PD session, networking and critique group.

I was early.

So I went to the book shop.

I was just window shopping, until I saw, On Writing A memoir of the craft by Stephen King.

I’m a big scaredy cat. I don’t like scarey movies, book or stories. However for about 2 years, 20 yeas ago (pardon, count agian surely, nope, 20 gasp!) I worked my way though a friends extensive Stephen King collection. I was doing a job where I had nothing, and I really mean nothing, to do. I can always make something to do, declutter, clean, rearrange but that was all done in the first week and then it was really … nothing … to … do … yawn. I had my own office. So I took in piles of Stephen King’s books and devoured them. What a shame I never thought of writing a book then!

So, here I am in the State Library bookshop. A woman who devours children’s books. I pick up the Steven King paperback. If feels harmless. I flick though it. Nothing jumps out to drag me kicking and screaming into the book. It’s going to be OK.

I’m curious about King’s life and inspiration and how he can reach those dark places and come back to the light again.

I’m at the till. It’s in the bag!

So … Stephen believes stories are found things, like fossils in the ground. He says …

‘Stories are relics, part of an undiscovered pre-existing world. The writer’s job is to use the tools in his or her toolbox to get as much of each one out of the ground as intact as possible. Sometimes the fossil you uncover is small; a seashell. Sometimes it’s enormous, a Tyrannosaurus Rex with all those gigantic ribs and grinning teeth.’

I probably took him a bit more literally that he meant but anyway it worked for me! My resulting short story, Mr Woolly’s Fossil Shop, is available at alfie dog fiction

This writers toolbox

ps. I like writing with pen on paper … usually coloured pens. Oh, and I didn’t bother showing the chocolate in my tool box because I would have already eaten it and hidden the wrapper!

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