Rhobin’s ask this month is for an idea of how abandoned places have acted as inspiration for our writing.
The very first short story I sold and saw published was called Stereotypes. (Scots Magazine, DC Thomson, Dundee). It was inspired by an overgrown and apparently abandoned garden the children and I used to pass on our way to their school every morning. The story was about a lady professor and a male cleaner finding love when he becomes her cleaner and it was told in the form of the notes employer and employed left for each other.
That house wasn’t described as anything like the one in the picture and I haven’t as yet found a story for that picture. I took it while visiting a house in West Scotland which had once belonged to my husband’s maternal family. The picture represents the cooking facilities available to a family bombed out of Clydebank and housed in the chauffeur’s flat. The flat was part of what had been the stable-block and has enormously tall doors.
Regular visitors to this blog may well recognise this picture which I have posted before and which has inspired a fair bit of my writing. I knew as I went round this laundry complex that I was going to write about it and I have. Two flash fiction pieces: Sibling Rivalry, at Shortbread, and The Laundry Wife’s Daughter, at Writelink, have so far been published online. The Laundry Wife’s Daughter won first prize in a competition.
However, I knew there was still a biggie to come and when the Romantic Novelists’ Association asked for the beginning of a novel featuring a new take on a fairy tale – I got it. It’s the novel I’m currently working on and I’m back in Edinburgh, 1819. Watch this column for more news.
So abandoned places certainly fire my imagination. I’m really looking forward to finding out what my fellow round robinner’s have described. I’m followed by Judith Copek, but you can click on any of the links below to take you to another post on this subject.
<a href=“http://www.helenafairfax.com/”>Helena Fairfax</a>
<a href=“http://connievines.blogspot.com/”>Connie Vines</a>
<a href=“http://the-doodling-booktease.tumblr.com/”>Rachael Kosnski</a>
<a href=“http://www.marcibaun.com/”>Marci Baun</a>
<a href=“http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/”>Judith Copek</a>
<a href=“http://ajmaguire.wordpress.com/”>A.J. Maguire</a>
<a href=“http://mizging.blogspot.com”>Ginger Simpson</a>
<a href=“http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/”>Beverley Bateman</a>
<a href=“http://rhobinleecourtright.com”>Rhobin Courtright</a>
http://goo.gl/pASdjp Mariah’s Marriage amazon US
“Oh, Mariah, let us not quarrel. We will be married within the month. At least your papa’s house contains plenty of books. You may practise throwing them.” anne stenhouse
http://goo.gl/NxYxj5 Mariah’s Marriage UK
http://goo.gl/PKptQg Bella’s Betrothal US
…a solitary figure ahead among some gorse and shrubs. Charles thought she made a beautiful picture in her riding habit with the exquisite hat Jenny Menzies wished to inherit. He thought the girl might get it sooner rather than later if he followed his instincts. At that precise moment, he wanted to shake Bella hard. Then he would lock her in the castle in Strath Menzies and hold her forever. anne stenhouse
http://goo.gl/5RBzIm Bella’s Betrothal UK
Lovely post, Anne. I love the photo of the old range. We have one of those in our cellar. It’s not as dusty as the one in your photo – but definitely not clean enough to cook in! Would love to restore it one day. Looking forward to reading your fairytale retelling!
Thank you, Helena. A lot of these things are simply left in situ as they’re probably too heavy to move! the fairy=tale re-telling is stuck at present while I write a play. Shh! Haven’t done that in years. Anne
Love the photos. Isn’t interesting what inhabitants leave behind? Sorry the linked list didn’t work in your post. Best intentions gone wrong.
Hi Rhobin, yes, I think it is. There’s at least one click into my blog from Helena’s. Maybe I copied the wrong one. Anne
The story of how that laundry came to be is inspiring enough. I can see how this picture has sparked your imagination. 😀
Thanks, Marci. Anne