The wonderful Kirsty Logan invited me to be her latest blog burglar as part of Thievery, a series in which writers share the stories behind their stories. It’s a lovely dream of half-heard songs, re-read books and grainy photographs of childhood, riotgrrls and Rasputin. Have a read.
So, I add to this my photograph of my mum and sister walking into the fog. They look a bit casually dressed for the apocalypse. It was only supposed to be a short walk. My sister’s ankles are bare.
This is the photograph I took of the fog in 2010. I add to this readings of watermelon snow, rakfisk recipes, Patsy Cline lyrics, a family trip to Bleik in 1999. Somewhere in all of this, I find Fog, a short story of mine published in Ambit 209 in 2012. Read my Thievery post here.
What do you think? Does it help to know where I was when I started the story? What does it mean to hold one fiction inside another (because who knows whether I was listening to Patsy Cline? whether I have found minced beef loose in the freezer drawer? whether I went to Norway? whether I ran away? whether the weather? whether the hell-for-leather? whatever?).
Perhaps this is a defensive position to take but as I started to put together my thieved thoughts, I started to write another story. The same story, I guess, but a different angle. And I got to know my writing self a bit better, fictionalising her. Maybe that’s what this is all about.
Thanks, thanks, thanks to Kirsty for giving me the opportunity to wander through the fog again. I found more than I expected.
And if you can, have a read of Kirsty’s own thievings; her first collection The Rental Heart and Other Stories is out with Salt next month and this blog feels like a gorgeous bundle of secrets ahead of the publication day.