So many stories – which one to tell?

With To See the Worlda voyage of discovery aboard the sailing ship Uranie now with the editor at the National Library of Australia it is time to start thinking about my next big project.

Elaine Forrestal with some of her published stories

I have always found it rather puzzling to look back at how my stories develop. Some just fall into my lap. They seem to arrive out of nowhere, push everything else out of my head and demand to be written immediately. Others begin with an idea that sits, quite patiently, at the back of my mind until another idea comes along and collides with it. Then the two ideas work together and eventually the story takes shape

Under my desk I have an ‘ideas box’. It is full of bits of paper. There are shopping dockets with writing on the back, pages from different notebooks and odd sheets of recycled paper – anything that happened to be within reach when I needed something to write on. Sometimes my rough scrawl describes an interesting person I have seen in the street, a dream or a sudden thought I have had in the night or part of a newspaper article that has caught my eye. Anything unusual, quirky, different. I very rarely open this box because I know that, when I do, those ideas will come flooding out and at least some of them will demand to be turned into stories. When I am already working on a book I can’t afford to be distracted by this buzzing hoard of fresh ideas. But, as I have been typing this, the temptation to look inside the box has become increasingly hard to resist. Perhaps it’s time to open the lid?

Stay tuned to find out what pops up next.

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