Friday, 29 July 2011


09:33:00 Posted by Lindsay 3 comments
I was a swine as a child. But I always loved stories. I’d sit next to my grandpa at family parties and he’d tell me stories of growing up in working class Glasgow. My dad would tell me funny tales of his youth; like the time he fell of the cliff and sat up, shocked that he was unhurt, rolled over and fell off the rest of the cliff. My mum would sing me funny Scottish songs like ‘Ye cannae shove yer granny off a bus’. It’s a cliché but everyone has a story, most have more than one. I am from working class stock in the 80’s, a child of Scottish migrants to Blackpool. For me language is a method of conveying a story, or the contents of the mind of someone interesting. I attract the strangest looks when I unconsciously switch to my Scottish accent and dialect with my mum. It taught me that words don’t need to be verbose or contrived to be remarkable; you just need to choose the right ones and knit them together well to create your narrative.

I’m not keen on puns, I appreciate clever word play but not for the sake of it, just doesn’t do it for me like a good story. Stories can effect. I remember being teased by a particularly evil girl from my street. My revenge? I took her and a group of friends to the back of my dad’s removal van at dusk, and we nestled between the cardboard and told ghost stories. Now being the precocious little smart arse I was I’d read loads of them, and they hadn’t. I decided to make some of my own up. The horrible girl ran from the van home screaming and had nightmares for weeks. Stories are powerful. She backed off after that. Poetry is a powerful story in a similar way. It’s a moment in the mind of someone else, a concentrated image painted with words.

For me the writing is the new environment and location. I grew up off central drive in Blackpool and there was (and still is) not a great deal to do. So I took myself off out of there by reading. I was never bored, I always had a stock of stories to involve children in whilst we all played, tales of forests and fighting, princesses and adventure. I enjoyed it, and there emerged that little bit of ambition that one day I could bring people out of one world and into another, even for a short time. I’ll never be an oral storyteller, I’m just too shy. But writing, well who knows? I don’t need a particular place to write, just somewhere quiet. I’ve plenty of stories to tell. Maybe I’ll be able to change someone else’s location through my own writing someday.


Ashley R Lister said...

Why am I smiling at the idea of a young girl having nightmares for weeks? I think you have corrupted my sensibilities.


Lara Clayton said...

I love this. It brought stories from my own childhood back to the front of my mind; the books I read to escape into another world, and the tales my Nan would share with me. Now, as an adult, I am thankful to have memories which are not only mine, but also those of my family - passed down through the art of storytelling.

vicky ellis said...

Changing someone's location through writing - brilliant perspective :)