We write what we know

We write what we know, of course.  What else could we ever do?  And when we don’t know, we have that wonderful excuse, ‘I’m doing research’ to justify our trips away, our experiments with the testers adorning the perfume counters at an expensive store, our trips around winter markets savouring the festive atmosphere….

Actually, the last Christmas market I went to in Glasgow city centre was replete with the cries of vendors selling sizzling burgers, shredded pork on a roll and barbequed chicken legs; and a pall of chokingly unpleasant blue smoke hung over the proceedings.  Not wanting, on this particular occasion, to end up smelling like a bacon butty, I beat a hasty retreat from the orgy of meat grilling, frying and sizzling.

But perhaps that is my point.  Research brings reality to fiction, taking it away from the festive clichés of delightful lights, the warm aroma of melted chocolate, the scent of pine-needles wafting in the chilly, snow-kissed wind.  It was mighty cold that day, and I risked skidding and ending up sitting on the pavement, but thankfully, I stayed upright…and I did relish the feel of icy wind in my hair.  It was a great day.

We write what we know, of course, but it evolves beyond the basics, to include a heightened version of the spice of life, a bit of adventure, and a few deliciously competent – or lovably incompetent – dream dudes / role models to give us heart for the next dose of real life.

Real life can be so chilly and relentless, that from my point of view, I don’t relish too much more reality piled on top of it.  Enough realism, perhaps, to make me feel grateful for that reality which I am currently enjoying, enlivened with the possibility that anything can happen, and that dreams are lurking just around the next corner.

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