Thursday, October 1, 2009


Take note of this table. I sketched it sometime between 1989 - 1993. I will return to it.

Often I happen upon my stories by chance. I start off with an idea in mind and, intending to write about that, put pen to paper/fingers to type pad and come up with something completely different. Often in this instance means mostly every time! But those initial ideas don't go anywhere, they aren't lost, merely pending.

Today I thought I'd open the file and let you have a look at my most recent list of pending things to write:

Number 1:

My thanks go out to That Elusive Line

Also known as Thomas Taylor,
so hop to his blog where you can find

That Elusive writer and illustrator!

(Please don't start critiquing that as though it's a poem! Groan!)

Thomas has been hosting a wee devil on his blog to debate the pros and cons of the e-reader (don't make me say Kindle - aaaargh!), which is something the vibrant and verbose Donna Hosie has had a blog about, too. Which brings me round to,

Number 2:

"But as I look at all the cherishable, unusual, unexpected and simply beautiful little books on my shelves, held...loved...written in...with flowers pressed, letters hidden and tears stained...I'm afraid the ebook will never match that!"

Excellently put James Mayhew! I'm going to be doing a little post - at some point - about those things we keep between the pages of our beloved books. Thanks for the idea.

Number 3:

Now, remember that table? Here it is again. This time in a watercolour from 1992.

And I was reminded of this picture when I wrote this post.

It was merely the pile of laundry which triggered my memory. Memory is like that. I've written a novel about memory, and the title of that post, Family Are Rare, is also the title of my collection of short fiction. See how it all comes together?

Number 4:

And I'm writing about this table, but you'll have to wait for that! I will come back to it - eventually!


Lori said...

It looks like an very significant table for you. Things can become so dear, so much more than just things. They are worth holding on to, aren't they? The beautiful and loved things.

Lori said...

Also, that watercolor is really beautiful. And who is in the photo?

Rachel Fenton said...

Hi Lori, yes, things can become members of the family! I have a few such belongings I would be very sad to let go of. I might do a post about them soon!

The photo is of my maternal grandmother.

I'm pleased you like the watercolour. I was very interested in "domestic" landscapes for a while! Thank you.

Donna Hosie said...

Wow - I've never been inspired by an inanimate object before, but you've just opened my eyes.

And I love being described as "vibrant and verbose", lol. I am now going to dive into my thesaurus for more V-words!

Jim Murdoch said...

I have never had a story go to plan in my life. In fact the more I try and force it to be what it's not the more the story suffers. Some things I've had to wait years to write about. But as long as I'm writing about something I don't mind too much.

Rachel Fenton said...

Glad to be of optical assistance, Donna - and you are most welcome. I'm not sure you'll be as flattered by the majority of 'v' words I need to increase my own list!

And Jim, I agree, so long as you write, it's all good!

Andrea said...

I love thinking about who owned old books! You see a name - some underlined lines! It's all very intriguing as is this post of yours.

I agree about ideas popping up. I like to think that even if they didn't work out the first time they may come in useful in the future.

Rachel Fenton said...

I've commented something similar about old books myself somewhere today! About them having had lives and enriched lives before they were adopted by us...I think that's what I said...anyway - oh, it was Damon Young's blog! - and I love my old books and the nose-prickly smell in second hand book stores.

I often find the same ideas cropping up in different projects, morphing slightly all the while...I will never live long enough to write all that I want to write :(

Rachel Fenton said...

Thank you Andrea - I'm glad my post's intriguing!

Rachel Fox said...

Beautiful photo. Who needs chairs? Who needs smiles?

Rachel Fenton said...

Hell - stand on your head and sit on your table! There's a near identical photograph of me at the same age! Thanks.

Group 8 said...

Your posts are so interesting, Rachel. Love the sequence of pics of the table.

Thomas Taylor said...

Many thanks for the mention, Rachel. The air is less sulpherous at my blog these days. It's good to see James's comment too -- he's someone I've known for years and I can well imagine his feelings towards the Ki...cof! e-reader.

All these photos, memories and links reminds me of Nabokov's autobiography Speak, Mermory. I think you would enjoy it if you haven't already.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks N, I appreciate you stopping by - know you must be exhausted with your book launch and everything associated, plus bub!
I find the way things crop up time and time again really inspiring - like seeing the same person several times whilst out in the city...makes me imagine what they've been up to! Similar thing with the table..what life had it had before the one I know about? I like to chuck a few ideas around. I would hate to have the monopoly on tables!:)

Thank you, Thomas - I was really struck by James' comment. I hopped over to his blogs but wasn't quite sure where to best place my comment! I haven't read Nabokov's autobiography but I will! I'll be back over to your blog to sniff around!

Law and Order said...

Hi Rachel,
Another inspiring post. I'm looking forward to a peek inside your novel about memory, and reading your short story collection. Is it available soon? :-)

Rachel Fenton said...

Not soon enough, unfortunately, Joanne! I'm querying with them as we speak. Will keep you posted!
Thank you though - I'm looking forward to yours, too. :)

Anonymous said...

Books in abundance, things kept between their pages and memory: treeware and the corporeal world to which we return every time we shut down. stand up and turn around!

I have a poem about a petal kept between pages. It's due for a re-draft so I'll be paralleling one of your themes soon.

Great post.

Rachel Fenton said...

Your poem sounds like just the thing I'd like to find in the pages of one of my books, Dick - look forward to reading it.

Thanks for stopping by.

Anonymous said...

I loved James' comment too, it really struck a chord. As your pictures do. I find it very poignant to see a piece of furniture featured in family photos thru' the generations, never changing, as a backdrop to the minutiae of the lifes of all those people but never able to reveal all their secrets. Px

Rachel Fenton said...

I'm always fascinated by old furniture in people's homes...I bet it has a few tales to tell. You've put it beautifully!
Thanks for stopping by. x

Golden West said...

Just in case you didn't know,it's a barley twist table with a pie crust edged top.

Rachel Fenton said...

Thanks for that, GW!

Rachel Fox said...

So having read the new post today which table is on the photo with you? a,b or another one altogether (c)? It's a mystery story.

Rachel Fenton said...

It's only a mystery because you took part! Thanks, Rachel :)

I'll leave you guessing! Hehehe!