Posted on April 19, 2008 - by MG
I’m not trying to make anyone feel jealous. I just want a nice image to look at.
I usually try to avoid going on holiday to hot countries whilst it’s miserable and cold at home – inevitably you return home to spend three weeks going around looking at the grey drabness in disbelief and thinking ‘Why do I have to live here, again?’
I can see I’m going to have to make my list of Great Things About Living In Oxford, England.
Or I can pretend I don’t, continue in denial and write another book set somewhere warm.
Warm and inevitably, rather threatening.
I lay awake in bed at some very late hour this morning thinking about book 3 of Joshua, I had forgotten that in my bedside notebook I’d once written an idea to use a certain song as a symbol (a sort of literary synecdoche, if you want to get clever) for a certain character in the book. But in the work of constructing the plot, I forgot.
Screenwriters often use a visual image – or colour as a symbol. Oranges in “The Godfather” symbolise death; fallen leaves in Alfonso Cuaron’s “Great Expectations” – and also “Y Tu Mama Tambien” symbolize encroaching chaos. The main symbol in ‘Joshua Files’ is the natural body of water – it spells mortal danger for Josh. And characters in Josh’s family are sometimes referred to via a song.
So I’d had this idea to use a song like that…and then totally forgotten. But just as my subconscious mind used to kindly wake me at 3am after a long day in the lab with the reminder that I’d actually thrown my experiment in the bin instead of the freezer…this morning it woke me with this great suggestion for book 3.
I was dreaming about this fox in a garden that suddenly started being very friendly, and then saw it’s cub, even cuter…meanwhile music was playing and I recognised the song as ‘Dream A Little Dream Of Me’. And I remembered that I’d had this idea to use it in book 3, but hadn’t been able to decide how.
Well, the dream gave me the idea…from that came a way to develop what will be probably the most important subplot in the last 3 Joshua books.
When it strikes really full-on like that, inspiration can be very fruitful.
I think I have dengue fever, by the way. I have a slight temperature, headache in an unsual part of my head, and a disastrous stomach…