Wild Things

Fun fungus

I’ve been on a bit of a foraging binge lately. I came across a recipe book for wild food – ie berries, mushrooms etc… and have spent the past while subjecting my housemates to experiments in nettle soup, nettle lasagne, dandelion bhajis, elderberry syrup and blackberry crumble, fool and ice cream…

I live in an eccentric house share in an old mansion which has four acres of wilderness attached (there are even deer in them thar woods) – so there are plenty of the aforementioned weeds. Most of my housemates are adventurous, creative types, so are willing to try new culinary experiences and thankfully these have not yet been death by poison…

I’ve been having fun. And while I was out foraging today, it struck me how scanning the hedgerows for fruit, was rather like trying to find a story idea in the tangle of my mind.

I’ll often start writing by putting anything down on the page – “hggahgoidihgogha” will do, just get something down, break that white, crack that ice. Enjoy the sensation of the pen flowing over your paper or the tap of your finger tips on the keyboard and don’t think too hard about what you’re writing. Let it flow. Try just writing the “The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dogs…”  a few times. Then continue on with the story. Where does the fox go next? Why is the dog feeling lazy? Where are they? What does the air smell like? What sounds can you/they hear? Is it hot or cold? Wet or dry? How does the dog feel when the fox jumps over him? Does he plan revenge? Once you’ve done a paragraph or two, you’ll probably find that the creative juices are flowing and there be some berries to collect in what you’ve written.

Happy foraging!

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About suehealy

Award-winning Irish writer/playwright Sue Healy’s work has been supported and developed by Dublin’s Abbey Theatre, the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and Arts Council England. Her full-length stage plays include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Sue’s work has also been performed at the Finborough, Arcola, Hackney Attic and Sterts theatres, and at festivals including the Claremorris Fringe (New Writing Award winner), the Brighton (Sussex Playwrights’ Award winner), the UEA Contemporary European Drama Festival, Norwich. December 2017 will see her work showcased at the Criterion theatre in London. Radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has been a finalist for BBC Scriptroom 12, Eamon Keane Playwriting Prize, Nick Darke Award and the Old Vic 12 New Voices. Sue's prose has won the the Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award and has been published widely. Sue has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from juried artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy. Sue is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumna. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She is currently London-based, completing a Ph.D. on the Royal Court Theatre. Sue is an Associate Lecturer in Playwriting at the Universities of Lincoln and Portsmouth, and tutors Creative Writing at City Lit. She is Literary Manager at the Finborough Theatre. View all posts by suehealy

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