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

Literary Manager at the Finborough, Sue Healy is a playwright with a track record in stage and radio. Her most recent play, Imaginationship (2018), enjoyed a sold out, extended run at the Finborough and was later selected for a staged-reading at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. Her previous stage productions include Cow (Etcetera Theatre, 2017) and Brazen (King’s Head Theatre, 2016), funded by Arts Council England. Her short plays have been performed at the Criterion (Criterion New Writing Showcase), Arcola (The Miniaturists) and Hackney Attic (Fizzy Sherbet Shorts by Women). Her radio work includes nine plays broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has been an interviewed finalist for BBC Scriptroom 12, Eamonn Keane Playwriting Prize, Nick Darke Award and Old Vic 12 New Voices. Her screenplay was shortlisted for the Shorelight Award. Sue’s prose has won The Molly Keane Award, HISSAC Prize, Escalator Award, Meridian Prize and has been published in nine literary journals and anthologies including: The Moth, Flight, Tainted Innocence, New Writer, Duality, HISSAC, New European Writers. She has been writer-in-residence on Inis Oírr, Aran Islands, and at the Heinrich Boll Cottage on Achill Island. She has also benefitted from annual artist residencies at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre, and at Ginestrelle, Assisi in Italy. Sue is Irish. She spent eleven years in Budapest, editing Hungary A.M. She has a PhD in modern theatre history (Royal Court Theatre) and is a UEA Creative Writing MA alumna. Sue is currently an Associate Lecturer in Playwriting at the University of Lincoln and the University of Portsmouth. She tutors Creative Writing at City Lit. View all posts by suehealy

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