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 Theatre and associate lecturer in playwriting at the universities of Lincoln and Portsmouth, Irish playwright Sue Healy’s Imaginationship has just finished a sell-out, extended run at the Finborough Theatre. Cow (2017) was staged at the Etcetera Theatre and Brazen (2016) ran at the King’s Head, funded by Arts Council England. Her work has been performed at the Criterion, Hackney Attic, Claremorris Festival (New Writing Award winner), Brighton Festival (the Sussex Playwrights’ Award Winner) and Sterts Theatre and has been developed by the Abbey Theatre, Dublin. Her nine radio-plays have broadcast on BBC Radio 4 (Opening Lines winner), WLRfm and KCLR96fm. She has won prizes for her prose including the Molly Keane and HISSAC Awards and the Escalator Prize. A UEA Creative Writing MA alumna, Sue spent eleven years in Budapest editing Hungary A.M. She is completing a Ph.D. in Theatre history. Sue also tutors Creative Writing at CityLit. View all posts by suehealy

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