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The Muse Strikes Again…

You see, this is why I don’t make New Year’s resolutions with regards to my writing (and I would have a link to a post here if I had actually finished writing it way back at the start of the year).

Last week I felt that I had a number of plans for the year and that was more than enough to be getting on with. Regular readers will understand that the biggest blocker I have is procrastination. Often its hard then to get through that and actually do something creative, so┬áplanning to have 3 pieces of self published works in 12 months (now 9… gulp!) was always going to be a challenge. I was (and am) up for it though.

Around about the same time I was wondering about the Drabbles that I had created over the past year. Of course the plan is to publish some of them with supplemental material not available on this website, but I wondered whether I could expand that and do a set for November’s NaNoWriMo. However, the idea of doing 500 x 100 word drabbles seemed much more daunting than 1 x 50,000.

Since my view of NaNoWriMo is to use the platform to perhaps do a project I’ve wanted to do for a while but haven’t completed, or just to have some fun, I started to think of alternatives. The idea then naturally evolved into looking at creating a set of short stories which would allow me to flex my creative muscles in this space and complete a new work.

That was the end of that I thought, and went back to tossing around other plans for other projects.


So, Sunday night I was lying in bed and thinking about someone driving around late at night in the rain. I don’t know why, I just was.

I should have known what was going to happen next.

My mind was wandering; Who was he? Where was he going? What tragedy would befall him when he got there?

He was obviously travelling somewhere where danger would await. Was it an old mansion? A hospital? An asylum?

I fell asleep.


Finding a few minutes in a hectic day, I wrote this:

“One week ago, Doctor Horace Bryant was sitting on a beach pretending to read a book when in actuality he was using his newly purchased mirrored sunglasses to disguise the fact that he was ogling the topless young women who were jogging, playing volleyball or generally sunbathing. Now he was driving through torrential rain along what he was extremely confident was the most windy and inhospitable road in existence not only in theUnited Kingdom, but in the entire world including places not even visited by man.”

Immediately this was the start of what would be a framing story, wrapped around and linking 5-6 short stories. The genre was to be a mixture of comedy and horror (corror? homedy?) and would harken back to my love of 70s British portmanteau horror films (mostly from Amicus).

On the drive home, I had the premise of the first story set in my head and the background to the framing piece with Dr Bryant on the way to a new job and breaking down, only to find himself finding shelter in secluded Bed and Breakfast establishment where previous occupants have met horrible fates.

At home, after finishing off the normal duties including dinner, bedtime stories and catching up on “Homeland”, I started to write the notes down that my head was buzzing with. This led to about a page of bulleted notes about the first story “The Feet of Russell Chase” and some ideas for other short stories.

When I retired to bed, I thought about it some more and more scenes around the start of the framing story began to form. I didn’t write them down, but instead let them mull around in my head knowing that they would more than likely stick enough to allow me to write them down the next day.

Blissful sleep.


I realise that I’m doing it again and decide to let you all know.

Oh dear.

Oh, before I forget. The title? Portmanteau

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