Wednesday 19 December 2012

The Hierarchy of Hats and other scavengings: by Theresa Breslin

At times I think of myself as being more of a scavenger than a writer.

Maybe scavenger isn’t quite the right word. When I checked the dictionary it told me that ‘to scavenge’ was to search for anything useable among discarded material. But some of what I take hasn’t really been discarded and I don’t even know if the stuff I collect will ever be useable. Although my hoard does contain physical objects I’m not expecting a call from the constabulary as the objects are usually stones or driftwood or similar. More often it’s an impression, a photograph, a snatch of dialogue, a nugget of information, a shared experience. I gather each item up on my travels for no definite reason other than I found it interesting - most recently in Siberia with the Edinburgh World Writers’ Conference

The oldest part of Krasnoyarsk 
where a church was built  to look 
out over the vast and stunning  landscape,

    The beauty of icons and imagery inside.

                                                         Sunset over the city 



In the local market birds peck seeds from hand made brooms and fish come ready frozen!.

And yes, there is a hierarchy of hats - from otter via mink, silver fox, racoon, red fox, rabbit to squirrel. 
( rats are kept for gloves!)  

I have no idea whether any of these will spark an idea, result in a story, or feed into a book yet to be born. But I do know that when I go to my hoard and pore over my treasures something will stir in that mysterious part of the brain wherein lies creativity.  

There’s another meaning for the verb ‘to scavenge’- to purify a molten metal by bubbling a suitable gas through it. The gas may be inert or may react…  

Take what you will from that as a metaphor.

Happy Holidays wherever you are!

Twitter: @theresabreslin1 
Spy for the Queen of Scots is nominated for the Carnegie Medal and an Illustrated Treasury of Scottish Folk and Fairy Tales  illustrated by Kate Leiper is nominated for the Greenaway Medal.
In conjunction with the Citizens Theatre and South Lanarkshire schools the Divided City musical will be produced at Hamilton Town House Theatre in February 2013.     

TAGS / LABELS:  Theresa Breslin, EWWC, Krasnoyarsk, Siberia,


Anonymous said...

adele said...

I've been waiting for a Russian trip post Theresa and this is ACE!! Thanks so much...

Theresa Breslin said...

Thanks Adele. It is the most fascinating country and the Siberian people so welcoming and overjoyed at having authors coming there to speak. Their Book Fair was spectacular. xT