I’m currently writing a short story which has led me to reflect on writing inspiration. It’s a roadtrip adventure with a touch of romance and features an artistic free-spirited heroine and her male best friend, a laidback, wisecracking sidekick. I didn’t have to think very hard before deciding where the runaway pair would end up. It had to be the beach. The seaside has always been important to me as I grew up in Swansea, a part of Wales famous for its stretches of sands, its craggy seascapes. Whenever I needed to think, relax, write and be myself I would escape to a nearby haven. The day didn’t have to be a scorcher, in fact I found breezy conditions worked just as well if not better, revitalising me and making me feel alive. I loved to watch the waves turn with the weather, meek, lapping and rippling on a fine day, roused, churning and torrid on a bad day.

Beach trips can be very sensual experiences. As well as the obvious visual stimulation there are the sounds of seagulls, people laughing, the swishing progress of the sea. The sensations are powerful, warm sand beneath your toes, the shock of cold water, the heat of the sun on your back, the assault of the wind in your face. The prevailing taste is of salt and if you’re unlucky the grittiness of sand which invades picnics and even deep breaths of fresh air! Brings a whole new meaning to the word sandwich 😉 .

Surroundings such as these have always had a huge influence on my writing and encouraged me to write my 2006 poetry collection: ‘Of Mermaids and Moonfish’. Don’t ask me where I got the title from. I remember randomly thinking of a moonfish and wondering did such a creature exist or was it pure fantasy? Moonfish are indeed an actual species and do not look particularly moon-like apart from their silvery hue. For my poem ‘The Moonfish’ I used my imagination blending lunar and piscean characteristics to create an eery, fantastical piece.

One of the poems I was most pleased with from that collection was written about possibly the most famous and dramatic of natural sights in Swansea. Entitled ‘What Worm?’ it tells the story of the curiously shaped island off the shores of Rhossili in the Gower. I’ve included the poem below and hope you find it a writing inspiration.

Wormshead Picture sourced at: http://bit.ly/MiwIsH

Writing Inspiration: Wormshead and Other Seascapes.

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