All has been quiet in the Burly and Grum world recently because most of my spare time has been spent scribbling down ideas for new stories - my handbag has at least 3 scrappy, dog-eared notepads in it! Although I've been trying to focus on Burly and Grum my thoughts, for some reason, keep taking me back to stories I wrote some time ago for an older audience which are more along the lines of heroic fantasy adventures (I'm a dab hand at writing a sword fight for some inexplicable reason...) rather than bears and groblins. Wondering why I was going in that direction made me think about how I actually go about writing.
When I write Burly and Grum stories I go back in time to when my son was very young. I remember one occasion when he came home from nursery to find a new bear, Jessica, resplendent in a red dress, appear under the stairs. Jessica had made a picnic for his other bears consisting of teddy bear biscuits and teddy bear crisps, crunchy apples, etc. My son sat at the opening to underneath the stairs, joined in the picnic and chatted to the bears. His bears all had very different personalities (it turned out that Jessica was slightly bossy and organised all the other bears) and together they had all kind of adventures - the Teddy Olympics was one I remember well. When I write for young children I take myself back, I remember the look on his face, the ease with which he accepted an imaginary world and I try to capture that. I'm a big kid myself (why else would I have arranged a surprise teddy bear's picnic?!) so I find it easy to step into a child's world and imagine having lots of adventures. So why have I been moving towards an older, more heroic fantasy world?
At first I tried to fight it and concentrate on Burly and Grum but then gave in and followed my instinct. I've just looked through those dog-eared notepads and the majority of my writing centres around a world of journeys, battling against all odds, striving for answers, sword fights and yes, a bit of romance. So I've decided I'm just going to go with the flow for the time being - I'm going to pull those notes together and see what happens. Now I've made a decision I feel quite relieved because I actually think it will be easier to do Burly and Grum work now I know there's something else going on in that brain of mine that needs to be dealt with! So, watch this space and see what happens - maybe Burly and Grum will go on an heroic fantasy journey?!