Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Poison Pen

October. The time of year when the veil is thin and dark thoughts creep about in the night. On our daily walks, Woki and I often walk past my grandmother's house. There are many stories I could post here about her. She probably had more influence on me than any other adult, which I consider a very good thing. It is from her that I get my insatiable drive to draw, paint, and write. She was the person who read me stories and taught me to appreciate classical music. Of the myriad memories I have of her, there is one that comes to mind at this time of year.
Whether it was a rainy October evening or some sunny summer afternoon, I couldn't say, but I remember my grandmother and my father talking about someone who "wrote with a poison pen". My child's imagination immediately conjured up Disney-esque images of some wicked person writing lethal notes by candle light in a stone-walled cellar riddled with spiders and bats.
It was a terrible disappointment to learn that "poison pen" was just another term for hate mail.
I'm definitely not into writing hate mail, but I'm still intrigued by those childhood images, and a poison pen letter offers a lot of short story possibilities. Especially this time of year, exploring the dark side (in fiction, let's be clear) is a delicious thrill. The cauldron is bubbling; a new story seems to be taking shape . . .