The Awakening of the Muse

Double Deadline Friday

All writers need inspiration to get the creative juices flowing. I have just had a Double Deadline Friday on my MA Professional Writing course at University College Falmouth.  Deadlines gird the loins but sometimes the spirit is lacking. David Lodge wrote a piece for the Guardian Book Club last month and spoke of the myriad range of influences that helped to develop the plot of one of his best selling novels, Small World. Amongst those he listed were: Homer’s Ulysses;James Joyce;Excalibur ( Film by John Boorman”);T.S.Eliot’s The Waste Land; Arthur Kingfisher.

 I thought it would be interesting to look at one of the pieces I submitted for Double Deadline Friday, ” A Shaft of Light” a short story of a man revisiting his childhood with slightly surreal and ghostly undertones. See full version of the story.

This is what I came up with:


 Macbeth- a text I studied for GCSE; Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold; To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf;The End of the Affair by Graham Greene; A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens;The Ice Lovers by Jean McNeil;The Bees by Carol Ann Duffy;The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes.


Sicily Unpacked BBC.


A performance of Metamorphoses: Fables from Ovid at Tremough Performance Centre,University College, Falmouth.


What he Wrote by Laura Marling ( a beautiful haunting song) allegedly based on love letters found from a First World War Soldier, stationed at the front, to his wife back in England. 

A Photograph

Bar Girl in a Brothel in the Red Light District, Havana, 1954- Eve Arnold.

Arnold captures and transmits that elusive quality that Cartier-Bresson defines as “The silence in somebody.”


The Clashing Rocks of Greek Mythology.

Some of the influences are easily detected in my piece:  the Catholicism of Graham Greene ; the three ghosts of Christmas; the three witches of Macbeth. Others like the sound of Laura Marling and the photographs of Arnold; they must work at a more indefinable subconscious level, but I know they helped to awaken the dormant muse as Double Deadline Friday approached.