“The Meadow” has been written in a very extraordinary way. For example, there was never any intention to bring the story into manuscript format. It was only after my encounter with Elfreda that it became a reality and, between us, we prized the idea out of my head and onto a hard drive. Even when we began writing the story, there was never an outline laid out for the whole thing. Outlines were only prepared for each chapter as we took them step by step.
I remember Elfreda asking me when we were half way through how this story would progress and, more importantly, how it ended. Despite the fact that I had had this idea spinning around in my head for as long as I can remember, I never actually had an ending in mind. This is not your conventional way to write a book and I’m not endorsing it as such. However, it appeared to work for us, as though there was a third party involved and was guiding us along the literary way.
This meant that the story was wide open for new ideas and thoughts to be added as we progressed. We took many detours along the way, particularly during the editing stages where massive changes were made. When the concept of the story had been laid down, the creativity began between us in equal proportion. We came up with ideas that were by virtue of inspiration, emanating from all kinds of unknown sources.
One example of this happened when I was out biking around my home town of Hartlepool. I decided to have a ride to the place where I hung out as a young lad who was full of mischief. This is where I would conspire with my peers to pinch apples from private orchards or go looking for girls, a newly-discovered pastime which was becoming more enjoyable every day. I was not expecting the following events to unfold.
On a familiar street I noticed that a house belonging to a local market gardener had been demolished, exposing what used to be his private land which was surrounded by other houses. This land had been bought by a developer and turned into a small modern housing estate, starkly contrasting against the much older existing houses which encompassed this quaint spot.
At first I just accepted that this was progress and was about to move on when I spotted the nameplate of this cute and very trim little cul de sac. On a white background and supported by two strong grey poles was the name “The Meadow.” I could have sworn that it was illuminated; such was the energy that I felt oozing from this title. How could I ignore such a “sign?” I couldn’t, and after much deliberation with Elfreda, we brought the real “The Meadow” into the plot and storyline. The final result is now resting between the pages of the published book.
Another anomaly to how this novel was written is that Elfreda and I never met until after the story had been told. That is another story and deserves some explanation. Maybe in another blog?