Behind door number 13 of casa Strachan’s advent calendar lays a throwaway self-penned topical headline. An epiphany manifesting from the recesses of my mind – A notion that this morning belligerently queue jumped to the forefront of my conscious thoughts. Unceremoniously displacing an idea I was forming about re-visiting incomplete literary projects of yore.

These the unfinished children’s stories I began around a decade ago, which I indifferently abandoned after growing bored with the process. Subsequently leaving the word documents to metaphorically gather dust on a memory stick – Filed under a folder called ‘Who Knows & Who Cares’.

This tale one of a 10 year old boy called Eric Cruickshank. A will-o’-the-wisp who embarked on whimsical journeys with his friends, whose monikers momentarily escape me. Fictional yarns where I gave myself carte blanche to scattergun daft ideas in an attempt to mask the fact the piece had no real plot line or ending. 

I suppose you could label it a ‘Flying by the seat of your pants fiction’ – An approach I can get away with when I write diary style blogs. However, when writing a story you need greater structure and framework, at the very least possessing a narrative with a beginning, middle and end.

‘Winging it’ when writing a story, compared to a 500+ word blog, is an incredibly difficult thing to do. Even in the ordinarily low brow world of penning children’s fiction, blagging it takes you down too many plot dead ends and storyline fragmentation. Consequently making a difficult task even tougher.

If I could unearth a start, middle and conclusion with which I was content. I’d back myself everytime to possess the creative wherewithal to pen a full kids story. After all, when my offspring were young I used to make up most of the bedtime stories I cascaded with them.

These yarns were silly, fragmented in places and the plots didn’t make a lot of sense. However the kids used to laugh a lot, developed into fine adults and I avoided being sectioned so no harm done.

I started and never completed a few different Eric Cruickshank stories (the incomplete projects from a decade ago). One was about him and his pals becoming involved in a space odyssey with a tramp whose false teeth were purchased from a car boot sale.

Another incomplete yarn concerned a trip with his uncle to a football game where a magic Roman coin (which Eric found in the clubs muddy car park) gave him the power to time travel. This he utilised to skip forward 90 minutes when he learned that his beloved Thacklethwaite Rovers were going to lose 4-0.

Having convinced his uncle of the powers of the coin they left the windswept ground before the game commenced – But not before his mum’s brother had put a substantial pre-match bet on the final score being a 4-0 victory to Thacklethwaite Rovers opponents.

On reflection, I really do need to leave my comfort zone of blog writing and revisit these yarns. Tales that admittedly need a good re-write, but contain enough decent ideas that when amalgamated with the penmanship tips I’ve learned in the intervening years definitely bear potential……. That’s if I can think of a suitable end, of course!

Maybe I should set that as a new years resolution for GJ Strachan. A 2019 goal of completing the Eric Cruickshank stories I started around ten years ago. An objective well within my capabilities, that’ll give me more of a challenge than the daily narratives I currently pen.

I commenced this monologue by informing you that behind door number 13 of casa Strachan’s advent calendar lay a throwaway topical headline. Something I intended to build upon throughout this blog before I got waylaid with my rambling about the Eric Cruickshank yarns.

Although I strive to avoid writing about politics whenever possible, I’d originally felt moved to share my cynical thoughts on yesterdays failed Tory Party coup to displace Theresa May as the UK’s Prime Minister.

This work written with a title of ‘Turkeys may not vote for Christmas, but evidently do for underfire PM’s!!‘……. Coming to think of it, you probably dodged a bullet by me wandering off on a literary tangent!