Thursday, August 17, 2006

Anatomy of an Idea: Down Maribelle Lane

Currently available here until the end of Sept '06 - if you have not read this story, I recommend you do so first as this post, of course, spoils the ending.

First of all, I can't take credit for it. The true story goes like this ... my aunt has four children, three boys and a girl. The younger boys, Jeff and Greg, share a room; the eldest, Tim, has his own. So one day a long time ago, Jeff went into Tim's room for some reason, and Greg panicked. "Jeff, don't go in there!" he said. "You'll turn into a toad!" Turned out Tim had one of those novelty signs reading, "Tim's Parking Only: All Others Will be Towed."

Fast forward to the Cincinnati Celtic World Festival, 2005. I'm wandering around the shops and there are the usual run of aforementioned novelty signs: "Irish Parking Only," "Welsh Parking Only: All Others Will Be Dragon-ed Away" etc.

I should note here that I had given my teacher a gift a while back of one that read: "Harpist Parking Only: All Others Will Be Plucked."

So, of course, I flashed back to my cousins, and happened to comment that "Witch Parking Only: All Others Will Be Toad" would make a great punchline. Between the fact that the seed had been planted, and that a friend of mine, Crystal, had just started up a writing group and (admittedly at my suggestion) made the task for the first month to write flash fiction ... Down Maribelle Lane came into being.

I chose the name Nimiane because it's a somewhat inobvious alternate version of the Lady of the Lake. (I should note my dog is named Nimue (NIM-ooh-way) so I have a slight fascination with the sound of it, but it's pretty!) Laudine is also Arthurian, and means simply "a widow." Some day I might write another story with this character, as the overall concept tickles me.

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