Researching the stories
I'm currently working on ideas for three short story collections (PTSD, obviously - Post Thesis Submission Date). The reason for this sudden surge of activity is odd; writing my dissertation. In many ways the PhD has proved to be a creative release that has inspired a lot of my fiction - it doesn't hurt that the thesis centred around the recurrence of the Gothic home in contemporary Ireland. As I've been working on it, I've found that conducting resarch for different chapters has inspired several short stories. My first chapter, The Home of Folklore motivated me to create several reimaginings of Irish folktales,'The Cillini', 'The Changeling', 'Scarecrow, Scarecrow on the Hill' and 'The Crow War', while research into the third chapter, 'Women Who Can't Seem To Get Out of the House' gave birth to the agoraphobic story 'Sealed'. Similarily, photographing a site for my fourth chapter([Re]Animating the Ghost Estates) inspired 'Ghost Estates, Phase II'. However, it also works the other way - the subject of my last post, the short story 'Looking for Wildgoose Lodge' actually inspired the subject of the last chapter of the dissertation ('Homework: Remembering Wildgoose Lodge').
We normally think of external pressures as inhibiting creative writing, but in this case it's actually seems that in some cases, writing begets writing. As to the collections themselves - well, that's a matter for a later post.