What if…?


This summer the ivy has taken over. For fifteen years it was a pathetic little sprig hiding somewhere behind the rosebush, until…

First my neighbour cut it back. Then the window cleaners pulled some strands away from the bay windows, then the gutter fitters cut it. Still it grew. I put on protective clothing and battled my way through the rosebush. I took a saw. I hacked the main stem. Result! Or so I thought.

The ivy grew back thicker.

It is now on the roof and trying to get in.

Lying in bed last night, I couldn’t sleep. What if it succeeded? What if it was already prising apart the tiles, working its way through the insulation? What if it was about to take over the house? What if the house itself was changing its personality?

A non writer would of course merely thought to ring a gardening firm to have it removed. For me it began a cascade of horrific scenarios. Ivy2

For hours I lay there imagining every possible disaster, feeding both my fear and my imagination. I also began to think that this is how writers work. If we can get past our fears then the “what ifs” spark our stories, the problem is how to harness them efficiently and not be sitting here, like me, blogging away with a large cup of coffee at hand to keep me from falling asleep after a sleepless night.


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