It has been an odd few weeks, people I know going down sick with Covid, my daughter having a couple of close shaves with friends testing positive and on-off circuit breaks, lockdowns etc.
I should have been writing lots, not a lot else to do, and yet somehow I find, or often family find other ways to occupy my time.
I have been wrestling with a couple of Covid or post Covid society pieces which seemed very easy to start but much more difficult to finish without ending up very dark. I’m not against dark endings, or beginnings and middles for that matter but they haven’t felt right, as if I were forcing the endings.
Which brings me on to the other thing I’ve been doing, which is a piece about a quiz team in the north of England in the 1980s. Pub quiz leagues were very big for a while, and indeed may still be in some areas, but generally the advent of social media, computer games and video game consoles has absorbed a lot of people’s spare time and of course mobile phone technology and Wikipedia have exponentially increased the capacity for cheating.
Who would bother cheating in a friendly pub quiz I hear you ask? Yes, times have certainly changed. Quizzing was serious business back then, and indeed you could make a fair amount of money with cash prizes for the bigger events and resaleable goods often handed out as prizes elseewhere. It got so big that electronic quiz machines were placed in pubs, for a brief time rivalling fruit machines (one armed bandit gambling machines) and Space Invaders as a way of getting extra bodies into bars.
I have mentioned that I am wary of the ‘And this is a true story’ boasts on works of fiction, so I am very clear that my short story ‘Shoot Out At The Red Horse Bowling Club’ (to follow very shortly) is most decidedly not a true story. But all fiction is inspired by element of fact. Isn’t it?