Where Do Your Ideas For Stories And Blog Posts Come From?

When I wrote my first short story, shortly after I started blogging in February 2014, I never gave much thought of where the idea for the story had come from. 

However, I remember the moment the story came to me and, since then, I’ve never really talked about it a lot. Why? Because it could have been the visit from a ghost that gave me the idea.  

There I was, ironing the third of seven shirts, and up walked Grace Simmons demanding that I write and publish her story on my blog.

Are the characters in our fiction the ghosts of our imagination?

Somehow, Grace had managed to get her story into my head and, within seconds, I’d abandoned the ironing board for the keyboard. 

An hour later, I’d written Grace’s story, published it on my blog, and the first comment had come in. Smiling, I thanked Grace, who had long disappeared to wherever it was she had come from, and I returned to the ironing board wondering if I’d just been visited by a ghost.

Who is Grace Simmons, and what is her story?

Grace is a character from, Last Train To Aldwych, the first story in my book, Glimpses.

What I’m not sure about is whether Grace Simmons is a ghost who visited me. I can’t say I physically saw her, yet the image of her is firmly embedded in my mind

About the story.

A journey on the London Underground takes Grace Simmons to an annual encounter with a ghost she always meets at Aldwych Station on the same date every year. However, with the prospect of further meetings never being able to take place, Grace must ensure that this final meeting is one where she and the ghost will never part.

I’ve often wondered if the story was born from an idea, an experience, or if I was just lucky enough to have stumbled upon it. Then again, was it told to me by the ghost of Grace Simmons?

#Glimpses #books #shortstories #fiction #scifi
Glimpses – The First Collection of short stories and flash fiction by Hugh W. Roberts

Grace’s story has not only had some wonderful reviews, but it is the story that went on to launch many more short stories from me. My readers loved the story and encouraged me to write more.

Where do lost ideas end up?

I don ‘t know about you (and I hate to say this), but many of the ideas I get for blog posts and short stories find their way to the ‘Door of the Forgotten.’ 

Why? Because I fail to write them down. 

Within seconds of arriving, an idea can be flying towards that open door, with me failing to pursue it. In this modern world of technology, you’d think that should never be allowed to happen, yet it still does. 

Many of the other short stories in my books came to me from ideas I’d get after reading writing prompts, participating in writing challenges, or by looking at photos. 

Even reading comments on a blog post can spark off ideas for short stories and blog posts. Some come to me within seconds, whereas some ideas can take weeks to reveal themselves. 

The mystery of Grace Simmons.

To this day, Grace Simmons remains a mystery to me. When asked, I still cannot answer the question ‘where did the idea for ‘Last Train To Aldwych’ come from?

For those of who not familiar with Aldwych, it was a station on the London Underground from 1907 until 1994.

#transport #London
Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

When I sit down and think about it, one of the first things that come to mind is the number of times I had walked past Aldwych underground station in London. 

The office I worked in was a few minutes walk away, and I’d often visit the station at lunchtime to buy a cheese and pickle sandwich. 

Just inside the station was the sandwich kiosk that, to this day, made the best cheese and pickle sandwiches I’d ever tasted.

Another mystery. 

I’d enjoy talking to Margaret, the lady that owned and ran the kiosk, and most weekdays we’d catch up on our daily lives while trying to put the world to right.

It was a sad day when the station closed and even more tragic that on my way back to the office that day, I lost Margaret’s phone number. 

On the evening of 30th September 1997, by the time I realised I’d lost the piece of paper she’d written her home phone number on, Margaret and her cheese and pickle sandwiches were long gone.

I tried many avenues to find her, but all to no avail. 

The mystery of Margaret’s disappearance is as much a mystery to me, as where the idea for ‘Last Train To Aldwych‘ came from. 

Then again, did those daily visits to Margaret plant the idea for the story deep within my mind, only for it to resurface into a story many years later? 

Margaret had, after all, told me stories about her and her family and how they would shelter in Aldwych underground station during the blitz of World War 2. 

The following film was shot on the day that the last train to Aldwych actually ran. Can you spot Grace amongst the last passengers who made that journey with her?

Have I, at last, solved the mystery of ‘Last Train To Aldwych‘?

You can read ‘Last Train To Aldwych‘ in Glimpses, my first collection of short stories.

Click here to buy a copy.

Where do your ideas for blog posts and short stories come from? Share them with us in the comments.  

This was a guest post originally published on Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. It has been edited and updated since its first publication.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Are the Strangers in Your Dreams Real People or just Figures of your Imagination?

A few week’s ago I kicked off a blog tour for the launch of my new book, More Glimpses. My first stop was at the blog of author, writer, and blogger Debby Kaye, where I was given a terrific welcome.

The guest posts I’ve written for the blog tour all come from some of the characters found in the stories in More Glimpses. Click the link below to meet Jane Collins, who appears in the story The Jump. She asks an interesting question that may have you questioning who appears in your dreams.

Guest Author Hugh Roberts Launching More Glimpses

#MoreGlimpses #books #shortstories

My thanks to Debby for inviting me to use her blog for the tour.

I’ve closed comment here. Please leave any comments over on Debby’s blog.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.

Why Books And Libraries Can Be Terrifying Places

Every time I walk into my local library to pick up some recycling bags, I feel like I’m entering a world that doesn’t want me there. Or is it that I don’t want to be there?

Photo by Janko Ferlic on Pexels.com

For me, libraries can be terrifying places. Just like picking up a book and opening it can be a terrifying prospect. As an author and writer, you’d think that both would be something I’d get a lot of pleasure from.

Why I’m terrified of libraries and books?

Dyslexia – that’s the answer. As somebody who is dyslexic, reading and writing are two things I have always found difficult. When I enter the library and am faced with all those books that can introduce me to new characters and transport me to different worlds, I feel like a big door is being slammed shut right in front of me. Why? Because I know that I would find it difficult reading many of the books on the shelves.

How does being dyslexic affect me?

Being dyslexic affects me in many different ways. For example, I often find myself struggling to know what a word or its meaning is. Even when I try saying the sounds the letters make as they appear in a word, it doesn’t always come to me. Struggling on a word in the middle of a sentence can literally stop me on my reading track and, sometimes, make me feel a failure. It’s as if the word is some sort of barrier preventing me from carrying on reading.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Occasionally, when I pick up a book, I find myself coming across too many words that I don’t understand. They can be the simplest of words, yet my brain can not work out what the word actually is.

If I have to go back to the beginning of a page or chapter because I don’t understand the plot or what’s going on, I will almost certainly give up on the book. I may have another go, but more often than not I will never pick up that book again.

It’s not only about reading

When it comes to writing, one of the strangest things dyslexia does to me is not putting certain letters in the correct order. I seem to struggle if a word has both an ‘A’ and ‘C’ in it. For example, I can write the word ‘because’ in a blog post lots of times, yet Grammarly will underline every ‘because’ I’ve written because I’ve incorrectly spelt it. It’s always the ‘A’ and ‘C’ in the wrong order. I have trouble with other words where ‘A’ and ‘C’ follow each other too.

Not all is lost

I’m pleased to say that I don’t have problems reading all the books on my ‘TBR’ pile. I seem to go through peaks and dips with them. Recently, after reading a book review by author and blogger Teri Polen, I read ‘Call Drops‘ by John F. Leonard.

Not only did I get pulled into the story quickly, but I also whizzed through it in two sittings. Maybe it was the way the book had been written, but I didn’t struggle with any of it. It was the first book I’d read from start to finish in a while. Of course, I also left reviews on Goodreads and Amazon for it.

Am I reading another book?

You bet. I’m currently reading, and enjoying, The Jack Lockwood Diaries by Geoffrey David West.

A library was the setting for a piece of flash fiction from my first collection of short stories, Glimpses. Set in the future, it’s a story about a teacher who takes her pupils to a library where she reveals the truth behind the disappearance of trees.

Story #28: The Library – by Hugh W. Roberts


“And this is the library.”
The students stood open-mouthed.
“So, these are books?”
“Yes, these are books, Trudy.”
“How many are there, Mrs Millar?” inquired Tommy.
“Nobody has ever counted, but we think several million,” replied the teacher as she nodded slowly. “And paper is what every one of these books has in common.”
“So, this is the main reason why all the trees disappeared from Planet Earth?” asked Trudy.
Mrs Millar continued to nod her head while admiring the books.
“Yes, and each and every one of the authors that was alive when the last of the trees disappeared, was put to death for the crime they committed,” smiled the teacher.

Click here to buy Glimpses.

Happy endings

I allowed dyslexia to suppress my love of writing for far too long. In February 2014, when I published my first blog post, I felt like I had conquered it. Maybe I can do the same with reading books and visiting my local library?

I’ve often heard it said that people with dyslexia have unique imaginations. I’m not sure if that’s true, but it’s been a happy ending for me.

©hughsviewsandnews.com

Now it’s over to you

Are you dyslexic? How do you manage with your reading and writing? What book are you reading at the moment? Tell me about them by leaving me a comment.

This post is my entry to the Sunday Stills challenge, hosted by Terri Webster Schrandt. This week’s theme is ‘For the Love of Reading and Books.’ Click here for full details.

Copyright © 2019 hughsviewsandnews.com – All rights reserved.