the inspiration behind Craig Lamont ‘s short story, ‘Brushing’
As a writer, I engage with the things I know well. But I find it equally important to step outside the norm and tackle things I find difficult. I have always had a love/hate relationship with maths. Love what it can do, the limitlessness of it, hate what I can’t do with it. At school I gave up trying and focussed on words. This is the main crux of the story, the starting point. But time and again, in my stories, an unusual character – excellent at maths but not much else – kept coming to the fore. Julie, the narrator, is also my first female first person narrator, giving me the right distance from this character I wanted to use. Ever since reading about Alan Turing and his work I’ve wanted to know more about numbers, hidden patterns in repetitive systems, and the emotive results of the process of maths. My story deals with the memory of love. But the method of showing this involves computer technology and its increasing importance, the growing isolation of young adults in a society they do not always feel comfortable in, and mental health issues which are still unfortunately stigmatised today. Alan Turing’s genius, his personal life, and the treatment he received for his homosexuality are all redolent of the modern day tragedies which still pervade mainstream culture and often go unnoticed.
- Posted in: Inspiration behind the work