Wednesday, March 11, 2009

When a picture is worth more than a thousand words

Non writers often want to know, "Where do ideas for stories come from?"

Here's one example in my files:

This is said to be a picture of a house built into the cliffs of Portcurno Beach on the south coast of Cornwall.
Despite my best efforts, since I ran across this photo a couple of years ago, I've been unable to confirm that it was in fact taken there, or indeed find anything more about it other than the location noted on the photo.

But as many good pics do, this one has become embedded in my mind (and is now on the desktop of my new mini laptop), and has gradually prompted the idea of a story that links a (fictional) young evacuee child from London (Vera Prentice) with the (real) eccentric Rowena Cade who built the Minack Theatre, which sits on the cliffs high above Porthcurno Beach where Vera is billeted in this house with (fictional) brother and sister Billy and Morva Carne.

I do know that a (fictional) mute seagull also features in this story somehow. But other than that, it's just the ghost of a story distracting me from other projects currently on the go.

Speaking of ghosts... now there's a possibility...

Which might mean that this picture is worth many more than one thousand words.

(This image came from browsing the Francis Frith collection which says it contains "120,000 old photos, maps and books from every village and town in the UK - a GREAT resource for ideas and research. And nostalgia. )


Julie H. Ferguson said...

I don't remember this house at Porthcurno, but your idea is wonderful. Do run with it...

Lucy said...

Hi, yes, this house is definitely on Porthcurno beach - I saw it in October last year when I stayed in Porthcurno village - someone has taken a rather good picture of it here:

It looks slightly less lovely nowadays but is still very intriguing - I've heard somewhere that it used to be a beach house belonging to Rowena Cade (who built the Minack theatre in the cliffs above porthcurno beach). Hope that helps!

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