Monday, May 04, 2009

My Writer's Animal is ... a porcupine!

I went to visit Penshurst Place last week. It's the home of Philip Sidney,

the poet and courier of the Elizabethan age. Anyway, apart from being beautiful, I was excited to see porcupines everywhere I looked ...

Now it struck me immediately that the porcupine is the perfect symbolic animal for us writers.

Several reasons:

1. The name "porcupine" comes from Middle French porc d'├ępine which could be translated as "thorny", "spined", or "quilled"

2. A group of porcupines is called a 'prickle'

3. From ancient times it was believed that porcupines can throw their quills at an enemy.

Also one of the few jokes I remember is about porcupines - how do porcupines make love?

Answer - very carefully.

OK admittedly that joke has nothing to do with writing whatsoever but it makes me laugh every time. Hmmm, anyway, moving swiftly on, I think we should all start wearing porcupines on our heads proudly when write, as on the helmet above. In fact, the first person to send me a photograph of themselves with a porcupine on their head will win a HUGE prize. They will deserve it.

Although if you're not quite up to that, you might think about visiting the 100 yard peony border, which is just getting ready for its big moment in June. Apparently it's breathtaking, filling up every sense. I can't wait. And in the meantime, try not to throw your quills at anyone.


Kathryn said...

A crown of anti-pigeon spikes on the head would create the same effect, I think.

Sandy K. said...

I have just found your site through a "drop-in" at my own:). Douglas Bruton suggested I take a look as you are using photographs as writing prompts, something I've thought of doing as well. I have a photography, etc. blog, myself. So you just have the piece of writing submitted as a comment?

Sarah Salway said...

Exactly, Kathryn. Send a pic of you wearing a crown of anti-pigeon spikes and you will be entered into the competition.
Hello and welcome, Sandy K. Yes, the comments section is open to other stories too - it is the way we ran our 'Messages' site which you might also like to see, although there were no photographs.

Sandy K. said...

Thank you, Sarah. I am looking at "spikes" in a different way:).

Sarah Salway said...

Spiked through the heart, a newspaper spiking stories, spiking drinks....