Thursday, July 22, 2010


Today is the first handover between the artists and writers involved in the Tunbridge Wells Art Gallery project, to be exhibited at the start of the next year.

I have written already about the ideas that didn't make it to the final round, (here) so here's the one that did.

Please welcome for her first outing anywhere apart from my radiator at home one of my little STORY DOLLS...

The idea is that each body part represents a different part of the story. Either you can leave the story as it is, or you can use it to write something new from it. Or you can swop in another body part and make a completely different story. Rather like those women who used the dress patterns could make up different parts of the doll's dress and therefore create a new story for the doll every time they used the pattern.

And here's one of my stories from the doll above..


I tell the guards I didn’t do it, but they tell me that’s what people like us always say.

Except in the papers there was no ‘us’, there was only me. EVIL BUS DRIVER’S ROYAL KIDNAP ATTEMPT.

I didn’t even know who she was at the time. Thought she was just another dumpy old mad woman. We got those a lot round here. Especially after 10am when they can travel for free.

‘Help me,’ she’d begged. ‘My train is late, and I must get to my sick mother.’

Everybody knows the Queen Mother is dead, they said at the trial, but I didn’t know she was the Queen then, did I? And it was the sick mother bit that got me too. I always go that bit extra to help customers. Plus it was a question of pride. I wanted to show that buses were better than trains.

There’d been a fuss going on at the station. The Mayor and lots of camera crews were there, so I wasn’t surprised that the trains were late. I took her through the back way where my bus was waiting. Behind us, someone started blowing a trumpet. There was no way the passengers on the 5.45 were going to get in on time so I could make it to the hospital and back.

Her hat blew off as she climbed on board. Perhaps I should have twigged then, but I was trying to work out who her voice reminded me of.

‘This is exciting,’ she said. ‘Much better than judging boring hanging baskets. And of course we have private buses at Windsor but not so thrillingly dirty.’

I was about to get cross because I have high standards of cleanliness, when I saw the police lights behind and the helicopters above.

‘Oh, this always happens,’ she said then, ‘just when I’m having fun.’

The others on the prison floor tell similar stories, but no one ever believes us. Not people like us.

She visited the prison this afternoon though. I watched from the window as that new warden escorted an anonymous dumpy woman in need of help through the side door. And then I heard the sirens.

They’re already making up a new cell.


To be honest, I'm rather worried about my little story dolls and hope they get a good reception. Luckily I'm much more excited though to see what the others in our group have come up with. I feel very lucky to be involved in this project.


Kathryn's Daily Writing Workout said...

What a brilliant story. I think I'll be smiling all day on this one! I love the idea of the story dolls too. Like a more sophisticated, complex and creative version of 'Countdown'!


THANK YOU, Kathryn! Really appreciate that. x

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Oh this is brilliant. I'd patent the idea, fast!

Sophie Playle said...

Ooh, I love it. I'm going to write my own :D


Oh, you don't know the relief. I was a bit frightened I had gone a bit mad!

And Sophie, please let me know if you do - would love to link to it.

Megan Warren said...

What a great idea! Love the story doll and the story!

Alice Elliott Dark said...

This story is so so only you and the idea is completely wonderful and delightful. You must get a publisher or do a video or something. Fantastic!


Thanks, Megan.
And Alice, love the video idea, my little doll could dance!!! I wonder how I could do that. Where is Carlos when you need him?