The idea egg hatches

Swapna Haddow Roosting With Dave, Scrapbook Leave a Comment

I’m not sure if you’d heard but next year my book ‘Dave Pigeon’ will be out. That’s right! My book! Out! Next year! Every time I say that I’m filled with what I can only describe as Christmas Day excitement, followed quite soon after by a sucker punch of dread as I question whether I can really do this.

This year I hope to blog my way through the journey, including all the ups (of which I hope there are many) and the downs (for which I will learn to master baking brownies).

Today’s post is about the idea behind Dave Pigeon.

Since the news of the Faber book deal broke, the second most asked question has been ‘where did the idea come from?’ (The first being ‘what is your book about?’ When I figure that one out I’ll let you know.)

I have never really thought about where ideas come from. They just seem to be there. Or they turn up, like surprise guests, usually at highly inopportune moments: when I’m in the bath or on a walk or at 2 in the morning and the ability to jot them down coherently is severely lacking.

I can only imagine that the manner of generating ideas is quite organic; a mélange (love that word) of experiences, influenced by people, the world, the infiniteness of it all, mystically falling in line to produce an idea. There certainly doesn’t seem to be any logic in this process; and it certainly doesn’t seem to be an efficient way to produce work. I cannot tell you how many times I have panicked that an idea would not come to me and in some indescribable way it arrives just in time.

But Dave Pigeon was different. I do know how he came to be.

Around springtime last year, two pigeons plagued the husband’s car with pooey presents, on a number of Sundays that seemed to suggest more than coincidence. It is very possible that the pigeons in question were not the same two pigeons each week and that the deposits were made on days that were not in fact Sunday but every weekend for about a month the husband would hunt around the kitchen for a bucket and sponge, troubled by the same issue.

As the husband cursed his bad luck (every Sunday morning), the son and I discussed what it was we thought the pigeons were up to and in the process we named one of them Pat.

During our conversations I was inspired to pen the tale of Pat Pigeon. It was a horrendously boring first chapter about a pigeon rescued by a young boy. So dire that I deleted those first five hundred and six words almost as soon as they were tapped out on to the screen.  Even the name was horrendous. Who names a pigeon Pat?

And so came the idea for Dave. Firstly the name was much more fitting for a pigeon. Secondly the words seemed to flow easily for an idea I loved: the story of pigeon vengeance.

I’m not sure where you find your ideas, it would be wonderful to hear what inspires you. In the meantime have a brilliant 2015 filled with creativity and inventiveness and I’ll let you know how Dave gets on over the course of this next year.

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