Creative Writing

Character Sketch : Hotel Grand Amour (This Is It)

January 21, 2017

The people-watching in Paris is on-point. Seeing characters in real life and imagining their stories is one of my favourite things to do. Here is a short piece I wrote about one character who caught my eye at the Hotel Grand Amour one exceptionally chilly evening last week …

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Camp Lo 3

Hotel Grand Amour

Camp Lo 2

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His style reminded me of Camp Lo in the video for “Luchini.” Sitting facing the bar at the Hotel Grand Amour he wore a camel coloured overcoat, matching newsboy hat, pale cream coloured poloneck, a gold hoop earring and assorted thick gold rings. He must have been in his early or mid seventies, with white beard stubble peppering his angular chin. He used an old-fashioned gold magnifying glass to read something, presumably messages or some article, on his iphone, whilst methodically working his way through a bottle of IPA and twelve oysters. He didn’t strike me as Parisian. More an old Harlem soul somehow lost in the 10th arrondissement. I would have loved to have spoken to him and found out his story. But alas, my friend arrived and the important task of dinner and gossip was to commence. Maybe another day, maybe another lifetime …

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The Moon is You

February 8, 2015

The Man Repeller Writer’s Club set a brief last month to wake up and write 500 words on the first thing that came to you. I gave it a go and ended up with the vaguely Botticelli meets Darryl Hannah in Splash esque piece below.

Writing it before 7am, I was a little fuzzy headed still and cannot remember whether it was based on a dream. Either way, I can read back and see sub-conscious themes and personal experiences in there for sure.

Thanks to my best friend Denisse I am already in the habit of writing a few pages first thing in the morning, and it really does serve as a therapeutic way to capture thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Interesting to ponder on those stages of consciousness and creativity…

My entry did not get selected, but I thought I would share it anyhow… I’ll call it ‘The Moon is You’. Enjoy!

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santamonica

The Moon Is You

She rode in on a Santa Monica wave.

Atop white froths and foam was her ivory clam, a giant one at that. Rocking with the flow of the tide and gently edging closer to the shore, for the shell and girl had strayed too far.

Among the pinkish soft tissues and wet pearlescent bed lay the girl inside. She was afraid and rather neurotic. Unsure of where she now was, she peered over the lip of the shell. The myriad shapes on the beach intrigued her. She could see slim figures in the distance, some in huddles and some moving in solitary wisps. Two grand looking buildings were visible further back. Hotels in fact. She wondered what they might be like on the inside.

It was early morning and the skies were grey-blue, calm and pretty.

The water became shallower and shallower until her shell bumped the sand and stayed still. Afraid, she sat motionless and waited.

She wanted to stay in her pinky salty home, but the thoughts swimming through her head were driving her crazy. She imagined the fishes gossiping lyrical about the strange shell girl, all washed up and stuck on land. How clumsy and pathetic to get swept away with the tide. She had always felt that the moon didn’t like her.

She pushed her shell-top open a little wider and liked the feel of the breeze as it stroked her cheeks and made the hairs on her arms come alive. Reaching out she dipped her fingers into the water and down into the sandy bed beneath.

She liked watching the way that the grains of sand ran away as the water pulled back with the waves. She was amazed to see the patterns her fingers created by obstructing the natural flow.

She decided to see what shape her toes might make, and contorted her foot out over the edge of the shell and into the sand.

The groove her foot made was bigger. This excited her. She had never felt sand on her feet before. The novelty thrilled her.

She wondered how sand might feel on her stomach.

She waited for moment.

After taking a deep breath, she rolled herself out of the shell-bed and found herself lying on her back on the sand. She rolled over once. Soft wet sand on her tummy and her legs felt so strange. The good, naughty kind of strange.

She looked up and again saw the hotels, one dove-grey and one terracotta orange. She felt brave and contemplated crawling closer to them; she wanted to see what they looked like inside.

Leaving her shell behind, she crawled on all fours and found the sand getting dryer. She wasn’t sure how to feel about this.

She carried on but more slowly, and found a small card in her path. She picked it up and turned it over a few times. It was yellow with black words and pictures. On one side was an image of a genie with the word “Zoltar.” On the other was a picture of a moon with the words “The Moon is You.”

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