Watering the fertile imagination

It seems to have been raining a lot recently, round here. After a few days of pretending it’s summer, I got soaked to the skin (not that difficult given I wasn’t wearing a coat because it was warm) in thirty yards on the way home tonight. Wading up the lane out of the station made me feel like an intrepid explorer trekking up a depleted riverbed. I was cold, uncomfortable, and issuing plaintive requests for hot drinks when I got home. However, I was not uninspired.

There’s so much about the rain to get your artistic juices flowing. The sound of it hammering on a caravan roof in a British summer. The hiss of something tropical past an open window. The summer scent of it on warm tarmac, or the way it makes the flowerbeds smell so rich and earthy. The way it makes you feel when you’ve got a long walk to an early-morning bus, or when you’ve just got home in time to miss it. There’s the ever-changing light quality, the mists and rainbows, what it does to rivers and waterfalls, and the city-centre decay of statues and buildings.

This summer I’ve written down a few story ideas sparked by the rain, and I’m in the middle of writing one in which rain and swollen streams feature heavily. There’s a certain natural drama about rain, so if your summer’s a wash-out, don’t stare at the grey sky and complain, use it as inspiration.

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