Mary Medlicott, Storyteller and Author - Storyworks

Storytelling Starters ~ The boredom

I’m currently doing a lot of cleaning of shelves, a job that also involves sorting whatever lives on those shelves.

I’m making phone-calls to friends, some to friends abroad I don’t often get to speak to, some to elderly friends I think might be feeling lonely in the current circumstances.

I am continuing with my writing. The story I’m working on right now is about a man who, as a boy, was conspicuously shorter than his friends and stayed shorter than the norm as the years went on.

I am thinking about which publishers to contact to see if I can interest one or other in taking on the collection of stories in my recently self-published book, The Uses of ‘a’.

I am walking round our garden, enjoying seeing what’s coming up, admiring what is already up and attending to the occasional weed.

I am taking a daily walk. It’s generally a short one because my left leg remains painful. But, hey, at least it’s a walk.

I am turning to the Guardian crossword each day. It’s the Quick Crossword I attempt, sometimes with good success, sometimes with almost none.

I am also doing some reading. The book I’ve just begun is another Thomas Hardy novel, A Laodicean. It’s one of his least known. I’d never been aware of it at all until recently.

I cook supper every evening. The cooking is currently not inventive, but at least I put my mind to it.

And, dear friends, I am bored. I can admit it. I must admit it. Bored out of my mind. It’s the staying at home that does it – or as close to home as the powers-that-be have instructed.

So what’s the problem? I think it’s a mixture of not seeing friends, not experiencing the unexpected, not getting into the world of nature, knowing I can’t get to Wales any time soon, knowing the library I belong to is shut … life is all very samey and although the constraints are not in any way severe, they are constricting. At the same time, the constraints are as effective as anything could be in making me appreciate the variety of life as normal. I thank my lucky stars for it as I learn a bit what life is like without it.

2 Responses to “Storytelling Starters ~ The boredom”

  1. Hilary Minns Says:

    Hello Mary,
    I love your story about the man who, as a boy, was very much shorter than his friends and who stayed that way. It put me in mind of The Shrinking of Treehorn, one of my very favourite children’s books. Also, I think it’s a very good idea to contact publishers to see if you can get your self-published book The Uses of ‘a’ published commercially. The short stories are divine and so beautifully written. Each one left me wanting to know more about the characters and what happened to them next.

  2. Pam Says:

    Hello Mary,
    Your experience of self isolation mirrors my own in the many ways you mention, and yet I would not call mine boredom – I have plenty to do to keep me occupied.But everything, including my gratitude, is overlaid with such sadness, at the state of the world and what we have done to the planet, that I diagnose it as mild depression. I will only start worrying about it if I find myself not enjoying the beauty in each day, or if it stops me doing the things I need to do – like tidying shelves!
    Happy writing,

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