Friday, March 18, 2011


I've been fairly lucky in recent years. I've had lots of opportunities to spy on people.

You see, it was Brigid's post about nosey parkers that got me thinking. I really found myself nodding along as I read, recognising that as writers we do tend to store up interesting details to use in our books.

Belfagan dance in the sea

Which got me thinking about morris dancing again.


I belong to a fantastic group of dancers, musicians and -perhaps most importantly - friends. We dance north-west clog morris, for fun, for fitness, to keep traditions alive, and either collecting for charity or performing at events for a small fee to cover travel. We're an eclectic group of people, each with their own story, told and untold. And, yes, I secretly pine to write a "morris" book, not about the dancing, but about a group of women brought together in the stamp of the clog, and the interwoven stories of their lives.

Clog display

But the things I know, that I've seen and been told, have been shared not for research or to help me with books, but because we're friends. So, when I write the morris dancing story, have I been taking advantage of my friends?


Photos courtesy of Chris & Gill George, and Ally McGurk


  1. That sounds like great fun, Anna! And what a wonderful bunch of shoes/clogs! Which ones are yours?

    As for your question, I guess that like most authors, you wouldn't write down the exact stories you've heard but would change them enough so that no one would recognise themselves, which I think is fine. We're all "spies" and take snippets from here, there and everywhere and weave them together to form a whole. Nothing wrong with that IMO!

  2. I loved doing a bit of clogging the other year :-)

    I don't think there would be anything wrong in writing that book. What you might find is that the stories you tell might not be of those women but of other people. And as well all know real people's stories are just the seed to our own.

  3. Love the picture of the clogs...

    As writers we see and store so many thing that mix in our heads so that when it comes out its changed. It's different threads woven into a new pattern...


  4. Great answers, folks, thank you!

    The clogs are a display from a clog seller who was at the big Scarborough Day of Dance, at which we helped break the world record for a massed morris dance.... then celebrated by kicking off our clogs and dancing in the sea! A great weekend.