An Article on Imagination and Inspiration By Loretta Proctor

My introduction to Loretta Proctor began after reading her wonderful novel, 'The Crimson Bed' with a gorgeous Waterhouse painting gracing the cover. I am now reading her current novel, 'Middle Watch', an entirely different story, to be reviewed at a later date!
I asked Loretta if she would write a short piece that I could share here with my readers. She could write on any topic of her choosing as long as it had to do with writing or inspiration. Well, I am very happy and thankful to share Loretta's beautiful piece and thank you Loretta so much,

The Winged Horse of Imagination

By Loretta Proctor

I’ve always been a stargazer.  As a child I used to love to wander out into the garden at night and gaze up at the Moon and try to name the constellations.  One of my favourite fantasies… and I had a lot!...was that Pegasus the winged horse would come down one day and I would climb on his back and fly up there into the dark night sky.  So caught up was I with this idea, I arranged with a pal of mine along the road to meet up at midnight and wait for Pegasus to come and take us away.  Needless to say, though she agreed with enthusiasm, neither of us ever woke up that night to fulfil this glorious adventure.
The winged horse!  Isn’t that a marvellous symbol?  Perhaps Pegasus is synonymous with the flights of fancy that poetic or artistic individuals take within themselves.  As a writer and poet (of sorts) I’m actually taking a wonderful mental journey up into the stars for inspiration, for an overview of the sleeping planet below.  Or is the journey into a different night sky?  A downward journey into the mysterious, shadowy subconscious world where all the personal and collective past experiences of the human race sleeps within each human being?  

We all have our calling, they say.  The Buddhists and Hindi call this our dharma or fated path. Socrates called it his daimonion, a kind of inner, intuitive voice that urges one on despite oneself.  Pegasus, it seems was my daimonion, appearing to my inner eye in childhood.  A need to fly away into the realms of imagination.  At times I wish this inner urge wouldn’t drive me as it does.  I’d like to retire and knit socks and do my gardening.  But the wish to tell stories is too strong.  I began writing ,as so many writers do, when I was still a youngster and produced my first ‘novel’ in a twenty page exercise book; a melodramatic and frightful thing called ‘Is this Vengeance…’  (Louisa Alcott’s heroine, Jo March, would have been proud of it.)  My next novel was My Little World and was written at the age of sixteen.  This particular story has reincarnated in many different forms, gradually changing along with me.  It’s almost totally unrecognisable now and is called Gisla’s Hill.  I’m not sure it will ever be published. But little bits of it, bits of the philosophy behind it have crept into other stories, particularly my latest published novel Middle Watch.

It’s all summed up in a famous quote by the great writer Ignazio Silone.

‘I would willingly pass my life writing and re-writing the same book – that one book every writer carries within him – the image of his own soul.’

Several stories were written but never published in the 1970’s and then I suddenly stopped, freed myself from the urgings within.  Reason prevailed.  I looked around the shelves of the bookshops and thought . . . ’why do I want to add to all this outpouring of people’s notions and ideas?’  But somehow that urge couldn’t be quieted after all and the stories, like jumping beans in a pot on which a lid had been firmly clamped. clamoured to get out after I retired.  They’ve been waiting all these years and just came bouncing out once the lid was lifted!  And though it’s far easier to write now we have computers, there’s so much more competition that it’s scary.  It’s too late though; my daimonion has claimed me and will continue to drive me on.  So be it.

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Maggie said…
What a wonderful story. How interesting finding out what inspires writers and authors!
Hermes said…
Really good article - enjoyed that.
Kimberly Eve said…
Thanks Maggie and Hermes for visiting and commenting! I'm so glad you both enjoyed Loretta Proctor's article!