O is for Obsession


Uh-oh.
Something has happened.
It used to happen a lot when I was little and it never ended when I was a teenager.  I stupidly thought I would one day grow out of it.
Nope.
So it’s time to make a confession; I am an obsessive.
I don’t mean obsessive compulsive, although I do wash my hands far too much.  I mean obsessive.  Something will enter my life and then it will take over my mind.
It used to drive my friends and family insane.  Now I try to keep it to myself, I find other ways of letting my obsessions breathe.  Those closest to me will still be able to recognise the signs – in fact I bet you a small piece of Christmas cake that my mum knows exactly where this post is going!
My obsessions usually sprout from television or film.  A concept or character will hook into my mind and set up shop there.
Obsessions leave their mark.  They reach inside me, turn me inside out and leave me changed.
Examples of some of my past obsessions?

  • The Lion King (I was only little so I won’t say much but I will admit to knowing all of the songs by heart which embarrassed my husband at Bristol Zoo this year as I sang and danced my way around the centre green.  I saw this film at the cinema 5 times)
  • Buffy and Angel (a large DVD collection and a novel idea which I have written three beginnings for, so far)
  • The Lord of the Rings (my true introduction to the world of fantasy which led to me writing the beginning and only the beginning of a high fantasy novel but has influenced my writing and reading choices ever since)
  • Firefly and Serenity (a way of talking, an introduction to Nathan Fillion (and therefore Castle), and a novella idea)
  • Supernatural (an annoyed husband who was apparently forced to go upstairs for 40 minutes at a time for a whole three seasons which I watched back to back!  My Emily May character and subsequent novel ideas and my Summer 2012 blog serial)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean (which made a nerve wracking summer bearable and led to me wearing bandanas for a few months and left me with heavy eye make up, a small collection of pirate books and novels, an unfinished written novel and a novella idea.  I saw this film at the cinema nine times.  Yes.  Nine.  I would have gone for the tenth but the cinema stopped showing it)
  • The Walking Dead (an ongoing obsession which has led to a plethora of zombie novels on my book shelf, a written short story and a multitude of daydreaming)

What do most of these obsessions have in common?  My writing!  My obsessions are my inspiration.  I live them, breathe them, allow them to consume me.  I twist them and bend them and the result is a plot line, a character, a concept, an idea that results in a short story, novella or novel.
I am a writer, therefore I am obsessive.  My obsessive nature makes me a writer.
I tell you this now because all of the signs are there once more.  I’ve just bought a movie soundtrack (not unlike me, I have many) and I have recently been to the cinema to see the same film twice in less than a week.  A film I didn’t really want to see in the first place.
Yes, there is something about dwarves and wizards and dragons and hobbits that has enticed me, dug its claws into me and dragged me kicking and screaming back to high fantasy.  And yes, I did just admit to seeing The Hobbit for the second time at the cinema.  And you know what?  I loved it!
I was wrong in my review – Gollum is not overacted, he was brilliant.  The music is also beautiful.  The second time round I really heard the dwarven score which is why I’m now the proud owner of the soundtrack, a new ringtone (someone ring me, please!) and the book is winging its way to me (I know, I haven’t read it yet, for shame).
I am now waiting for the story ideas to flow.  I wonder if this will be an obsession which leads to big inspiration.  It may just be one of those wonderful worlds that I can happily disappear off to when I close my eyes.
I imagine I am not unique in this.  I know there are other obsessive people out there.  I wonder if they are writers too?
And now for one of those moments in a film that gives me pleasurable shivers and makes me desperate to pull out a pen and paper…
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