Webs Of Stories

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Some local English lore for a Friday. A road name. I’d thought a prominent family named “Coward” might have once lived on, or their farm perhaps bordered, what is now the nearby Codicote street of that name:

[Photo by me, 2017.]

However, I’ve also been told by someone who lived hereabouts for years that the now quiet and pleasant (aside from the traffic at times) Codicote village high street hasn’t always been so. A century and more ago it had as many as half a dozen at times raucous – and worse – pubs. To avoid them, some people took to walking a route roughly parallel to the high street, but which went ’round it through a wood and emptied out safely past the pubs.

It came to be known as “Cowards Lane.”

I don’t really know I believe that. But then again why not? Sounds possible!

[Photo by me, 2017.]

I suggest this to anyone who says they want to write, but who feel they just don’t know what to write about: Use your own experiences (at least to start). Much of the time writers of course draw on what they have known personally. All that may vary is how many layers of gloss they throw over their experiences, and/or those of others close to them, to enable them to fit those experiences into their fiction.

I have previously explained my use of the town of Chesham, Buckinghamshire in Conventions. Because we are living currently in rural Hertfordshire, about 30 minutes’ drive north of London, I thought I would also “use” this area in the novel. For instance, I took Codicote from our 2017 and dropped it back in its 1780s and 1790s, as in this casual reference to it in this silly episode between American “Robert” and English “Carolina” in Paris…

[Excerpt from Conventions: The Garden At Paris. Click to expand.]

Oh, and a fact: this region does have some whopper spiders!:

[Photo by me, 2017.]

I grabbed a pic of that one outside our kitchen window yesterday.

They are often quite busy in early autumn. Sometimes, naturally, you find them inside of the house. A few days ago, I encountered one in our bedroom that was, well, so large I could have put a leash on it and named it – and, fortunately, “the Mrs.” did NOT see it.

I hope I haven’t scared you off!

You aren’t a “coward” are you? 😉

Have a good weekend, wherever you are in the world. 🙂

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