Thievery: The Family Snaps
On Thursdays, I invite my favourite writers to share the inspirations behind their stories. Here’s one from the multitalented Jarred McGinnis.
‘The Family Snaps’ was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and published online at Underground Voices.
“Ma, Ma, Ma,” says Colin. He cries and thrashes. He barely fits the seat, and the pushchair bounces with his movements. At the end of his fleshy legs, white trainers like unbaked bread loaves dangle. It takes all her strength to heft his bulk onto her hip. He’s already a third of her size. His elbows are dimples; his joints are seams connecting one buttery mass to another. A tuft of blonde hair sprouts from his head.
It’s an image that usually conjures the inspiration. I keep a scrap book of images on tumblr, and my office has a pile of postcards and torn out pages from magazines and newspapers. More often though it is something in the real world. This story is an example of that. For three years, I lived in Leith and worked in Edinburgh. On my commute I saw the characters that I described in the story. A tiny woman, weathered and worn by what life had handed her, pushing up the steep incline of Leith walk the most robust huge baby. From there my imagination took over and the story came quickly. I sincerely hope that the real woman with the baby has none of the troubles I heaped upon my projection of her.
Read ‘The Family Snaps’ at Underground Voices.