Oh, Richard.

Cumberland+WalkStorytelling is often electric and fun, charged with energy and illuminating ideas, but other times, it can be a chore.  Right now, when it comes to my personal writing, I’m stuck feeling a bit of the latter. You see, a group of us in The Tunbridge Wells Writers are working on a project.  It’s quiet exciting, actually, and we’re writing short stories about famous Tunbridge Wells writers of yore.  Turns out there were a number of interesting characters that lived and wrote ’round these parts– suffragettes, classical novelists, political revolutionaries, etc. I’m sorry to say, however, that my writer, Richard Cumberland, is not one of these interesting characters.

In fact, Richard Cumberland was profoundly boring.  I’m currently combing through a 359-page essay about his life and the most interesting thing I’ve uncovered is something I’ve known from the beginning: there exists in town a walk named after him.  It’s a nice walk, a quiet walk, and one that I enjoy a great deal on warm, sunny days.  Days like today, in fact.  But the fact remains that this man who wrote 54 plays (half of which were comedies), a handful of novels and a smattering of religious texts is still less interesting than a bit of pavement surrounded by nature, and that, my friends, makes me a little sad. But it also makes me feel challenged; how can I make this story interesting?  How I can I tell it to a modern audience? And it’s this challenge that makes storytelling so interesting and exciting. It’s this challenge that makes telling stories (even if they’re boring) an absolute delight.

Whence I’ve eked it out of that part of me that makes up stories, I’ll share my piece on Mr. Cumberland.  And I’ll share where you can read the other stories when they’re finished, too.  So look forward to that, folks, and happy St. Goerge’s Day!  xx

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