As a writer I like space. Not just an area to write, but an area to feel inspired. Some of these areas are easy to understand, full of details and grand gestures while others require a little more imagination to get the most out of them.

Here I have listed my five favourite spaces that get the neurons firing in my grey matter, conjuring up images that, for me, translate into words.  So, pop pickers, here’s this week’s rundown on the hottest imaginariums on the Fylde Coast.

5. The Comedy Carpet

I know a lot of you would think that as a writer I would place this immense found poem art installation higher on my list. It is truly amazing and glorious to look at. I can spend many an hour just reading line after line, giggling as I reminisce. It’s a great source for words. If ever I’m struggling with an idea that is already sitting in my head but refusing to lay itself onto the page, I’ll take a walk across the carpet. Something about reading all the different styles lets my mind shake and loosen the words I need.

4. St. Annes Sand Dunes

When I want to disappear into my own mind for a while I find the Sand Dunes wonderful. The way the air moves, the flow of the sounds and the colours are all ideal for unlocking characters and giving them life. You can weave between open space by the water’s edge to closed in hills to traffic and concrete. Each walk brings out the vastness of great barren landscapes and epic journeys. Heroes and villains come striding over the dune tops, plotting world domination and gathering information to defeat the evil that lurks beyond these hills. The sense of isolation you can achieve without being any great distance away from anything makes it a truly golden spot to dream.

3. Stanley Park

Between the Victorian ideal of well ordered metropolitan countryside, complete with ‘band stand’ entertainment area, and the well managed, deliberately overgrown nature walk of the path around the crocodile infested boating lake, this municipal park oozes character. There are statues, a clock tower, and unused pavilions, the Art Deco Café, water fowl and sports facilities. Around these are all kinds of people walking, running and riding boats, going to and from work, hanging out or just having their daily constitutional. Stanley Park is full of life, details and inspiration. If you are every stuck for a character in your story, this place will have them somewhere just waiting for you to find them.

2. The Church of the Sacred Heart

I am not a religious man, nor or am I believer in God. These are my beliefs, my thoughts, and even though I am adamant that there is nothing beyond that which we find in the boundaries of science and our own imagination, I find churches incredible places. Every stone has been places to heighten a sense of spiritual ambience. For me, the best example of this is the Church of the Sacred Heart at the bottom end of Talbot Road. There are no grand old churches from a time unimaginable in Blackpool, they are all relatively new. And there are far prettier churches, from the outside, in Lytham and up by Victoria Hospital, however once you walk through the doors of this place of Catholic worship the world outside seems to dissolve. Layers of thought peel away from your inner mind revealing complex sentence structures, plot twists, images and ideas that flow with the same beauty found in the décor and serenity of your surroundings.

1. Roof Tops
Across the town centre there are many flats and office with roof top terraces which give you a completely different perspective on the town. If you can’t get to these terraces you can get great inspirational views from the top of some of the car parks. The Houndshill Centre, Wilkinsons, Talbot Road (the old bus station) and British Home Stores all have unique angles to get a sweeping view of the entire town. Unlike being up the tower, this vantage point allows you to see the world normally dominated by the gulls while still having the dominating figure of the Iron Folly imposing itself on proceedings. The sounds, vista and air movement combine to give a wonderful environment to get the creative juices flowing. I quite often spend ten, maybe twenty minutes absorbing the surroundings, making mental notes when I pop into town and park the car. By surveying the lay of the land before wandering through the busy streets I can capture the feeling of the town as a whole, living entity. These thoughts and feelings work their way into the most shadowy corners in my mind and out through my work. Even if it’s not obvious to the audience, they are definitely there.


Featured image from geograph.org.uk on Wikimedia Commons

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