Ideas. Like a tiny seedling can sprout to become a giant tree, like a word can become a sentence, a paragraph, and then a story, like a handful of chords can become a song, an idea can grow to become something much larger.

But where do ideas go? They appear in your head one second and the next, they are fading away in a flood of other thoughts. It’s as if something suddenly inspires you – turns the clogs in your brain, reaches your very core, and what is produced is an idea, like Willy Wonka’s machine produced ‘just’ a stick of gum after all its whirring and whizzing. Lithe as a leopard and fragile as a hummingbird, that idea rests in your head for a heartbeat and in that moment, you need to grab it. An idea is like a wisp of smoke, there one second and gone the next, disappearing between your fingers almost before you realise it’s there. Forgetting an idea feels like a waste to me, because who knows, one small idea could lead to a best selling novel.

Take my ‘A Word a Week’ idea. When collecting a bunch of nouns, adjectives and verbs to choose from each week, ideas flitted in and out of my brain about each of them. And now, several months later,  those ideas are just vague memories, and when I pulled the word ‘attain’ out recently, my brain was blank. Although remembering my initial idea would probably not have led to a novel, it would most likely have led to a blog post, which is still an achievement for me. Still, at least this frustrating lack of ideas has inspired me to write something.

And in the future, I’m following Roald Dahl’s method of finding “a pencil, a pen, a crayon, a lipstick, anything that will write” and scribbling my ideas down while I still remember them.


The setting sun tints the sky orange, pink, purple. Wisps of clouds, tinged golden, drift serenely as the blazing orange orb slowly disappears between the trees’ bare branches. It is unusually warm; a slight breeze could suddenly nip at the tip of your nose but in its absence, the thin, fragile shawl of early autumn’s warmth could settle on your shoulders. If you raise your head a little and close your eyes, you can feel its delicate weight on your skin. In the background, the muted din of motors running. A horn here, some music there. The distant sound of chatter from passers-by. The faint fragrance of dinner being prepared close by.

The change is subtle and before you realise it, the sun has almost sunk between the branches. The breeze is a little icier. People walking along the streets pull their jackets a little tighter about themselves, tug their hats lower over their ears. In their homes, people turn the lights on and chimneys smoke as dinner is prepared. Sparkling specks of glitter appear in the sky, scattered across its vast expanse, as dusk settles.

© Sohini Kumar

Snow White, Part 2

Click here to read part 1

Sunlight is streaming through the stained glass windows of the dining chamber when the princess arrives. The large double doors close behind her. The king is not here yet; she sighs an inward sigh of relief, making her way towards one end of the mahogany dining table. The legs of the heavy gilded chair scrape across the carpet as she pulls the chair back and takes her place. Her legs dangle from the edges. Leaning her arms on the table, she looks up at the stained glass windows, admiring the way the sunlight makes them glitter. Her gaze moves to the high ceiling, painted with elaborate but fading designs. She closes her eyes, revelling in the warmth and serenity of the moment.

Bang. The princess is jerked out of her reverie as the dining room doors fly open. In marches the king. His crown glints in the sunlight as he strides across the room. The princess hastily stands up. An attendant pulls the king’s chair back and he takes a seat at the opposite end of the table. The princess bows in a low curtsey, clutching her dress in clammy hands. Adjusting his taupe robes, the king acknowledges her presence with a curt nod. She returns to her seat as the doors open once again.

Continue reading “Snow White, Part 2”