Ruinlust and where ideas come from – guest post at Davida Chazan aka The Chocolate Lady

Ruinlust. It’s a word that means ‘the unseemly feeling of attraction to abandoned places and crumbling buildings’. At least, that’s what Robert Macfarlane said when I had a chat with him about it on Twitter. And if anyone would know, he would. (Here’s why.)

I don’t understand the ‘unseemly’ part, though I suspect Husband Dave might. He is not as ruinlustful as I am. (‘Must we trek all that way to look at that half-derelict tower, Roz?’)

Anyway, how is this connected with ideas and where they come from?

When book blogger Davida Chazan (The Chocolate Lady) reviewed Not Quite Lost, she pounced on a note in the afterword where I mentioned the settings that had appeared in my fiction. A magnificent decaying mansion in Devon. The remains of drowned towns in Suffolk. They were the seeds of Lifeform Three. Ruinlust, through and through.

But settings can give you more than just a sense of place. As I edited, I had a surprise. I wasn’t just dusting off old anecdotes, I was digging the archeology of my own themes and curiosities. Memory, identity. Buried histories. (More about that here.)

Davida asked me to come to her blog and write a proper post about it. It seems that even if you go back into your own past, it’s still a new journey. Out of sight, not out of mind. Do come over.






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  1. #1 by tomburkhalter on September 29, 2017 - 1:14 pm

    Ruins are like crime scenes in that they are puzzles and stories at once. Of COURSE you must walk to the derelict tower!

  2. #3 by Davida Chazan on September 29, 2017 - 4:40 pm

    This is why I _always_ read the afterwords in every book!

    • #4 by Roz Morris @Roz_Morris on September 29, 2017 - 6:50 pm

      Me too! And if I’ve liked a book, I don’t want to say goodbye to the author! Thanks for having me, Davida.

  3. #5 by Debra Eve (@DebraEve) on September 29, 2017 - 10:24 pm

    Thank you for introducing me to a new word, Roz. I so have ruinlust. I actually went as far as getting an MA in Archaeology, but now I realize it was just ruinlust. Could have saved me thousands in tuition!

  4. #7 by Alexander M Zoltai on October 2, 2017 - 4:20 am

    Reblogged this on Notes from An Alien and commented:
    Didn’t do a re-blog on the weekend so…

    Might as well make it up with something from Roz Morris 🙂

  1. Writing Links…10/2/17 – Where Genres Collide

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