Monday Methods : Phil Thorogood

The Most Important Tool

In the past year, I have been a rider of dragons, a war-weary veteran, a brilliant but slightly psychotic rogue, and a genetically-enhanced post-human killing machine. Before you back away slowly, keeping eye contact and trying not to make any sudden movements, I’ll let you in on a secret – you’ve probably been some of those too. At the very least, I guarantee that you’ll not have been yourself at some point in this past year.

What I’m talking about is a writer’s most important tool; not a word processor, as some of you might answer that question. Not a notepad constantly on their person, nor passion, or even an editor (sorry editors), though they are all admittedly important in their own rights. The tool I’m talking about is super compact, totally mobile and (hardly ever) runs out of power. I am, of course, talking about the potential of the human mind, or more specifically, imagination, one of the most underrated gifts we are all given.

from 'How to Train your Dragon'
from ‘How to Train your Dragon’

Now, some of you will claim not to have an imagination, or that someone you know doesn’t own one. I put to you that that claim is false. What happens when you think of what to have for dinner tonight? When you plan an outing to the zoo with your friends or family? While you’re reading a good book? Imagination happens. Whether you actively realise it or not, all the time you are imagining things, and it is this gift that a writer makes use of the most.

As a writer, we imagine what would happen to X if they chose not to Y, as everyone else would expect them to. We wonder how the world would be different if historical events hadn’t occurred. Not only this, but we rely utterly on imagination even after the story has been written – when a reader picks it up, we count on their imagination to conjure up the action that we have penned, and they trust us to lead their thoughts into the realm of fiction.

So join me, now, in petitioning the government to make this day World Imagination Appreciation Day! …or just take a moment every now and then to acknowledge the gift that we are all given, either’s good.

Blog post call

This is a call for the Fox Spirit  Skulk. Our writers, editors, reviewers, artists etc. Anyone who has worked with us in any context or has a yes to work with us over the coming programme of work.

We wish to a couple of regular blog series next year. After some discussion on the foxy forum we have settled on ‘Five on Friday’ and ‘Monday Methods’. Depending how many responses we get I would like to do Five on Friday weekly from the Beginning of Jan to the end of Nov 2015 so we can use early December to produce a complete list (it will make sense in a minute I promise). Monday Methods may be more like fortnightly but again, it will depend on the level of response.

Monday Methods – This one is aimed at writers and artists. We would like a short post, a couple of hundred words at least, but no more than 500, preferably with an image or two (your desk space, your favourite mug, the mass of wine bottles waiting to be recycled, a shelf of books or wall of art you gaze at when you should be writing, your whiteboard) about the things that are essential to you in writing. Playlists are always a good addition to this sort of thing too.

Five on Friday – Five recommendations with a short paragraph on each (around 50 – 100 words is ideal) for fans of sci fi, fantasy, horror and crime. They can be fiction or non fiction, they can be books (at least one should be), films, tv shows (a specific episode or one series of a show is better than the whole show, so Star Trek bad, Star Trek the next generation ok, Star Trek  original series, the trouble with tribbles best), music, comics, memorabilia, action figures, tentacle book ends, Dr Who cushions anything you love dearly and think we should all know about. Again, if you can send through images of the items that would be helpful, if not we shall find what we can.

Please send the posts to and title it either Method Monday or Five on Friday as appropriate.

There is no remuneration for these blog posts, they are just for fun and to engage with the readers, let them know a bit about who you all are.

fox icon - test