I love Margaret Atwood when she is slightly off the wall. She once told someone I knew to bury the names of the people who frightened her in a hole in the garden, something I’ve considered doing myself, although it would have to be more of a pit in my case.

Here she is talking wolfishly about writing:

“All stories are about wolves. All worth repeating, that is. Anything else is sentimental drivel…. Think about it. There’s escaping from the wolves, fighting the wolves, capturing the wolves, taming the wolves. Being thrown to the wolves, or throwing others to the wolves so the wolves will eat them instead of you. Running with the wolf pack. Turning into a wolf. Best of all, turning into the head wolf. No other decent stories exist.”

Perhaps what she means is the best fiction is about dealing with some kind of perceived threat, which is perhaps a bit of a theme for her as the gardening advice could be seen in that light too. I thought it would make an interesting subject as a writing exercise. Why not have a go at some literary lycanthropy yourself? Wolf in sheep’s clothing, wolfsbane, wolfing something down – there are all manner of starting points and you might find that you have the germ of an interesting story. In any case, don’t you think that writing sometimes feels like howling at the moon?