All Stories, Literally Reruns

Literally Rerun – Through the Curtain by Diane M. Dickson

Okay – I’ll hold my hands up and admit that I’ve screwed up and missed out today when setting up the reruns. So, because I do like to give rerunners the chance to consider and answer the questions I will – if you will indulge me use one that Leila chose and I set up for some way down the line. I’m not so much jumping the queue as plugging the gap.


Leila has very kindly chosen one of my older pieces to be Rerun – It does give one a warm glow to know that a reader has enjoyed a piece. Thank you Ms Allison:

Receiving news of the unexpected death of a loved one is an overwhelming blow that’s impossible to process sanely. I can tell you from experience that a common reaction to such an event often involves  calmness and an enhanced attention to meaningless details; it’s as though the mind is attempting to build a wall between itself and the incomprehensible truth, and will use anything at its disposal to get the job done.

The protagonist in Diane M. Dickson’s Through the Curtain, Amy, seems to be going through that type of reaction. She observes and comments to herself about trifles like a sad looking hospital toy box, and she feels a need to comfort a policewoman placed in an awkward position. Still, little personal details build up and eventually get to her.

Q: Amy’s thoughts unfold with great speed. She reasons out why they won’t let her see Stuart, feels sorry for the policewoman and recalls Stuart calling her a “pleaser” almost simultaneously, yet she remains lucid. Was Amy a difficult character to create, or did you build her from personal experience?

I wrote this in the halcyon days before I experienced this particular horror. It was far from my mind when the thing actually happened to me and yet – looking back I’m surprised that I had imagined the scenario quite well. Amy wasn’t difficult to create exactly – If I wrote her now having gone through something similar myself I don’t think she would change much. Having said that – I am not sure I could write this story now that my history has changed the way that it has.

Q: You were able to get plenty of backstory in, yet none of it feels forced. When something seems effortless (like it goes with Mr. Haglund) I’m compelled to ask if the piece took a lot of time to produce?

As with most of my pieces it didn’t take long to produce. I am very lucky in that most of the time my Muse delivers these things almost fully formed and I just let them fall out of my fingers onto the keyboard. I am honoured to be likened to Tobias.

Leila Allison


Through the Curtain

4 thoughts on “Literally Rerun – Through the Curtain by Diane M. Dickson”

  1. Hi Leila,
    Great choice as always and your first question raises a very interesting point.

    Diane, it is always a delight to see your work.
    Regarding my comment to Leila, I reckon you have given us all something to think on. How does unexperienced plot stand up to something that we eventually experience?
    I think a writer with empathy, conscience and perception will never be that far off but the ones who have social blinkers end up writing by numbers and that just comes across as false.

    All the very best ladies!


    1. thank you Hugh. I don’t think you have to experience everything that you want to write about, do you – but you have to have your senses open and take note I reckon. But then, like this one – I don’t know that I’d be able to do justice to it now because experiences I have had since I wrote it would get in the way.


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