Tag Archives: Australia

Writing Prompt: Memory

This is a writing prompt from Spiders Group from about a month ago. I just stumbled over the file I saved it in and thought I would share. I guess the “she” in this story is me, because this is how I feel whenever I leave Sydney and travel back to visit my parent’s property in Queensland.

 

 

The smell of hot dirt and eucalypts scented the wind, the din of cicadas drumming their drums filled the air. A shadow of a storm haunted the horizon, heralding a welcome end to a hot summer day.

She thought back to a summer long ago, when she had last walked down this meandering, dusty track. She’d had such expectations of the path ahead of her.

She had forgotten how vivid and alive the Australian bush could be, how many shades of grey and brown could herald life. She inhaled deeply, drawing astringent, savoury oxygen into her starved lungs. How clean the air was out here. No smog, no odours, no scents associated with man. Just the scent of eucalypts, dry dust and sweet grass. It was Life, in all its glory. Of course, most people wouldn’t have seen it that way. They didn’t really understand the land. They didn’t understand that verdant green grass was rare, and it was all the more beautiful for it. They didn’t understand how many browns, greens, yellows and greys could make up one dry husk of grass. They didn’t see the beauty in a waving sea of dried grass blades, or understand how the feel of hot dust under one’s bare feet could be so invigorating. She thought back to the dirty streets and faded buildings she had left behind her in the city, took a deep breath of air, and sighed in relief. She was home.

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NaNoWriMo: Brainstorming

The Background

I am taking part in NaNoWriMo this year, and I am writing a story set in an Australian city. I don’t want to say too much about my story here (ask me on facebook or by email) and I am still hashing out the plot, but the protagonist has the Sight and keeps seeing flashes of the Otherworld. She is walks in and out of myth, and isn’t sure which is real, the city or the forest (urban or organic). It is going to be really hard to hold off on writing until the 1st of November! I am taking part because I want to give writing another go. One of the problems I have is that I never get too far into a story because I am constantly editing. I guess that is the problem of being a perfectionist. I get so caught up in the minutiae that I loose sight of my story. I have left so many stories littered in notebooks and scraps of paper. So for NaNo, I am writing and writing and writing, and I am not allowed to edit! I doubt I will reach the 50,000 word target, but I am hopping that I actually have a story forming 🙂

Where I need your help, you ask?

Turongs, tree spirits from aboriginal Dreaming stories

Say you were writing speculative fiction set in an Australian city. Just think about that for a second. Think about Western mythologies. Not the Tinkerbells and Ariels, but the Tuatha Dé Danann (elves for the plebs), and Titans. Throw in some European folklore like mountain trolls and changelings. Think about all the fables, and folklore and legends you have heard set in the “old world”. And then think of Australia, the old land. Think about how diverse the people were here for thousands and thousands and thousands of years. Think of their rich cultural lives, their stories, their folklore and legends. My question is, would the spirits and fey in modern Australia be European, Aboriginal or a mixture? Are spirits they way we see them because that is what they are or just how we interpret them? The fey aren’t meant to cross over water. But could they circumvent that rule by travelling through the Otherworld? Or is there no such thing as European or Aboriginal (or African, Asian, American etc.), but they are just the one creature with different faces? Is it stories echoing through space and time? Like how the crow myth has made it’s way around through various cultures, as has the flood myth and the Hercules figure? Is it just all one and the same, or is it a separate incidence each time? Should the sprits wear regional skins, or be a mixture? Or just be “normal”, but effect regional style (ochre markings vs woad?)?

 

I have actually studied Aboriginal myths when I took Anthropology at university, and with some research I could really flesh it out. But I do want to tackle Western myth as well… I am trying to work out a way of doing both. But I don’t want it to clash, but for the myths and spirits to coexist? Like maybe there is no such thing as European or Aboriginal, but they are just different faces the spirits wear? An outward expression? IDK…. 😕 What do you think?