Inspired by My Island HomePosted: May 16, 2013
Have you entered my double Amazon giveaway yet, which I’m running to celebrate my good news? The details are here.
I was pottering around the kitchen trying to think of what the single biggest thing is that inspires my writing. And then it hit me like a parrot in the crotch (which, by the way, actually happened to a guy I know; I gather it wasn’t very pleasant). My biggest source of inspiration is the Australian landscape.
So far, all of my novels are set in Australia. And that’s not just because I’m writing what I know (although it is) but because I love this place. I love the scraggly eucalypts, the ridiculous wildlife, the low mountains worn down by time. I love the fact that—because our land is so old and the landscape crinkles are so low—the sky is huge. Looking up is like watching a movie in widescreen.
I love the magpies’ song, and the sight of a flock of cockatoos wheeling in the sky, and the sere colours. I love the first spray of wattle flowers toward the end of winter, when there’s still frost on the ground overnight, because the plants are declaring that spring is coming!
I know a lot of people here hanker after the lush greenery of Europe. I’ve been to Scotland and I’m not saying it wasn’t magnificent in its own way—I’d love to visit again some day—but this place is home.
I’ve been reading John Marsden’s Tomorrow series, and his passages on the Australian bush really resonate with me. Ellie’s love for the country could be my own. Here’s one extract, to illustrate what I mean.
It takes me over and I become part of it and it becomes part of me and I’m not very important, or at least no more important than a tree or a rock or a spider abseiling down a long thread of cobweb. As I wandered around, on that hot afternoon, I didn’t notice anything too amazing or beautiful or mindbogglingly spectacular. I can’t actually say I noticed anything out of the ordinary: just the grey-green rocks and the olive-green leaves and the reddish soil with the teeming ants. The tattered ribbons of paperbark, the crackly dry cicada shell, the smooth furrow left in the dust by a passing snake. That’s all there ever is really, most of the time. No rainforest with tropical butterflies, no palm trees or Californian redwoods, no leopards or iguanas or panda bears.
Just the bush.
Click here to see this week’s other Thursday’s Children blog posts.